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Top LinkedIn Groups for Analytics, Big Data, Data Mining, and Data Science – from “Big Bang” to Now


We examine top LinkedIn groups in Analytics, Big Data, Data Mining, and Data Science from the Big Bang era of group creation to present, and identify the largest groups, the fastest growing groups, and 2 main clusters.



We update our analysis of Top LinkedIn Groups for Analytics, Big Data, Data Mining, and Data Science (Nov 2014).

In this post we analyze membership growth trends. Here is our post which examines the activity, comments, and discussions.

We re-examined what are relevant groups and added 7 groups with at least 6,000 members
  • Business Intelligence Professionals
  • Statistics & Analytics Consultants Group
  • Big Data, Analytics, Hadoop, NoSQL & Cloud Computing
  • Data Warehouse / Big Data / Hadoop / Predictive Analytics
  • IBM Big Data and Analytics
  • Data Science & Machine Learning
  • Predictive Analytics

 
and dropped 2 smaller groups: PMML, and BI Tools which had less than 4K members.

We also extracted full data from each group statistics page which allowed us to go back to the start of LinkedIn groups in 2007.

The chart below shows the breakdown of top groups by quarter of creation.

Top LinkedIn Groups 2015 Creation Quarter
Fig 1: Top LinkedIn Analytics, Big Data, Data Mining, and Data Science Groups, by quarter created.


We note 2 big clusters - most of the top groups created from 2007 Q3 to 2009 Q2, and many of these groups had Predictive Analytics or Data Mining in their (original) names.
Note: LinkedIn allows group to be renamed up to 5 times, and many of the older groups have been renamed to keep up with the latest trends.

The second, smaller cluster has 7 groups, which were created from 2011 Q2 to 2012 Q1 - during the beginning of Big Data boom, and the largest of these groups have Big Data in their name. Somehow, no top groups were created in 18 months between June 2009 and Apr 2011 (perhaps due to recession?).

(*) Group 54257, created as DecisionStats by Ajay Ohri in Feb 2008, was renamed and relaunched as KDnuggets in Dec 2010, so it can also be considered as a new(ish) group, but since it already had about 1,000 members in Dec 2010, I marked it as created in Feb 2010.

Next chart shows group membership growth, with nicknames of the top groups shown on the right.

Top LinkedIn Groups 2008-2015 Members
Fig 2: Top LinkedIn Analytics, Big Data, Data Mining, and Data Science Groups, members 2008q1 - 2015q1


Next chart shows the average growth on logarithmic scale, which declined from Big Bang-like 16,000% in 2008 to a more reasonable 47% in 2014. Notice the increase in creation rate in 2011 which reflects the creation of the second cluster of groups then.

Top LinkedIn Groups 2008-2015 Average Growth vs Groups created
Fig 3: Top LinkedIn Analytics, Big Data, Data Mining, and Data Science Groups, Average annual growth rate and groups created, 2008 - 2015.


2008200920102011201220132014
avg % growth16681%379%133%300%254%66%47%
Top Groups created17615200


Next we look at the largest groups and their growth.

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