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The top 10 BI influencers to follow on social today

Business Intelligence – Exasol

Want to identify the best BI influencers out there? You’ve got it. Given the explosion in ecommerce and digital transformation that we’ve seen over the last decade, it’s no surprise that companies are now scrambling to make sense of the tsunami of data flowing in and out of their servers. It’s undeniable. Intelligent businesses need business intelligence (BI).

BI, simply put, is the art of making value from that data for the business. The task of translating all of these data streams into actionable insights can be daunting for business leaders who are coming to terms with the scale of the task.

Fortunately, you don’t have to do it alone. Not only are there platforms like Exasol, that can accelerate the performance of BI interfaces, but there are also BI superstars across multiple industries sharing their knowledge on social media. We’ve gathered a list of the biggest hitters in the BI space to help guide your decisions, whether you’re a novice or an experienced BI player.

Ronald van Loon

With almost 250,000 followers on Twitter, Ronald van Loon simply has to top this list of BI influencers. Hailing from Utrecht, one of the Netherlands’ tech capitals, Ronald spent over a decade in software optimization before taking on the role as a Director at Adversitement, a company established to help data-driven firms generate business value from multiple points in the customer journey. 

Van Loon left Adversitement in 2020 to establish Intelligent World, an analyst and influencer network that connects businesses to specialists in order to share knowledge and ideas. He’s also an advisory board member at Simplilearn, which helps employees become self-certified in business technologies.

Follow Ronald on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Hilary Mason

Whether or not you know Hilary, you’ve almost certainly clicked on her work. She spent five years at, the ubiquitous URL shortener that was designed to help online businesses protect their brand, boost engagement and understand more about their incoming traffic.

Her recent work includes establishing Fast Forward Labs, an AI research house that was acquired by Cloudera, and the 2020 founding of Hidden Door, an online gaming platform to help children discover and create stories using AI. She is a member of the Board of Directors at the Anita Borg Institute for Women in Tech, and a Data Scientist in Residence with Accel Partners.

Follow Hilary on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Yves Mulkers

Yves is a data strategist who specializes in the integration of data. Having spent time freelancing for Glaxosmithkline, McKinsey and Phillips amongst others, Mulkers’ current focus is heading up 7wData – a data management firm that analyses the data strategy of companies and identify where they struggle to perform, developing bespoke solutions to plug those gaps.

Follow Yves on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Business Intelligence – Exasol

Claudia Imhoff

Claudia is a veteran in the BI world, having founded the consulting company Intelligent Solutions in 1992 with the aim of helping companies introduce and develop their BI strategies. Data warehouse, decision support systems and operational data stores were amongst the top priorities. Twenty-nine years later, they’re common parlance among the data-literate.

Imhoff also heads up the Boulder BI Brain Trust, which she established in 2006. The trust aims to leverage BI systems for industry vendors, its members and its subscribers, developing and sharing vendor presentations offering a means of exchanging knowledge between vendors and analysts.

Follow Claudia on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Cindi Howsen

A BA in English isn’t the qualification you’d necessarily associate with a BI specialist. Tell that to Cindi Howson, who had begun a nine-year career with Dow Chemicals as a BI specialist within the year, and would go on to found BI Scorecard, a BI tool ranking and comparison site. The site cemented her reputation as one of the early BI influencers.

Cindi left the organisation she started after fourteen years to take a VP position at analyst house Gartner, responsible for analytics and BI, before joining AI-driven analytics titan company ThoughtSpot in 2019 as its Chief Data Strategy Officer. She also hosts the Data Chief Podcast and is the author of ‘Successful Business Intelligence: Unlock the Value of BI and Loading...Big Data’.

Follow Cindi on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Stacia Varga

Working in the field of BI since 1984, Stacia is one of the best-recognized minds at Microsoft when it comes to business intelligence. An author of twelve books on various aspects of SQL Server BI, she has won eight MVP awards with Microsoft since 2011.

Varga is an independent Consulting Partner of and a well-recognized face at PASS and SQL Server Connections conferences, having founded her own company, Data Inspirations, in 2006.

Follow Stacia on Twitter.

Business Intelligence – Exasol

Alexander Thamm

Not many data experts have the opportunity to name a company after themselves, but that’s exactly what Alexander has done. Since 2012 the Alexander Thamm GmbH consultancy has grown to over 200 employees and has become a leading provider of Loading...Data Science, Loading...Big Data and AI in the German-speaking region. Together with its customers, the company generates real added value from data and helps people and organizations to use data and Loading...artificial intelligence responsibly and for the benefit of people.

Alexander is also the founder of the DATA festival, which has been held regularly since 2018 and where top-class experts share their knowledge on the application and implementation of Loading...Data Science and AI in workshops, tech deep dives and networking sessions.

Follow Alexander on LinkedIn.

Boris Evelson

Approaching his fifteenth year as analyst firm Forrester’s vice president and principal analyst, Boris specializes in insight-driven business (IDB) capabilities. He provides strategic guidance to help organisations define how their data should be governed and deployed, advising them on the best vendors they can use for different scenarios.

Prior to that, Evelson’s CV reads like a greatest hits of BI in financial services: Vice President at JP Morgan, Principal Consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Vice President at Citibank. All this followed studies at the Moscow Gnessin School of Music. An impressive, unconventional journey,.

Follow Boris on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Mike Ferguson

Mike established Intelligent Business Strategies in 1993, kicking off a thirty-year career in BI. The independent analyst house provides expert consultancy on BI, AI and data strategy/governance. Away from his brainchild, Mike is a regular keynote speaker at data management and analytics events, including his work as Conference Chair for Loading...Big Data LDN, the UK’s largest free-to-attend data conference.

Follow Mike on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Richard Hackathorn

It would’ve been a tragic denial of nominative determinism if a man whose name is just one letter shy of ‘hackathon’ didn’t specialize in tech. Fortunately, Dr. Richard Hackathorn established Bolder Technology in 1992, and is still consulting for analytics, BI and data warehousing today. 

Richard is also an established academic, spending time as a professor at the Universities of Pennsylvania and Colorado, and spent seven years as a columnist for BeyeNETWORK – since purchased by the well-respected publishing platform, TechTarget.

Follow Richard on LinkedIn  and Twitter.

These BI influencers are just the tip of the iceberg in a field that changes day by day. We’re excited to see what happens next, and who might top this list in the future. In the meantime, why not check out this list of nine data influencers to follow on social media?