Data Latam: A community of data practitioners


  Frans van Dunn√©

When we started with the first Data Latam Podcast in May 2016 we thought that it would be a great idea to have a source of information about data science in Spanish. Our goal was to make available not only a source of information, but also of inspiration. We believe that having role models is important in a field where so many of us are self-taught, and all of us need to learn continuously to stay abreast of advances in each of our fields.

This is why we always ask our interviewees: “How did you get where you are?", and the diversity of stories has been enormous. The podcast has documented role models for those members of the audience who want to start or continue their own career in data science. We have been amazed and happy with the reach that the podcasts have had: to date we have published 53 podcasts with more than 3000 people listening in each month in different countries in Latin America.

Data Latam Events

Soon after the podcasts we started organizing in-person training events, always followed by a lunch. In this way we highlighted the importance of creating an opportunity for networking in a group that shares an interest in data science with R. We have also organized the following courses:

One of the nice things that happened with the in-person events is that more people got involved in the execution of the training sessions and came up with their own ideas. This month we will do the first remote training about migrating to R from Excel.

Data Latam Webinars

Around the same time as the training events we started the Data Latam online webinars on the last Thursday of every month. In fact, we inherited these events from the San Carlos R User Group, who were being threatened by with deletion from their platform if they continued posting online events. This brought a new group of people into the Data Latam community and for the first year we always began with a round of introductions: where are you, how do you use R?

Starting the webinars with a full round of introductions has become more difficult with the numbers of people currently assisting. We regularly get 200-300 inscriptions for each webinar, and have started to max out our Zoom capacity of 100 (so get there early!). We publish a recording of each monthly webinar on YouTube where we have more than 26,000 views of the content.

Data Latam Future

Thanks to the participation and effort of many people, Data Latam is a Latin American community of professionals and academics who apply data science in their day to day work. In our events, training sessions, and extension programs we will continue to explore technologies, learn about data science, talk about trends and relevant events in industry and share new developments in the field. We are thrilled that the community is still growing and that more people using it as a platform to organize community activities they have thought of. So if you speak Spanish and you have an interest in R and data science please know that you are welcome to participate! We look forward to meeting you in one of the next events.