A Twitter Review of ODSC East 2018 A Twitter Review of ODSC East 2018
Earlier this month, another successful edition of the Open Data Science Conference occurred in Boston. It was one of our largest... A Twitter Review of ODSC East 2018

Earlier this month, another successful edition of the Open Data Science Conference occurred in Boston. It was one of our largest conferences ever with over 4500 attendees, 200+ speakers and countless connections that widened the scope of data science for all. ODSC East 2018 featured a treasure trove of speaker talent from across the big data, machine learning and AI spheres.

The event generated a fair amount of Twitter buzz based on the hashtags of #ODSC and #ODSCEast2018. Since we love data analytics as much as we do, what better way to review the conference through the lens of a Twitter analysis.  

Pulling The Tweets

Using the popular Twitter API library Tweepy, we pulled around 5,600 tweets containing the hashtags of #ODSC and #ODSCEast2018. These tweets occurred between the time of May 1 12:00 am and May 4 11:59 pm EST. Using this data, we looked at the most popular tweets of the conference, the rate of tweets throughout the duration of the conference, and created a word cloud of the tweet corpus.

Top Tweets of ODSC East 2018

The following are the five tweets with the most likes.

The Most Popular Talks and Presentations

One of the main things we wanted to examine is the rate of tweeting throughout the four days of the conference and specifically looking which events generated the most conversation on Twitter.


The plot confirms a hypothesis of mine which is that the keynote events, which took place during the morning would generate the most discussion on Twitter. The most popular (highly-trafficked) hour occurred on the third day of the conference between 9:00 am and 10:00 am EST, At this time, the two keynote events d were “Building a Data Science Company” by Drew Conway, and the ODSC Award Ceremony.

On May 1 and 2 the tweets came pouring in the most during the same time period of 9:00am-10:00am EST, once again aligning with the time at which the conference keynotes held their talks The last day of the conference also saw its highest rate of tweets happen during the same time period but ,interesting enough, there were no keynotes in that hour. There were, however,t a dozens maller  different talks and presentations such as “AI – a journey to Surpass the Turing Test” by Anisha Baidya, “Smart Cities Beyond Open Data” by Thomas Vanhove, and “Project Feels: Deep Text Models for Predicting the Emotional Resonance of New York Times Articles” by Alexander Spangher.

The ODSC East 2018 WordCloud

To get a sense of the topics of the ODSC East 2018 Twitter corpus, we utilized the always popular wordcloud to illustrate the themes of the conference discussion on Twitter.

From “Learn AI” to “Tutorials” to “Amazing,” our Twitter analysis only scraps the surface of the ODSC East 2018. The Twittersphere was alive and well throughout the conference and continues to echo conversations brought up throughout. Connect with ODSC and the community on Twitter and other channels to perpetuate the talks and ideas – until the next conference!

George McIntire, ODSC

George McIntire, ODSC

I'm a journalist turned data scientist/journalist hybrid. Looking for opportunities in data science and/or journalism. Impossibly curious and passionate about learning new things. Before completing the Metis Data Science Bootcamp, I worked as a freelance journalist in San Francisco for Vice, Salon, SF Weekly, San Francisco Magazine, and more. I've referred to myself as a 'Swiss-Army knife' journalist and have written about a variety of topics ranging from tech to music to politics. Before getting into journalism, I graduated from Occidental College with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics. I chose to do the Metis Data Science Bootcamp to pursue my goal of using data science in journalism, which inspired me to focus my final project on being able to better understand the problem of police-related violence in America. Here is the repo with my code and presentation for my final project: https://github.com/GeorgeMcIntire/metis_final_project.