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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
  • 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.
Table 1: Top 10 Largest LinkedIn Groups in Big Data, Data Science
Rank
2016
LinkedIn Group Members
Sep 30, 2016
Members
Mar 30, 2015
Growth Rate
2016
1Big Data and Analytics 253,729120,77675.6%
2Data Science Central (former Advanced Business Analytics, Data Mining and Predictive Modeling)243,988174,36223.2%
3Business Intelligence Professionals 186,372150,14713.8%
4Big Data | Analytics | Strategy | Finance | Innovation 173,831128,80532.5%
5Business Analytics 130,53470,32670.7%
6Data Mining, Statistics, Big Data, Data Visualization, and Data Science116,30768,53945.2%
7BIG DATA Professionals - Architects Scientists IOT Analytics 71,21545,44333.4%
8Big Data, Analytics, Hadoop, NoSQL & Cloud Computing 62,38533,13931.0%
9Data Warehouse / Big Data / Hadoop / Predictive Analytics 47,62032,99434.2%
10Machine Learning and Data Science 43,48320,87679.5%


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.

Top Linkedin Groups 2016 Growth Top10
Fig. 1: Top 10 LinkedIn Groups in Big Data, Data Science: Growth 2015-2016


Fig. 2: Next 20 LinkedIn Groups in Big Data, Data Science: Growth 2015-2016

Table 2: Top 10 Fastest Growing (in 2016) LinkedIn Groups in Big Data, Data Science
RankLinkedIn GroupGrowth
Rate
2015
Growth
Rate
2016
1Data Scientists 102%86%
2Machine Learning and Data Science 48%80%
3Big Data and Analytics 53%76%
4Business Analytics 34%71%
5KDnuggets Analytics, Data Mining, and Data Science 85%71%
6IBM Big Data and Analytics 49%68%
7Data Science & Machine Learning 166%56%
8Pattern Recognition, Data Mining, Machine Intelligence ... 14%46%
9Data Mining, Statistics, Big Data, Data Visualization, and Data Science39%45%
10Predictive Analytics Network 52%42%


Next, we examine the group engagement

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