Top LinkedIn Groups for Analytics, Big Data, Data Mining, and Data Science in 2016
Big Data and Analytics became the largest group. Overall engagement rates decline, but liking a post is 6.5 times more common than commenting. Machine Learning & Data Science, KDnuggets, and Data Scientists have the highest engagement levels.
Soon after my 2015 post about LinkedIn Groups
Top LinkedIn Groups for Analytics, Big Data, Data Mining, and Data Science  Discussions up, Engagement down, LinkedIn  who certainly saw the same trends of declining engagement  has removed the full group statistics from public view.
The members can still see the group size, which continues to grow for most groups, but not the total number of discussions (now renamed to conversations) or comments, which continues to decline. A group member can see about 200 most recent conversations in the group, whether it takes place over 4 days or 400.
So what is happening to LinkedIn Groups? How fast are they growing?
What is the rate of conversations. comments, and likes (introduced in 2015)?
Where do groups fall in the quadrants of Active, Posting, Commenting, and Passive?
I collected the group membership on Jan 1 and Sep 30, 2016 and with the help of KDnuggets editors Prasad Pore, Matt Mayo, and Anmol Rajpurohit collected the group conversations around October 7, 2016 for 26 of the largest LinkedIn groups in Analytics, Big Data, Data Mining, and Data Science.
I also computed annual growth rate for 2015 and 2016 from Mar 30, 2015, Jan 1, 2016, and Sep 30, 2016 by simple extrapolation: annual growth = (9 month growth)^{4/3}.
Key Findings
The 10 largest groups grew at a similar rate, except the top Big Data & Analytics group  see Fig 1, but the next 20 groups showed a lot more variety, with some groups like Data Scientists and KDnuggets growing fast, but many groups showing very slow growth or declining.
Fig. 1: Top 10 LinkedIn Groups in Big Data, Data Science: Growth 20152016
Fig. 2: Next 20 LinkedIn Groups in Big Data, Data Science: Growth 20152016
Table 2: Top 10 Fastest Growing (in 2016) LinkedIn Groups in Big Data, Data Science
Next, we examine the group engagement
The members can still see the group size, which continues to grow for most groups, but not the total number of discussions (now renamed to conversations) or comments, which continues to decline. A group member can see about 200 most recent conversations in the group, whether it takes place over 4 days or 400.
So what is happening to LinkedIn Groups? How fast are they growing?
What is the rate of conversations. comments, and likes (introduced in 2015)?
Where do groups fall in the quadrants of Active, Posting, Commenting, and Passive?
I collected the group membership on Jan 1 and Sep 30, 2016 and with the help of KDnuggets editors Prasad Pore, Matt Mayo, and Anmol Rajpurohit collected the group conversations around October 7, 2016 for 26 of the largest LinkedIn groups in Analytics, Big Data, Data Mining, and Data Science.
I also computed annual growth rate for 2015 and 2016 from Mar 30, 2015, Jan 1, 2016, and Sep 30, 2016 by simple extrapolation: annual growth = (9 month growth)^{4/3}.
Key Findings
 Overall engagement continues to decline, to 1.17 conversations per week per 1000 members, and only about 0.17 comments per week per 1000 members, but is helped by likes: 1.11 per week per 1000 members
 Big Data and Analytics became the largest group, replacing Data Science Central (former Advanced Business Analytics, Data Mining and Predictive Modeling)
 Data Scientists, Machine Learning and Data Science, and Big Data and Analytics are the fastest growing groups in 2016
 Machine Learning and Data Science, KDnuggets, and Data Scientists have the highest engagement levels (comments + likes)
1. Largest Groups
Here are the 10 largest groups, as of Sep 30, 2016. There were only 2 changes in the top 10 groups: Big Data and Analytics became the largest group, replacing Data Science Central
 Machine Learning and Data Science moved to 10th place, up from 14th, replacing Machine Learning Connection which stopped growing.
Rank 2016 
LinkedIn Group  Members Sep 30, 2016 
Members Mar 30, 2015 
Growth Rate 2016 

1  Big Data and Analytics  253,729  120,776  75.6% 
2  Data Science Central (former Advanced Business Analytics, Data Mining and Predictive Modeling)  243,988  174,362  23.2% 
3  Business Intelligence Professionals  186,372  150,147  13.8% 
4  Big Data  Analytics  Strategy  Finance  Innovation  173,831  128,805  32.5% 
5  Business Analytics  130,534  70,326  70.7% 
6  Data Mining, Statistics, Big Data, Data Visualization, and Data Science  116,307  68,539  45.2% 
7  BIG DATA Professionals  Architects Scientists IOT Analytics  71,215  45,443  33.4% 
8  Big Data, Analytics, Hadoop, NoSQL & Cloud Computing  62,385  33,139  31.0% 
9  Data Warehouse / Big Data / Hadoop / Predictive Analytics  47,620  32,994  34.2% 
10  Machine Learning and Data Science  43,483  20,876  79.5% 
2. Growth
The 10 largest groups grew at a similar rate, except the top Big Data & Analytics group  see Fig 1, but the next 20 groups showed a lot more variety, with some groups like Data Scientists and KDnuggets growing fast, but many groups showing very slow growth or declining.
Fig. 1: Top 10 LinkedIn Groups in Big Data, Data Science: Growth 20152016
Fig. 2: Next 20 LinkedIn Groups in Big Data, Data Science: Growth 20152016
Table 2: Top 10 Fastest Growing (in 2016) LinkedIn Groups in Big Data, Data Science
Rank  LinkedIn Group  Growth Rate 2015  Growth Rate 2016 

1  Data Scientists  102%  86% 
2  Machine Learning and Data Science  48%  80% 
3  Big Data and Analytics  53%  76% 
4  Business Analytics  34%  71% 
5  KDnuggets Analytics, Data Mining, and Data Science  85%  71% 
6  IBM Big Data and Analytics  49%  68% 
7  Data Science & Machine Learning  166%  56% 
8  Pattern Recognition, Data Mining, Machine Intelligence ...  14%  46% 
9  Data Mining, Statistics, Big Data, Data Visualization, and Data Science  39%  45% 
10  Predictive Analytics Network  52%  42% 
Next, we examine the group engagement
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