Best Resources for Data Folks

The top 5 newsletters, podcasts, books, communities, and conferences for data folks.
Best Resources for Data Folks
Debdut Mukherjee
Debdut Mukherjee·March 15, 2020·13 min read

Table of Contents

As folks who constantly deal with data, finding the right resources to refer in times of need is a challenge. Additionally, if you simply Google the phrase, ‘data analytics resources’, you will be overwhelmed.

Resources for data folks

Yes, there are too many; more zeros than I can count. To solve this, we created an internal doc with the best five of every kind of resource that data folks generally refer to. We used it, found the value and now decided to publicize it for everyone’s benefit.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at them.

Newsletters

#1 The Data Science Roundup by Fishtown Analytics

If you love reading on your weekend downtimes, The Data Science Roundup (DSR) is perfect for you. It’s compiled by Tristan Handy from Fishtown Analytics. They're the creators of hugely popular open source tool DBT. The best part is that they include 4-5 of the best reads along with a simple summary for each article.

→ Check out the latest issue.

#2 Data Eng Weekly

Data Eng Weekly (formerly Hadoop Weekly) brings you the week’s top news in the data engineering ecosystem. It’s also a weekend newsletter that’s delivered on Sunday. It keeps you informed on the latest data engineering-related open source and cloud news across batches (e.g. Apache Hadoop, Apache Spark), streams (e.g. Apache Kafka), distributed systems, and much more.

→ Check out the latest issue.

#3 The Analytics Dispatch by Mode

If you don’t know it already, Mode is a data science platform that brings together a SQL editor, Python notebook, and R where you can perform data visualization, create charts and dashboards, and then share your analysis with a click. They write a pretty kickass newsletter with some of the best analytics and data science pieces.

→ Check out the latest issue.

#4 Data Elixir

Data Elixir is one of the top newsletters in the market sharing the best articles on machine learning, data visualization, analytics, and strategy. Delivered every Tuesday, it’s a weekly newsletter with 30,000+ subscribers.

→ Check out the latest issue.

#5 Data Science Weekly

One of the most popular newsletters among data folks, the newsletter started in 2013 and has churned out 361 issues to date. It begins with an Editor Picks section and quickly moves onto listing a bunch of data science articles and videos. On top of that, it includes a section for job openings, tutorials, and books as well. Sent out every Thursday, DSW deserves your attention.

→ Check out the latest issue.

#6 KDnuggets [BONUS]

This award-winning newsletter is one of the most renowned newsletters covering topics like Machine Learning, Data Science, Data Mining, Big Data, and Analytics. It’s definitely worth your 15 minutes!

→ Check out the latest issue.

Podcasts

#1 The Data Engineering Podcast

Considered to be one of the top podcasts in data science and engineering, Tobias Macey’s podcast commands thousands of subscribers across the globe. Every episode talks about something new happening in the data science ecosystem. You can expect to catch insights on topics like scaling processing pipelines, deploying databases, maintaining your data lake, and establishing proper governance practices.

→ Play the latest episode.

#2 The Digital Analytics Power Hour

Started by Michael Helbling, Tim Wilson, and Moe Kiss, this podcast dives into the essentials of business analytics in a way for everyone (even non-data folks) to understand and take back learnings from it.

→ Play the latest episode.

#3 The O’Reilly Data Show

Hosted by the folks at O’Reilly Media, this podcast explores the opportunities and techniques driving the big data, data science, and AI sectors. It’s recorded bi-weekly where they feature in-depth analysis and a top-notch interview that highlights the people applying these technologies in real-life scenarios.

→ Play the latest episode.

#4 Making Data Simple

Making Data Simple is IBM’s official data analytics podcast hosted by Al Martin, IBM VP of Data and A.I. Development. It provides the latest thinking on big data, analytics, and their implications for the enterprise from a range of experts across various industries. If a highly professional podcast is your thing, then you ought to listen to this. It’s recorded once a week.

→ Play the latest episode.

#5 Data Stories

Known for data visualization & hosted by maestros Enrico Bertini and Moritz Stefaner, Data Stories hosts discussions on the latest developments in data analytics, visualization, and other similar topics. It’s a bi-weekly podcast and the entire transcript is available on their website.

→ Play the latest episode.

#6 Freakonomics [BONUS]

Although it doesn’t really pertain to data analytics, the Freakonomics podcast breaks down several real-life problems and attempts to solve them with data as opposed to conventional wisdom. Listen to this if _something different _gets you going!

→ Play the latest episode.

Books

#1 Storytelling with Data

Storytelling isn’t new. It’s one of the ace strategies to market your brand. But storytelling with data? It’s uncommon. This book by Cole Nussbaumer Knaflic clearly illustrates the power of storytelling and how you can organize the story around data. With countless real-world examples, this book packs a punch.

→ Read it here.

#2 Lean Analytics

Ask any startup founder to recommend you a book on analytics. 7 out of 10 times they will recommend Lean Analytics by Alistair Croll & Benjamin Yoskovitz. This book essentially teaches you to focus on the one-metric that matters which enables you to narrow your focus and strive forward. If you want to understand how to take your idea to PMF using data, this _is _the book for you.

→ Read it here.

#3 How to Measure Anything

All businesses face risk and uncertainty. A large part of the reason is due to the fact that not everything is measurable. This book by Douglas W. Hubbard attempts to challenge that. With stellar examples, this book offers you substantive steps to help your measure the _immeasurable _in business.

→ Read it here.

#4 Dataclysm

Do you know who you are (online)? This book’s tagline literally is, “What our online lives tell us about our offline selves”. A delightful read by Christian Rudder, founder of one of the world’s biggest dating websites OkCupid, Datacylsm dives deep into the science of human behavior and how data is used to accelerate the same.

→ Read it here.

#5 Naked Statistics

Slept through Stats 101? No worries. Charles Wheelan, also the author of Naked Economics, strips away the clandestine and technical details and purely focuses on the primary intuition that drives statistical analysis.

→ Read it here.

#6 Measure What Matters [BONUS]

Although it’s not directly related to data analytics, it’s still a good read for PMs and founders of the world. Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) is a goal-setting system where objectives define what we seek to achieve; key results are how those top-priority goals will be attained with specific, measurable actions within a set time frame. For OKRs to be successful, teams need to be able to trust the data that they're capturing. With in-depth case studies from Bono and Bill Gates, this book reveals how effective OKRs are to ensure explosive growth for a startup.

→ Read it here.

Courses

#1 Data Science Courses by Codecademy

Codecademy is widely known for its tech courses. However, their data science section is also a fan favorite among those who are aware of it. Right from a full-fledged data science learning path to short courses on advanced python and data analysis, the range is unending.

→ Start the course.

#2 Analytics Academy by Google

Google Analytics is known by everyone. It’s probably the first visual analytics tool teams use when getting started. They offer a total of 6 analytics courses which primarily tell you how to use their products. However, Justin and his team have framed the courses in a way that ensures you understand the fundamentals of data and where & how to use them.

→ Start the course.

#3 School of Data Science by Udacity

Especially popular for their nano degrees, Udacity is a popular name. Their data science courses are revered and constantly evangelized by folks dealing with data. They have helped countless individuals and organizations learn and implement data the right way through state-of-the-art tools and processes.

→ Start the course.

#4 Datacamp

Datacamp is fairly new to the market but we love the simplicity of their courses. They have 2 separate tracks (skill-focused & career-focused) for folks who want to dedicate time for long-term courses. Also, the sheer variety of courses is worth the mention.

→ Start the course.

#5 Data-Driven Decision Making

Decision making is always more precise and accelerated with data. This course gives you an overview of why data is important, how Big Data is used, a framework for data analysis and tools that need to be utilized. It’s a Coursera course that was created by the renowned audit & consulting firm, PwC.

→ Start the course.

#6 Data Science Foundations [BONUS]

This data science course is a bit different in its approach. The course is purely from a practitioner’s point of view where you learn about topics such as data compilation, preparation, and modeling throughout the life-cycle of data science. It’s a foundational course and is best for folks who are just getting started or someone who wants to understand the basics of data science.

→ Start the course.

Communities

#1 Measure Chat Slack

Measure Chat is one of those communities which is 100% value-driven. Best and brightest analytic minds across the globe gather here to discuss everything under the sun pertaining to data. A must join for data folks!

→ Join the community.

#2 Locally Optimistic

Locally Optimistic is an informal group of aspiring and veteran practitioners where you get to share your thoughts and experiences in working with data. They also run a blog that pertains to data organizations.

→ Join the community.

#3 Analytics Vidhya

Analytics Vidhya provides a knowledge portal centered around a community. You can take courses, learn from their blogs and discuss important stuff with fellow members. Their discussion community is quite famous amongst data analytics professionals. Anything from analytics career to latest tools and methodologies, you can be sure to find a discussion thread for that.

→ Join the community.

#4 Data Science Subreddit

Reddit is one of those places where you literally find any information you seek. With over 200k members, r/datascience is one of the most popular & active subreddits across the social media platform. Need help with something ‘data’? Just drop a post and you will get your answer in no time!

→ Join the community.

#5 Kaggle Noobs

Kaggle is an online platform run by Google where data scientists, ML engineers and folks from similar professions compete with each other to solve data science problems. They also run a stellar slack community where you can meet top data scientists from across the globe.

→ Join the community.

#6 data.world Community [BONUS]

data.world is a product that unites and classifies all of your business’s data, metadata, and analysis within an intuitive user experience to help technical and non-technical people collaborate using their preferred tools. They also run their own social media community where data lovers can find and share interesting data, connect with like-minded people, and collaborate to solve problems faster.

→ Join the community.

Conferences

#1 Data Natives

Data Natives claims to be the largest conference in Europe. Data folks from across the globe visit the conference to learn about all the latest in the data science world. Pioneers in the field like Susan Wegner (VP, Deutsche Telekom), Romeo Kiezler (Chief Data Scientist, IBM) speak at this conference.

→ Attend the conference.

#2 MeasureCamp

Probably the most informal data conference you can find on Earth, MeasureCamp brings together people from all professions - be it data or not. It is a free, open-to-all unconference, that has rapidly spread across the globe and is now held in 20+ cities across the world.

→ Attend the conference.

#3 Data & Analytics Summit by Gartner

Gartner’s Data & Analytics Summit is a 3-day premium data analytics conference that happens in the US. The top data & analytics from renowned organizations gather to learn, discuss & collaborate on solving real-world problems. They have 8 agenda tracks and 2 spotlight tracks with countless sessions within them. It’s also a great networking event since you can expect executives from almost all the Fortune 500 companies to visit the conference.

→ Attend the conference.

#4 IBM Think Digital Event Experience

Another premium conference to add to your list, the IBM Think is second to none. You can expect to learn about the latest advancement in open technologies from luminaries who are implementing this to enhance the experience of our daily lives. It’s a 2-day event that’s jam-packed with knowledge sharing.

→ Attend the conference.

#5 KDD

If you like to research on topics such as data science, AI, ML, data mining, etc., KDD is _the _conference for you. It’s a conglomeration of the brightest minds in the industry. It’s more of a research conference than an analytics event. You can actually submit papers to be published at the conference. It’s a premier conference bringing together researchers and practitioners on the same platform.

→ Attend the conference.

#6 Data Council [BONUS]

Data Council is one of those cool conference series that provides data professionals the much-needed learning and networking opportunities to grow their careers. It’s an event where true networking takes place owing to the fact that the number of attendees are below 500. It’s definitely a must-attend!

→ Attend the conference.

But wait, there’s more…

There are some more resources that we diligently follow. It wouldn’t do justice if we didn’t mention them.

Miscellaneous

#1 MeasureSchool YouTube Channel

If you’re a digital marketer, analytics is a part and parcel of your daily life. Measure School makes it a bit easier by helping you navigate the difficult world of digital marketing analytics. Julian focuses on two software - Google Analytics & Google Tag Manager. With his videos, he teaches you to improve your tracking abilities and go beyond just "looking" at data.

→ Watch the videos.

#2 Practico Analytics Blog

Ruben, Founder & Principal at Practico Analytics, helps top companies use data to make higher quality decisions to lower acquisition costs, save hundreds of thousands of dollars and reclaim wasted time. He also runs this awesome blog where he talks about data analytics frameworks, tools, and other related stuff.

→ Read the blog.

#3 The Product Analytics Playbook by Amplitude

A lot of product companies today focus on top of funnel or getting new sign-ups. However, just a 5% increase in customer retention can increase the company’s revenue by 25-95%. Amplitude, a product analytics company, wrote a top-notch guide to help professionals understand and implement retention strategies.

→ Download the ebook.


Well, that concludes it. This is exactly what we refer to when we find ourselves in a spot or folks ask us for recommendations. Then again, this is not an exhaustive resource.

Do you think we missed something? Feel free to email us at [email protected] and we’ll see about updating the list.