Social media, GPS systems, virtual reality (VR), artificial intelligence (AI), big data, blockchain and digital-twin technology have transformed the way we live and work.
In an increasingly data-driven world, it’s no wonder there’s growing discussion and debate around data science. But that’s not the only reason to join an online or ‘slack’ community.
If you’re studying or seeking to enrol on an online course in data science or AI, read on to discover some of the reasons why you might consider becoming part of an established online learning community. These digital congregations are becoming increasingly popular.
Join the debate
Digital disruption offers the potential to tackle some of society’s biggest challenges, from ending poverty to improving health and education. Unfortunately, some of the opportunities presented by big data and cloud technology have been accompanied by real threats – to privacy, security and other human rights.
To avoid future pitfalls and learn from past mistakes, it is essential for governments, businesses, academics and individuals to open up debate about how we harness and manage new technologies.
Online communities are a great way to stay abreast of relevant issues, contribute your views and make your voice heard when it comes to policy and practice as an interested party, voter and member of our global society.
One of the biggest benefits of joining an online community is the source of support it can provide. Remaining focused when you’re studying online and at home can be challenging, depending on your circumstances.
Through discussion threads and chat forums, you can meet and interact with other students who understand what you’re going through. You’ll soon be motivating and supporting each other. Many forums also allow you to post specific questions and ask for advice about project work.
Here at Southampton Data Science Academy, you’ll be joining our own community of data science students, industry-leading academics and thought leaders in the field of data science.
We work with companies including Lloyd’s of London, Boots and the Office for National Statistics. Developed by top academics, including the UK Government’s first AI Skills Champion, we offer three short courses:
- AI and Machine Learning for Business introduces the core capabilities of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and teaches you how to apply AI capabilities within your own workplace.
- Fundamentals of Data Science (Technical) develops your basic understanding of programming and experience with Python or similar language, equipping you with the specialist knowledge and technical skills to apply the powerful tools and insights of data science to your work. This course is CPD accredited.
- Fundamentals of Data Science (Non-Technical) offers a practical, hands-on approach for those wishing to learn how to talk about and use data. This course is CPD accredited.
Top 10 digital communities
Interested in finding out more? Below, we’ve pulled together a list of our top 10 data science communities to get you started.
- Open Data Science unites researchers, engineers and developers around data science and related areas, hosting a free Data Fest conference series, community projects and free open learning courses.
- Open Data Science Community (ODSC) acts as a web portal with information on news, trends and events to keep you up-to-date with the latest in data science research and trends all over the world.
- Women Who Code is one of the largest communities specifically for women in tech and its Women Who Code Data Science is one of six specialist tracks, which have their own online community and host regular speaker series (the others being Front End, Mobile, Python, Blockchain and Cloud).
- Dataquest describes itself as a community to encourage collaboration with your peers, facilitate opportunities to grow as a Data Scientist, and bring a global community of passionate learners together.
- Club is a global online community of more widespread data enthusiasts, which posts a weekly newsletter, hosts weekly events, gives careers advice and promotes discussion about analytics, machine learning and engineering.
- Kaggle offers practical support with code and data from 50,000 public datasets and 40,000 public notebooks, as well as its discussion platform to share feedback, ask questions, read and comment on topics, including data visualisation, neural networks, NLP and more.
- Kaggle Noobs is a dedicated slack community created by Kaggle, but you’ll need an account to join.
- Data Science Central is a community for big data practitioners offering targeted news by business or tech topic and industry sector.
- IBM Data Community offers a stream of freshly updated content including featured blogs and forums for discussion and collaboration, as well as (for members) access to the latest white papers, webcasts, presentations and research.
- Driven Data uses data science to drive social impact, bringing together experts to work on projects in areas like international development, health, education, research and conservation, and public services.
Interested in a career in data science? Explore the differences between data scientists and data analysts: