Monday, May 13, 2013

10 Most Influential People in Data Analytics

We have identified 10 most influential people whose significant contributions have greatly enriched the data analytics community. This is the result of months of research. The following is the list (in alphabetical order of the last name).

Dean Abbott Michael Berry Tom Davenport John Elder Rayid Ghani
Anthony Goldbloom Vincent Granville Gregory Piatetsky-Shapiro Karl Rexer Eric Siegel

Dean Abbott is President of Abbott Analytics, Inc. in San Diego, California. Mr. Abbott is an internationally recognized data mining and predictive analytics expert with over two decades experience applying advanced data mining algorithms, data preparation techniques, and data visualization methods to real-world problems, including fraud detection, risk modeling, text mining, personality assessment, response modeling, survey analysis, planned giving, and predictive toxicology. He is also Chief Scientist of SmarterRemarketer, a startup company focusing on behaviorally- and data-driven marketing attribution and web analytics.

Mr. Abbott is a highly regarded and popular speaker at Predictive Analytics and Data Mining conferences, including Predictive Analytics World, Predictive Analytics Summit, the Predictive Analytics Center of Excellence, SAS Institute, DM Radio, and INFORMS.

He has served on the program committees for the KDD Industrial Track and Data Mining Case Studies workshop and is on the Advisory Boards for the UC/Irvine Predictive Analytics Certificate and the UCSD Data Mining Certificate programs. Mr. Abbott has taught applied data mining and text mining courses using IBM SPSS Modeler, Statsoft Statistica, Salford Systems SPM, SAS Enterprise Miner, Tibco Spotfire Miner, IBM Affinium Model, Megaputer Polyanalyst, KNIME, and RapidMiner.

Michael Berry is a recognized authority on business applications of data mining. He is the author (with Gordon Linoff) of several well-regarded books in the field including Data Mining Techniques for Marketing, Sales, and Customer Relationship Management which is now in its third edition.

He is currently responsible for analytics and business intelligence for the business-to-business side of Tripadvisor ( Mr. Berry is a co-founder of Data Miners, Inc. (, a consultancy specializing in the analysis of large volumes of data for marketing and CRM purposes.

Tom Davenport is a Visiting Professor at Harvard Business School. He is also the President’s Distinguished Professor of Information Technology and Management at Babson College, the co-founder of the International Institute for Analytics, and a Senior Advisor to Deloitte Analytics. He has published on the topics of analytics in business, process management, information and knowledge management, and enterprise systems. He pioneered the concept of “competing on analytics” with his best-selling 2006 Harvard Business Review article (and his 2007 book by the same name). His most recent book is Keeping Up with the Quants:Your Guide to Understanding and Using Analytics, with Jinho Kim. He wrote or edited fifteen other books, and over 100 articles for Harvard Business Review, Sloan Management Review, the Financial Times, and many other publications. In 2003 he was named one of the world’s “Top 25 Consultants” by Consulting magazine. In 2005 Optimize magazine’s readers named him among the top 3 business/technology analysts in the world. In 2007 and 2008 he was named one of the 100 most influential people in the IT industry by Ziff-Davis magazines. In 2012 he was named one of the world’s top fifty business school professors by Fortune magazine.

John Elder founded and leads America’s largest and most experienced data mining consultancy. Founded in 1995, Elder Research ( has offices in Charlottesville Virginia and Washington DC and has solved projects in a huge variety of areas of mining data, text, and links. Dr. Elder co-authored 3 books (on practical data mining, ensembles, and text mining), two of which won PROSE awards for top book of the year in Mathematics or Computer Science. John has authored some data mining tools, was one of the discoverers of ensemble methods, has chaired international conferences, and is a frequent keynote speaker. He’s probably best known for explaining complex analytic concepts with clarity, humor, and enthusiasm.

Dr. Elder has degrees in Engineering (Systems PhD, UVA + Electrical Masters & BS, Rice) and is an occasional Adjunct Professor at UVA. He was honored to be named by President Bush to serve 5 years on a panel to guide technology for national security. Lastly, John is grateful to be a follower of Christ and the father of five.

Rayid Ghani is currently at the Computation Institute and the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago. Rayid is also the co-founder of Edgeflip, an analytics startup building social media analytics products that allow non-profits and social good organizations to better use social networks to raise money, recruit, engage, and mobilize volunteers, and do targeted outreach and advocacy.

Rayid Ghani was the Chief Scientist at Obama for America 2012 campaign focusing on analytics, technology, and data. His work focused on improving different functions of the campaign including fundraising, volunteer, and voter mobilization using analytics, social media, and machine learning. Before joining the campaign, Rayid was a Senior Research Scientist and Director of Analytics research at Accenture Labs where he led a technology research team focused on applied R&D in analytics, machine learning, and data mining for large-scale & emerging business problems in various industries including healthcare, retail & CPG, manufacturing, intelligence, and financial services.

In addition, Rayid serves as an adviser to several analytics start-ups, is an active speaker, organizer of, and participant in academic and industry analytics conferences, and publishes regularly in machine learning and data mining conferences and journals.

Anthony Goldbloom is the founder and CEO of Kaggle. Before founding Kaggle, Anthony worked in the macroeconomic modeling areas of the Reserve Bank of Australia and before that the Australian Treasury.

He holds a first class honours degree in economics and econometrics from the University of Melbourne and has published in The Economist magazine and the Australian Economic Review.

In 2011, Forbes Magazine cited Anthony as one of the 30 under 30 in technology and Fast Company featured him as one of the innovative thinkers who are changing the future of business.

Dr. Vincent Granville is a visionary data scientist with 15 years of big data, predictive modeling, digital and business analytics experience. Vincent is widely recognized as the leading expert in scoring technology, fraud detection and web traffic optimization and growth. Over the last ten years, he has worked in real-time credit card fraud detection with Visa, advertising mix optimization with CNET, change point detection with Microsoft, online user experience with Wells Fargo, search intelligence with InfoSpace, automated bidding with eBay, click fraud detection with major search engines, ad networks and large advertising clients.

Most recently, Vincent launched Data Science Central, the leading social network for big data, business analytics and data science practitioners. Vincent is a former post-doctorate of Cambridge University and the National Institute of Statistical Sciences. He was among the finalists at the Wharton School Business Plan Competition and at the Belgian Mathematical Olympiads. Vincent has published 40 papers in statistical journals and is an invited speaker at international conferences. He also developed a new data mining technology known as hidden decision trees, owns multiple patents, published the first data science book, and raised $6MM in start-up funding. Vincent is a top 20 big data influencers according to Forbes, was featured on CNN, and is #1 in Gil Press' A-List of data scientists.

Gregory Piatetsky-Shapiro, Ph.D. (@kdnuggets) is the Editor of, a leading site for Analytics, Big Data, Data Mining, and Data Science. He is also a well-known expert and an independent consultant in this field. Previously, he led a data mining teams at GTE Laboratories, and was a Chief Scientist for two start-ups. He has extensive experience in applying analytic and data mining methods to many areas — including customer modeling, healthcare data analysis, fraud detection, bioinformatics and Web analytics — and worked for a number of leading banks, insurance companies, telcos, and pharmaceutical companies.

He coined the terms “KDD” and “Knowledge Discovery in Data” when he organized and chaired the first three KDD workshops. He later helped grow the workshops into ACM Conf. on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining (, the top research conference in the field. Dr. Piatetsky-Shapiro is also a co-founder of ACM SIGKDD, the leading professional organization for Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining and served as the Chair of SIGKDD (2005-2009). He received ACM SIGKDD and IEEE ICDM Distinguished Service Awards. He has over 60 publications with over 10,000 citations.

Karl Rexer, PhD is President of Rexer Analytics ( Founded in 2002, Rexer Analytics has delivered analytic solutions to dozens of companies. Solutions include fraud detection, customer attrition analysis and prediction, advertisement abandonment prediction, direct mail targeting, market basket analysis and survey research. Rexer Analytics also conducts and freely distributes the widely read Data Miner Survey. The survey has been written about and cited in over 12 languages. In the spring of 2013, over a thousand analytic professionals from around the world participated in the 6th Data Miner Survey.

Karl has served on the organizing and review committees of several international conferences (e.g., KDD), and is on the Board of Directors of Oracle's Business Intelligence, Warehousing, & Analytics (BIWA) Special Interest Group. He has served on IBM's Customer Advisory Board, is an Industry Advisor for Babson College's Business Analytics program, and is in the #1 position on LinkedIn's list of Top Predictive Analytics Professionals. He is frequently an invited speaker and moderator at conferences and universities. So far in 2013 he has conducted data mining trainings in California, China and London. Prior to founding Rexer Analytics, Karl held leadership and consulting positions at several consulting firms and two multi-national banks.

Eric Siegel, PhD, founder of Predictive Analytics World and Text Analytics World, author of Predictive Analytics: The Power to Predict Who Will Click, Buy, Lie, or Die, and Executive Editor of the Predictive Analytics Times, makes the how and why of predictive analytics understandable and captivating. Eric is a former Columbia University professor who used to sing educational songs to his students, and a renowned speaker, educator and leader in the field.


Unknown said...

I wish there was a woman in this list.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jay Zhou, PhD. said...


That is a good point. I am thinking about compiling a list of woman data miners.


Anonymous said...

What about women leading big data/predictive analytics from a business point of view? 6Sense's CEO and Founder is a woman.

Jay Zhou, PhD. said...

That will be my next project.

Sumedha and Sailes said...

Certainly globally there are some.

Jewlish said...

So, a year later... any luck getting that list of women in big data.
They exist. And they are also incredibly influential.

Unknown said...

i want to know about big data classification tools and algorithms for my research work....

Unknown said...

For sure, seeing women on this list (or a separate list to highlight them specifically) would be good. Scientific fields are generally seen as male-dominated because people don't talk about the contributions of women. Women have been written out of science for thousands of years and some of the biggest achievements in science have been made by women - Rosalind Franklin isn't credited for her critical part in Crick's studies, Esther Lederberg's husband got credit for her work in microbiology, etc. Articles like this can help stop the trend though! Also, check out the folks at this predictive analytics solutions company, they're doing some pretty influential work.

Ayushi said...

The list is awesome,big data training in noida
i always wanted learn more about the data mining and big data and knowing about all these professionals i am so overwhelmed.