Boost your analytics: The rise of the citizen data scientist

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Are you struggling to hire talented data scientists to glean insights from your corporate data? There’s currently a lack of big data talent hampering corporate analytics and causing nightmares for CIO’s, but I have good news for you: You may already have all the data scientists you need!

There are alternatives that could help you boost corporate analytics. The rise of visual data discovery and approachable analytics (read more here) are making room for a new hybrid role within organizations: the citizen data scientist.

With easy-to-use visual analytics tools, the citizen data scientist is able to create models that use predictive or prescriptive analytics, even though they’re not statisticians.

It’s a new hybrid role that will prove extremely valuable to your organization. These citizen data scientists can use their business knowledge and embed it into the models they’re testing, prototyping or building. And in collaboration with different stakeholders, they can help drive initiatives from all the different business units within the enterprise. Their data and analytics undertakings will give a quick start to new and innovative projects.

Your citizen data scientist strategy

So, where do you start? Begin by determining where you already have pockets of expertise, where more talent is needed, and where talent could be better used.

Next, decide which analytics initiatives should be further developed, which should be maintained and which should be cancelled. The key here is to work in smaller iterations and fail fast when necessary.

Leading organizations that are fostering a citizen data scientist culture and cultivating their analytics teams, have a much better chance at  acquiring deep analytical talent. Keep this in mind when you start developing your analytical teams and the way they collaborate.

Given enough time to grow, your junior hires can be taught the skills they need for your company’s business and industry. In return, they’re provided an upwardly-mobile career path.

One training strategy firms use is to rotate talent through different business silos, allowing employees to combine their analytical knowledge with domain knowledge to gain a stronger understanding of how actionable insights from analytics can impact the business.

From a technology perspective, you will need to equip your newly assigned citizen data scientists with the right tools so that they can combine their business expertise with analytics to achieve the best possible results.

Implementing a citizen data scientist strategy is a decision that should not be taken lightly. It needs to fit into the overarching goal of building a firm foundation for the enterprise insight platform that will support your data strategy for years to come (learn more about future proofing your data strategy).

To summarize:

  1. The shallow pool of deep analytical skills should not hamper your corporate analytics.
  2. The rise of visual data discovery and approachable analytics have forged the hybrid role of citizen data scientist.
  3. Executing a good strategy regarding this new hybrid role and collaboration with different stakeholders within your organization will boost your corporate analytics.
  4. An enterprise insight platform (the technology) should be built to enable different types of users to capitalise on data insights.
  5. What are your experiences in boosting your corporate analytics? Where do you see opportunities and what are your challenges?

Learn more about how to find and equip citizen data scientists.

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About Author

Natan Meekers

Sr Associate Systems Engineer

Natan is a Digital Spearhead Data Discovery & Reporting. He's a passionate Business Analytics Expert who's always up for a challenge! Natan is eager to solve business pains and to help companies become more data-driven.

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