Not listening to data science podcasts? You should be. Here I’ve rounded up the ten best data science podcasts that will take you to greater heights on your journey to a more effective data program.
Here’s a cold hard truth about your company’s data program:
It’s probably going to fail.
I’m not going out of my way to be pessimistic. Well, not even joking. And definitely, not exaggerating.
Eighty-five per cent of data initiatives fail, according to Gartner analyst Nick Heudecker. If you don’t take steps to safeguard your current and future projects, it’s not a case of “if”, but “when”, you too will add to that staggering statistic.
No business leader wants their data program to fail. Hoping to be in that 15% of success stories is a sentiment that unites us all. But thanks to a range of process breakdowns and sloppy strategies, the current trend is toward an overwhelming failure rate. That’s a lot of wasted salaries, tech investments, and potential sales.
I have many years of experience consulting with business leaders to make sure they are in that hallowed 15% of successful data initiatives.
But in between consultations, I often recommend a simple way my clients can boost their advantage and give their data initiatives an even bigger chance of success. That method? Podcasts.
Data science podcasts are an excellent way to learn more about what makes great data initiatives great. Also, it’s a way to gain key takeaways from the pros about how they themselves have made it into that successful 15%.
Best Data Strategy, Visualization & Data Science Podcasts
In my opinion, there are ten data science podcasts to rule them all. Let’s take a look at what they are, and why they’ll help you in your quest for data program success.
Pro tip: Read through to the end – I’ve saved the best for last!
It’s easy to get bogged down by strategy and statistics. But one of the best ways to make data insights work for you and your business is through effective data visualization and storytelling. The Data Stories podcast is a fun resource exploring a variety of fascinating topics. Hosts Enrico Bertini and Moritz Stefaner really make the power of data programs come to life!
Linear Digressions is a relaxed, friendly podcast full of insightful conversations on a range of data science issues. Produced by down-to-earth hosts Ben Jaffe and Katie Malone, the podcasts get just technical enough to provide important takeaways, without swamping the listener with tech detail.
This podcast is well worth a listen for its intellectual content and quirky vibe. The skepticism injected into Data Skeptic episodes helps probe the world of data in new and interesting ways. This then leaves you better qualified to ask the tough questions about your own data programs. A very slick show by Kyle Polich, with mini episodes (great for the less technical among us) hosted by Linda Da Tran.
Super Data Science
Looking for a super data science podcast? Look no further than Super Data Science! The most valuable aspect of this weekly podcast – hosted by Kirill Eremenko – are the insights gleaned from his data scientist guests. They all offer glimpses into what successful data programs look like. If you want to understand the perspective of those who have been-there-done-that-made-the-15% – then this is the podcast for you!
The Data Exchange | A classic among data science podcasts
One of the most popular data science podcasts around, The Data Exchange podcast explores questions surrounding big data, data science and AI. Host Ben Lorica – the Chief Data Scientist at O’Reilly Media Inc – uses the podcast to interview top CEOs and company founders to find out more about their data programs. It also aims to find out how they’re keeping up to date with new trends in data, machine learning, and computation. It can get a little technical, but it’s well worth the effort for what you’ll gain.
NPR – Big Data
Not a podcast per se, there’s plenty to be gained from a snoop around National Public Radio for stories about Big Data. NPR is a collection of public radio stations. Hence, no Big Data story you find there is ever going to be the same. And that’s a good thing! There’s a great range of tech-centric channels such as 13.7 Cosmos and Culture and All Tech Considered, which offer fascinating insights and context for anyone working in or alongside the data field.
Making Data Simple
Hosted by Al Martin, IBM’s VP of Data and AI Development, Making Data Simple is a great resource for discovering what the “big players” in data are doing. A weekly podcast, one of the best things about it is the breadth of the topics covered. If you’re looking for something more focused on data strategy, this may not float your boat. But if you’re interested in all things data and AI, it’s certainly worth your time.
Data Futurology covers proven ways to apply AI and data science in business. The show is proud to function as a self-service mentor to data scientists who are looking to advance their careers by creating value from data. The show features data leaders from major corporations and has produced over 100 episodes to date!
The Freakonomics Podcast is much broader in scope than the others listed here. But it is well worth your time to understand the connection between data science and, well … “real life.” Hosted by Stephen J. Dubner and Steven Levitt, the Freakonomics Podcast uses data to burrow into some of life’s big and little problems. It offers solutions that may go against the grain of what we expect to be true. This is one of the most popular podcasts among data scientists for a reason.
Datacrunch has been around for a long time and there’s good reason for its longevity. One of my favorite podcasts, Datacrunch will teach you how to identify areas of risk in your business. It’ll also help you learn ways to mitigate that risk to build a more effective data strategy. Datacrunch is chock full of real-life examples of business leaders. It includes the strategies they have used to generate massive business value. Co-hosted by Curtis Seare and Ginette Methot, this is a must-listen if you get inspired by data success stories.
Last but certainly not least, the best podcast around for data science insights: Analytics on Fire.
Ok, full disclosure: I’m a little biased towards Analytics on Fire. I’ve admired Mico and her podcast for years now and am thrilled that she has asked me to come on board as co-host of AOF!
Slight favoritism aside, AOF really is one of the best data science podcasts you can wrap your ears around.
AOF is all about translating your data insights into business value. Mico, the host extraordinaire, is a data storytelling guru. The podcast explains how you can harness data visualizations to the benefit of your business.
As her new co-host, my focus will be more on the strategic side of things. This includes getting your 18-month plan on track and making sure your data investments are healthy and successful on a quarterly basis.
AOF is full to the brim with episodes featuring high profile business leaders and data gurus that will knock your socks off. Click here to give it a listen, you won’t regret it!
Want another way to start winning with data?
Listening to data podcasts may not seem an effective way of fine-tuning your data strategy. Short of one-on-one consulting, this really is one of the best things you can do for your career and business. Podcasts allow you to learn from others’ mistakes. Also, it helps you to be up-to-date with the latest industry news and trends. Lastly, it helps you identify opportunities that will save your data program from the scrap heap.
Looking for other ways to springboard off the data successes of businesses that have gone before you? I definitely recommend you take a moment to check out our Data Strategy Action Plan for data professionals that want to get upleveled into their next promotion by developing a fail-proof data strategy for their data projects.
PS. Got a great show to add to the list?! Please detail what it is and why you love it in the comments below, so we can add it to this list.t