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KDnuggets Twitter Follower 20,000 – Interview


KDnuggets crosses a milestone of 20,000 Twitter followers. Number 20,000 is a PhD student in Data Mining in China. I ask her about research, data mining, Big Data market leaders in China, and more.



By Gregory Piatetsky, @kdnuggets, Jun 23, 2014.

People love round numbers, and as a data scientist I pay a special attention to numbers. So, I was very excited when in early June the number of @kdnuggets followers crossed 20,000 threshold.

KDnuggets reaches 20,000 Twitter followers

I was able to catch who was the follower number 20,000 and she turned out to be Liyang Tang, @tangliyang, studying for a Ph.D in data mining and business intelligence in China.

Here is my interview with her.

Gregory Piatetsky, Q1. What story attracted you to follow @kdnuggets?

Liyang Tang Liyang Tang: I followed most accounts about data mining and data analytics, because that is my research interest. Also, I knew about your KDnuggets site long time ago, and the first attraction is some open datasets.

GP: Q2. How did you choose computer science and data mining as a field of study?

LT: My major is information management and information system for undergraduate. Then, I continue with my Ph.D program with a professor whose research interests are data mining and business intelligence. During that time, I also entered Cisco Webex Hefei branch as an intern, and my job is mainly about social networks. After that, I applied for study abroad, and worked with a professor who has put all his efforts on data mining in US. All those reasons together contribute to my firm decision of continuing with data mining field. However, my major is not technically CS, but more like business school, which means conducting data mining techniques with business insight. For now, my study is focused on social networking applications.

GP: Q3. What is your PhD research topic and what are some interesting research issues connected to it?

LT: Part of this question is already answered above. Specifically, I'm working on recommender systems and community discovering, with Twitter as my experimental data source. I try to consider problems with business insights and motivations, and then apply data mining or machine learning algorithms to that. Technically, recommender systems methods, time series analysis, and community detection techniques are involved.

GP: Q4. What companies in Big Data and Data Mining are the technology and market leaders in China?

LT: In China, there are three big leaders: Baidu, Tencent and Alibaba. All of them put lots of efforts in big data and data mining. For example, Baidu and Tencent are mainly about offering cloud storage, and Alibaba tries to achieve infrastructure and data sharing.

GP: Q5. What do you expect to be major trends in Data Mining and Business Intelligence for the next 5 years, in China, and globally?

LT: Personally, I think the current DM and BI in China efforts are mixing with the cloud computing concept. Every time a company claims about data mining, they bring forward cloud computing as well. I guess this would still hold on for next 5 years. Besides, when it comes to cloud computing, I think communication and network companies could have the advantage to build the cloud infrastructure.

As for global trends, I think the major trends for DM and BI would be more integrated with cloud computing and mobile computing.

GP Note: Speaking of trends, the trend for the number of KDnuggets followers seems to fit very well a polynomial

N = 8.898 * X2 - 131.8X + 1293, (R2 = 0.996)
where X=1 for Jan 2010, 2 for Feb 2010, etc.

which gives an estimate of 25,400 for the number of followers at the end of 2014, and 30,000 in May 2015. Stay tuned.

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