The Top 5 Podcasts For Aspiring Data Scientists



Big data may be the buzzword of our time. Our uber-connected world is creating more information than ever before, but data on its own is useless. The value comes from data literate professionals distilling all of that information into useful insights. As the demand for data science skills has tripled over the past five years, companies and employees alike are rushing to wrangle the data that surrounds us and use it to our advantage.

Whether you are brand new to working with data or a seasoned data scientist, learning from practitioners will bring you up-to-date on the exciting ways big data is being used to improve our everyday lives.

Here, we’ve handpicked five of our favorite podcasts relating to data science that you can listen to at your desk, on your commute, or during your next road trip.

1. Partially Derivative

In this iTunes favorite, “three data nerds” animatedly discuss “the data of everything.” Each week they tackle a new way that data has changed how we understand and experience the world. From ancient warfare to modern love and everything in between, this podcast is accessible and interesting while not skimping out on the more technical aspects of data analysis. The show is hosted by Jonathon Morgan and Chris Albon, two data scientists and the co-founders of Popily.

Must listen: “Episode 36: The Data of Space”

This episode takes a look into deep space and geeks out over the big numbers behind some of biggest things in our universe. Don’t miss the hosts interview experts involved in some of the coolest space-related projects of our time.

2. What’s The Point?

From Nate Silver’s brainchild, FiveThirtyEight, this podcast explores the ways in whcih data pervades our everyday lives. From sports to movies to politics, What’s The Point? proves that data informs everything in our lives from the mundane to the extraordinary.

Must listen: “.28 Algorithmic Arugula”

Let’s take a trip to the farm. In this episode, learn how data is helping us produce food more efficiently than ever before. If you’ve ever thought big data doesn’t affect you, this episode will make you think again.

3. Data Skeptic

Data Skeptic is a podcast with trust issues. Hosts and data scientists Kyle and Linh Da alternate between short form mini episodes and longer interviews, exploring basic concepts in data science and interviewing practitioners and experts on interesting topics related to data, all through the eye of scientific skepticism. Beyond poking holes in old concepts and new ideas alike, the hosts open each topic into a larger discussion about data science, machine learning, statistics, and artificial intelligence.

Must listen: “Big Data Doesn’t Exist” and “The Bonferroni Correction”

In this two-part episode, the hosts interview the author of a recent TechCrunch article questioning big data. They discuss new ways to sift through data, and don’t shy away from step-by-step tips on dealing with messy data. The mini episode breaks down the challenge of multiple comparisons. As Linh asks Kyle questions, they come to an understanding together.

4. Linear Digressions

The hosts of Linear Digression, Katie Malone, an experimental physicist, and Ben Jaffe, a web developer and educator, were tired of the boring academic papers that explained complicated topics in data science and machine learning. So, they decided to create a more accessible approach by applying complex concepts to interesting, culturally relevant use cases. The result? A weekly podcast that covers everything from a spy’s salary to gravitational waves—all through the lens of data.

Must listen: “How Much to Pay a Spy (and a lil’ more auctions)

This episode picks up where an earlier discussion left off, thanks to a fan tweeting in more questions. Later, they break down the value of information. Want to know how much to pay your spy? Tune in.

5. O’Reilly Data Show

Nerd out with this podcast from O’Reilly. While their website covers a number of tech topics, The Data Show focuses on interviews with leading data science practitioners. This might be a better listening for those of us who know the lingo, as the hosts don’t hesitate to use data jargon and jump into the nitty-gritty of big data.

Must listen: “Is 2016 the year you let robots manage your money?”

Finance is finally catching up with technology. This episode discusses how machines can help the finance industry be more efficient by making better decisions than humans. Will it be a complete overhaul of trading and hedge funds? Only time—and data science—will tell.

Don’t just hear about data. Start using it.

It Starts With “Yes.”