Citizen Data Scientist

enabling data science for businesspeople

by Mohamed Jendoubi, founder @ uluumy

According to a Mckinsey Study, demand for data scientists is projected to exceed supply by more than 50% by 2018.
That’s the gap Citizen Data Scientist is going to fill.

The article sums-up the lecture Citizen Data Scientist from our course Become a Citizen Data Scientist
In this article, we’re going to give a definition of what we mean by the term Citizen Data science. Then, we will present the 2015 Gartner Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies. Finally, we’ll give some thought on why every company need to have a team of citizen data science.
By the end you’ll have a big picture of what it takes to become a citizen Data Scientist


The term Citizen Data Scientist was introduced by Gartner in its 2015 Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies which we’re going present later in this lecture.
Here is the definition given by Gartner: 
«A person who creates or generates models that leverage predictive or prescriptive analytics but whose primary job function is outside of the field of statistics»

Business people with the right attitude - curious, adventurous, determined - to research and improve things in the organization, SAS

Gartner Hype Cycles

Let’s take a look to the Gartner Hype Cycles. Here is an extract from Gartner: «Gartner Hype Cycle provides a graphic representation of the maturity and adoption of technologies and applications, and how they are potentially relevant to solving real business problems and exploiting new opportunities».

Gartner’s Emerging Technologies Hype Cycle contains a «representative set of still-maturing technologies that receive interest from clients, and technologies that Gartner feels are significant and should be monitored».
Gartner is predicting that Citizen Data Scientist and Advanced analytics with Self-service delivery to reach the Plateau of productivity in 2 to 5 years.

Emerging Technologies Gartner

The question you could be asking is why do we need a citizen data scientist?
Here are three facts that can give some insight:

why do we need a citizen data scientist?

First, the shortage of data scientists (because of the highly specialized skills needed in: computer science, coding, mathematics, machine learning, statistics) .... and still they need to have in-depth knowledge of the business
Second, the rise of self-service data preparation
Third, the development of advanced analytics platforms (Microsoft Machine Learning, IBM Watson, ...).

The need is so, that according to Gartner, by 2017, the number of citizen data scientists will grow 5 times faster than the number of highly skilled data scientists.

After we’ve gone through the Why, the question to ask is Who could be a Citizen Data Scientist?

Who could be a Citizen Data Scientist?

In most companies, they’re already there. Here who they are. They have:
   •    Solid business domain knowledge (marketing, finance, sales, operations, ...)
   •    Analytical mindset
   •    The willingness to learn new methods and use new tools.

Benefits for the organization?

The rise of Citizen Data Scientist is a great opportunity for every organization because business people will bring with them:
   •    Contextual knowledge
   •    Analytical mindset
   •    The Democratization of analytics in every department.

Take a look to our course Become a Citizen Data Scientist

GARTNER, "Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies", 2015.
MCKINSEY, "Big data: The next frontier for innovation, competition, and productivity", 2011
SAS, "How to find and equip the citizen data scientists in your midst", 2012.
Photos Credits:
Vélocipède by Nestor Galina CC BY

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