5 Jun 2018

Data lovers unite! The best data conferences and meetups in Europe

Christopher Newman
Christopher Newman Community Operations Manager, Udacity Europe

It’s an exciting time to be part of the world of data science and analytics. Every day new technologies and tools are emerging and there are more opportunities than ever to stay at the cutting-edge of these dynamic developments.

Whether you’re just starting your career in data or are a seasoned data expert already, joining a community is an excellent way to keep your skills up to date and build your network in the field. Aside from the free pizza that is often available, there are a whole range of tangible fits to be gained by getting involved in events and communities of data lovers. Here are just a few:

  • Learn from the best Stay informed about cutting-edge trends in the industry and get ideas and inspiration from expert speakers and other data practitioners. Talking to these people one-on-one about their work can help you sharpen your vision of your own future career development.

  • Connect with like-minded peers Meet people who are passionate about the same topics as you, find study buddies, and grow your professional network. Networking with fellow data professionals is an important way to get yourself out there, meet future employers, and identify opportunities in your space. In fact, research shows that the acquaintances you make at events – so-called “weak ties" – are a valuable asset in the job search.

  • Gain new perspectives When you leave your personal bubble and start interacting with people outside your regular social circle, you’ll be exposed to various ideas, topics and industries that you might not have considered before. Be it at a panel discussion or during the serendipitous conversations over drinks, these encounters can give you valuable new ideas for your latest project or business venture.

  • Promote your personal brand Social media has opened up new opportunities for you to market yourself or your organization at events. By live tweeting or blogging about your experiences at a conference or Meetup, you’ll have the chance be part of a larger conversation and to market your brand.

There are a vast number of data-related events happening every week and with so much choice and opportunity out there, you’re certain to find one suitable for your interests and skill level. We’ve put together an overview of the most relevant conferences and Meetup groups across Europe that can help you connect with like-minded data learners.

Data Conferences in Europe

KDD (Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining) Annual Conference 🇬🇧
Next edition: KDD 2018 - August 19-23, 2018 in London

Started in 1989, KDD is the oldest and largest data mining conference worldwide. Its organizers pioneered “Big Data", “Data Science", and “Predictive Analytics" solutions before these names even existed. Who should attend: data scientists and engineers who seek exposure to the latest research in the data and analytics world as well as exposure to how theory is put to practice at some of the world's largest companies.

Strata Data Conference 🇬🇧
Next edition: Strata London - April 29-May 2, 2019 in London

Strata, organized by O’Reilly and Cloudera, is one of the most established data conferences in the world. Barack Obama himself gave a video keynote in 2015. The conference covers a wide range of topics varying from machine learning and big data to visualization, data security, and data-driven business management. Strata conferences have a strong technical focus, so a strong technology background is recommended to get the most out of attending.

PyData Conferences 🇩🇪
Next edition: PyData Berlin 2018 - July 6-8, 2018 in Berlin

PyData hosts a series of conferences that bring together users and developers of data analysis tools like R, Python and Julia to share ideas and learn from each other. The goals of the community-driven events are to provide data science enthusiasts a place to discuss how best to apply languages and tools to the challenges of data management, processing, analytics, and visualization. Both novices as well as advanced practitioners are welcome.

Open Data Science Conference (ODSC) 🇬🇧
Next edition: ODSC Europe 2018 - September 19-22, 2018 in London

As the name implies, ODSC focuses on open source data science tools, libraries, and languages such as R and Python. The four-day conference has 200+ speakers addressing a wide variety of data science topics, including recommendation systems, machine learning, image classification, and transfer learning. Apart from being a great networking opportunity, you can attend training sessions to learn the latest data science concepts, tools and techniques from the best practitioners in the field.

Start building your data skills today! Data Foundations Nanodegree Program Free Classroom Preview

Predictive Analytics World 🇬🇧
Next edition: Predictive Analytics World London - October 17-18, 2018 in London

This conference focuses mainly on the the commercial deployment of machine learning and predictive analysis of large data sets. It is known to be smaller and cozier than some of the other conferences and is suitable for experts as well as beginners.

RE•WORK Conferences 🇬🇧
Next edition: Deep Learning Summit London - September 20-21, 2018 in London

RE•WORK organizes a range of summits, workshops and dinners where industry experts give talks on advancements in the fields of machine learning and artificial intelligence. Attendees can expect a combination of technical talks and demonstrations of applied data science, as well as networking opportunity with industry leaders.

UseR! - International R User Conference 🇫🇷
Next session in Europe: useR! 2019 - July 9-12, 2019 in Toulouse, France

UseR! is the yearly gathering of R users and developers. The program consists of both invited and user-contributed presentations. In short: if you are passionate about using R, this conference is a can’t-miss.

MONEY SAVING TIP Conferences can be expensive. Luckily, many conferences offer substantial early bird discounts and well as discounted tickets for students, academics and startups. If you’re employed, consider asking your boss to invest in the fits of you attending the conference can bring to your organization.

World Summit AI 🇳🇱
Next edition: World Summit AI 2018 - October 10-11, 2018 in Amsterdam

One of the world’s foremost AI conferences, the World Summit AI brings together an impressive lineup of tech leaders from around the world. If you are interested in the ethics of AI, real-time data analytics in the cloud or cognitive computing, you’re certain to find something worth your time here.

Data Natives 🇩🇪
Next Session: Data Natives 2018 - November 22-23, 2018 in Berlin

Born out of the startup hub Berlin, Data Natives is “the conference for the data-driven generation" and focused on fostering the interaction between startups and businesses within the growing field of big data, AI, machine learning and IoT.

Data Meetups in Europe

Below you’ll find a selection of some of the largest and most active data-related Meetups across Europe. See the full list of the biggest data science groups worldwide on Meetup.com.

Global 🌍

PyData Meetups, all around the world

Dataconomy - 40 Big Data Meetups around the world

Germany 🇩🇪

Berlin Machine Learning Group (6000 members)

Big Data, Berlin (5500 members)

Zalando Tech Events Berlin (7000 members)

Munich Datageeks (4400 members)

Frankfurt Data Science (2400 members)

Düsseldorf Data Science Meetup (2100 members)

Hamburg Data Science Meetup (1300 members)

Data Science Meetup Köln (1300 members)

Austria 🇦🇹

Vienna Data Science Group Meetup (1300 members)

Vienna Deep Learning Meetup (1300 members)

Start putting your data science skills to work! The new Data Scientist Nanodegree program Start learning now

Switzerland 🇨🇭

Zurich Machine Learning and Data Science (3500 members)

Swiss Association for Analytics Lausanne (1300 members)

UK 🇬🇧

Data Science London (largest #datascience community in Europe, 8500 members; website)

DataKind UK (Data for Good Meetup, 3700 members)

Women in Data (1100 members)

Inspiring Women in Data Science (700 members)

Scotland Data Science & Technology Meetup (2700 members)

Ireland 🇮🇪

Data Scientists Ireland (3700 members)

Dublin Data Science (1700 members)

France 🇫🇷

Paris Machine Learning Applications Group (7000 members)

R Addicts Paris (1500 members)

Spain 🇪🇸

Big Data Spain (2500 members)

Italy 🇮🇹

Machine Learning/Data Science Meetup Rome (1300 members)

Data Science Milan (1000 members)

Lux 🇧🇪 🇳🇱 🇱🇺

Amsterdam Data Science (ADS) Meetup (5200 members)

Data Science Amsterdam (1400 members)

DataScience Meetup Brussels (3200 members)

Data Science Luxembourg (1800 members)

Poland 🇵🇱

Data Science Warsaw (4200 members)

Can’t find a Meetup near you?

Start your own! Check out this useful guide on the steps to follow to successfully organize a local data science Meetup.

Summing up

Attending data conferences and events are great tools for keeping up on industry news, learning how to ‘talk the talk’ and building your professional network. Just as importantly, getting involved with a community of like-minded people who love data and learning just as much as you do can be a source of growth, encouragement, and joy throughout every stage of your learning journey.

So, what are you waiting for? Find the event that’s right for you and sign up right away!

P.S. Did you know that Udacity community Meetup groups already exist in Berlin, London, Vienna, Munich and other cities around Europe? Join one today and we hope to see you at an event soon!

The world of data is a fascinating one, full of amazing thinkers and innovators, and the deeper you dig, the more you’ll learn. Data enthusiasts are encouraged to consider learning with Udacity, as we offer world-class instruction for everyone from the very novice to the expert.

Here are just a few of the data-centric Nanodegree programs we offer:

Data Foundations

Data Analyst

Data Scientist

Predictive Analytics

Machine Learning Engineer

Make sure to get inspired by Udacity students' stories who took the same path of a career change. Enjoy networking, and we hope to see you in our data classrooms soon!

About the author
Christopher Newman
Christopher Newman Community Operations Manager, Udacity Europe

Christopher Newman manages Community Operations for Udacity in Europe. When he’s not bringing Udacity students and grads together to share their inspiring stories and accomplishments, you can find him listening to tech and comedy podcasts.