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The Art of Social Media: Top Tech Influencers Who Impacted Big Data & Analytics in 2019

These days, it often feels like we’re living in two worlds: the physical and the online. Throughout human history, we’ve discovered numerous forms of communication. In the early days, we developed speech and languages, which later led to symbols and written text, which drove us to where we are today: social media. 

Whether you’re a user of social media or just an observer, there is one thing that we can all agree on; social media has altered human communication. The online world has transformed into a landscape that is far more meaningful than just posting pictures from your trip to Europe, inspirational quotes, or 30 second cooking videos. It has become another source of information, developing communities and starting new conversations. 

If you were to look at how we used social media at the beginning of the decade and compare it to how we use it now, the differences are more than clear. In 2010, it was reported that Twitter had a total of 54 million monthly active users. Nine years later, the company saw that number increase by 200%, reporting a boost to 330 million users.

Let’s take a look at who is responsible for the growing numbers, keeping us informed on everything that happened in the big data analytics space this year. 

Jen Stirrup 

Twitter: @jenstirrup

Jen is no stranger to business intelligence. As Microsoft’s Regional Director and Most Valuable Professional, she combined her knowledge and experience to found Data Relish, an England-based consulting agency that specializes in empowering their clients by creating data strategies. Jen is also the author of multiple data-centric papers and three books: “Tableau Dashboard Cookbook,” “Tableau:Creating Interactive Data Virtualizations,” and “Advanced Analytics with R and Tableau.” 

Tamara McCleary 

Twitter: @TamaraMcCleary 

Prior to serving as the CEO of Thulium, a “smart social” analytics agency, McCleary began her career with her nursing degree from Grand Canyon University. Tamara later on earned recognition for her achievements as a technology branding expert and futurist, being recognized as the “#1 Most Influential Women in MarTech” by LeadTail, named as Forbes’ Most Influential CMO’s, and earned the #3 spot as the “Most Mentioned and Retweeted by Internet of Things Leader.” Among this success, McCleary is also credited for creating the RelationShift® method, a process for “improving virtually any relationship at work, with customers, at home and in the community.” 

Marcus Borba

Twitter: @marcusborba 

With an extensive background as a big data and analytics consultant, Borba arrived to the big data scene with a passion for helping organizations solve the complex challenges while being equipped with the right data science tools. Borba has numerous achievements and awards on his resume. Some of which include: Top 100 Deep Learning Influencers, Top Influencer: Machine Learning, Data Science and Artificial Intelligence, and Top 10 Data Science and BI Influencers You Should Follow on Twitter. 

Jen Underwood

Twitter: @idigdata 

Jen brings over 20 years of experience to the data science community. She is praised for her work in developing product launches, having formerly served as director of product management at DataRobot where she was responsible for product marketing for the emerging citizen data science segment. Underwood is also the founder of Impact Analytix, and a published author of multiple tech articles

Bernard Marr 

Twitter: @BernardMarr

Being ranked as one of the world’s top 5 influencers by LinkedIn and the number one influencer in the UK, Marr has proven that he is here to stay. Having founded Bernard Marr & Co., he has advised a number of organizations including Cisco, T-Mobile, Walmart; helping them strategize their data use. In addition to his own company, Marr is also a keynote speaker, bestselling author of 16 books and multiple articles and a regular contributor to Forbes and World Economic Forum. 

Evan Kirstel

Twitter: @EvanKirstel 

With a Twitter following of over 270k and an extensive background in sales, the Boston-based tech expert is best known for his work with helping organizations craft their online identities in the world of social media. He specializes in the cloud, cyber security, digital health, big data, analytics, and blockchain technology. Kirstel currently served as the Chief Digital Evangelist for eViRa Health, where he is also the co-founder. 

Ronald Van Loon

Twitter: @Ronald_vanLoon

Recognized as one of the “Top 5 Global Thought Leaders on Technology,” Van Loon offers his expertise to data-driven companies who want to transform their approach to data analytics, but exceed their business goals. Van Loon’s goal is focused on “Helping data-driven companies generate business value.” He is also the author of multiple big data websites, including: The Guardian, The Datafloq, and Data Science Central. 

Carla Gentry 

Twitter: @data_nerd 

Carla is a dedicated data scientist and owner of Analytical Solution, an Orlando-based firm created for smaller companies who don’t have their own analytics department. Carla has worked with Fortune 100 and 500 companies and is always looking to dive deeper into data and answer to the question of, “What can your data do for you?” Gentry wears the title of “data nerd” with pride as she hopes that the companies that she works with feel empowered by the knowledge they gain from their data. 

Doug Laney 

Twitter: @Doug_Laney 

Prior to leading Caserta, a data analytics consultancy as the principal of data and analytics strategy, Doug was the vice president and analyst with Gartner’s Chief Data Officer research and advisory practice. Laney specializes in data monetization, data governance, and “big data-based innovation,” coining the “3Vs”: volume, velocity and variety; a term that is familiar in the big data community. Doug is also a contributing writer for Forbes and best-selling author of “Infonomics: How to Monetize, Manage, and Measure Information as an Asset for Competitive Advantage ”. 

Eric Cole 

Twitter: @drericcole 

An expert on cyber security, Cole is the founder and CEO of Secure Anchor Consulting, a group of leading security experts dedicated to “safeguarding the digital world.” Cole’s background specializes in computer science, having formerly served as the Dean of Faculty at SANS Institute of Technology, The Director of Research at the SANS Institute, Chief Scientist at Lockheed Martin, as well as the Vice President of McAfee. Today, Cole focuses on working with the federal government, Fortune 500 companies, and financial institutions to build out their security networks. 

Maribel Lopez

Twitter: @MaribelLopez 

Maribel is an industry analyst, speaker, writer and business advisor. After years of working at Forrester Research, Lopez founded Lopez Research, a market research firm that is focused on helping organizations “understand and navigate digital transformation by analyzing today’s most powerful tech trends, including mobile, cloud, big data analytics, and IoT.” Lopez is also a contributing author for Forbes, author of Right-Time Experiences: Driving Revenue with Mobile and Big Data.” 

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