Four Must-Follow Data Twitter Users

Loraine Lawson

Yesterday, I explained why I think more data people and IT leaders should be involved with Twitter in 2013. Today, I’m following up with a look at some of the information management professionals I follow.

To make this list, you have to do better than automated feeds and sharing articles. You have to demonstrate that Twitter is a priority by frequently using it. You have to have opinions and occasionally interact with others.

With that in mind, here are my recommendations for building the essential data management/integration Twitter feed. Use it to beef up your feed or as a jumping-off point for making your feed useful at work.

Data War Stories and Project Management Info

@Datachick, aka, Karen Lopez, a senior project manager and architect, consultant and trainer with InfoAdvisors and Microsoft MVP. Based in Toronto, ON. Her motto: Love your data!

Why I follow: Lopez is the most avid Twitter user I follow, and frequently posts about real-world experiences and frustrations dealing with data issues. She’s one of those people who make Twitter fun, but she’s sharing relevant information, particularly for those data people who are in the trenches, trying to make the magic happen.

Why you should: Her real-world experiences and to share the pain. Be forewarned: She’s such an avid Twitter user that you may feel overwhelmed, particularly if you’re new to Twitter.

Attitude: A bit of a snark. Her geeky sense of humor makes it especially fun to read her exchanges with others.

Hobby tweets: Travel, NASA, space. She’s a runner and often talks about that, as well.

Stats: Nearly 7,000 followers and she’s this close to breaking 100,000 tweets.


Hashtags: Vary by day and discussions. Usually more trendy than functional.

Chances you’ll see a response: Since she’s online a ton, your chances are high, but on the other hand, that’s mitigated by the fact that a lot of other people already “chat” with her via the feed.

Data Quality

@Ocdqblog, aka, Jim Harris, an independent consultant, speaker and freelance writer for the OCData Quality blog. Based in Des Moines, Iowa.

Why I follow: He’s independent in that he doesn’t work for a vendor or a research firm. Harris will give you his real opinion on products without worrying about the vendor overlords. He’s also funny, loves a good pun and is almost always on-task with his tweets.

Why you should follow: To keep up with the best reads in data management and make sure important issues in the data management field.

Attitude: Anything worth saying can be said as a pun.

Hobby tweets: Toastmasters, social media, general tech.

Stats: Approximately 3,500 followers, 16,000+ tweets.

Hash tags: #DataQuality #DataGovernance #BigData

Chances you’ll receive a response: High (over 90 percent)

Executive-Level Information Management

@rwang0, aka R “Ray” Wang, is the CEO of Constellation Research and an avid Twitter user. He tweets about data issues and integration, but he also will discuss privacy, compliance, social media and other executive topics.

Why I follow: I’ve always enjoyed Wang’s writing, but he tends to float around a bit. I’ve found his pieces on Forbes and the Harvard Business Review blog. Following him on Twitter makes it easy to locate his recent posts, without slodging through an RSS feed. He also interacts on Twitter, and he’s always upbeat and positive about it.

Why you should: His focus on executive-level issues. When he discusses anything — whether it’s data or social media — it will be from a business and strategic perspective.

Attitude: Cheerful and enthusiastic.

Hobby tweets: He’s a foodie, so cooking and other delicious topics. He’s mostly on-task, but often tweets from conferences and live events.

Stats: Nearly 30,000 followers and 80,000 tweets.

Hash Tags: #SAP #socialmedia #socbiz #bigdata

Chances you’ll get a response: Uncertain, but he does frequently interact with other Twitter users, although it tends to be a one-tweet response, not a dialogue. I’d rate it 85 percent.

Big Data

@JamesKobielus, aka James Kobielus, IBM’s Big Data evangelist. I’ve avoided specific vendors for this list, so I thought I’d clarify that Kobielus ran a great Big Data Twitter feed before he joined IBM. In part, that’s because he was previously a Forrester analyst who specialized in Big Data technologies like Hadoop.

Why I follow: When I first started writing about Hadoop, he was a huge help and I still find his insights valuable.

Why you should follow him: He’s particularly good about adding his own comments and opinions when he shares articles about Big Data. Since he’s been covering it for years, that means something.

Attitude: Intellectual. Kobielus has informed opinions and isn’t shy about sharing them, even if they’re not technology-focused.

Stats: Nearly 40,000 tweets and more than 6,600 followers.

Hobby Tweets: Music, politics, events of the day.

Hash Tags: #BigData

Chances you’ll get a response: I’m rating it high — around 92 percent.

To be honest, I hesitated writing this list, because there are just so many wonderful, smart data people on Twitter: Julie Hunt, Jean-Michel Franco (tweets in French and English!), Carla Gentry CSPO, Axel Troike — can you see why I was afraid to start? The list goes on and on.

This is in no way meant to be an exclusive list. Rather, it’s a starting point of some of the most active data people engaging on Twitter.

Isn’t it time you joined the discussion? Once you’re there, look me up @LoraineLawson.



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