Long before there was Medium, people relied on clay tablets to document thoughts and theories. Innovative in their own right, these early systems limited the dissemination of information beyond the confines of a given community.
And what a difference 50,000 years makes. Insert Medium, the new-ish social publishing platform from Twitter co-founders Evan Williams and Biz Stone. Four years old and still picking up steam, Medium is quickly becoming the blogging platform of choice for anyone with an opinion and a thirst for an audience.
What started as an invite-only, curated blogging platform for select users like XX and XX, the Medium of today is more than a forum for anyone with a Wi-Fi connection and an opinion; it’s a one-stop publishing shop for thought leaders, established authors, amateur bloggers, pundits, academics and ordinary citizens alike –
But as publishing is increasingly democratized, giving anyone the floor – or medium – to share his or her perspectives and predictions, discerning the well informed from the self-proclaimed can be challenging – especially when it comes to complex topics like big data, data science, analytics, and business intelligence. Data is everywhere, and with that ubiquity comes the abundance of opinions.
Below are five data futurists worth following (in alphabetical order). But don’t wait too long! These thought leaders are constantly opining on the power of data, but, as we know all too well, ideas can go from cutting-edge to obsolete overnight, so make sure you check out these data-driven visionaries.
An investor at London-based, early-stage investment fund Playfair Capital, Nathan Benaich looks for technology companies that reinvent how we live, work and play. A former cancer researcher, Nathan’s real-world experience is buttressed by an illustrious academic career. Nathan received a PhD in cancer biology, a Master of Philosophy in biological science, and was an entrepreneur-in-residence focused on stem cells and regenerative medicine, all with the University of Oxford. Today, Nathan is a brain trust of all things data, machine learning, and user behavior. Be sure to catch his newsletter covering topics like data mining and AI, as well as his posts on personal achievement, entrepreneurship and venture capital and funding.
Independent data journalist, Max Galka, is fascinated with information. A data visualization expert, his expertise led to the creation of FOIA Mapper, a searchable database of government information. In other words, FOIA Mapper simplifies and streamlines the FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) process by shedding light on the logs of information made available to the public and the federal agencies that collect it.
Angus Hervey’s background is in environmental economics and international policy, but his current passion and expertise lies in social innovation. He co-founded Future Crunch, an online forum dedicated to what our future looks like and society’s transition from the industrial to the digital era.
A senior designer at Uber, Erik Klimczak give readers a peek into the world of data-driven interfaces, data visualization and storytelling, and data’s role in managing complexity in product design.
Longtime tech writer for rags like Wired and Newsweek, Steven Levy is the founder and editor of the Medium-hosted (and Condé Nast acquired) technology and business blog, Backchannel. Steven oversees the publication of anything that touches tech today, including the healthcare industry’s use of medical data, virtual reality, the future of work, and the use of machine learning for business and product innovation.
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