Citizen Data Scientists? Yay or Nay?

It seems that everyone today is talking about Citizen Data Scientists. For some organizations the concept is perhaps frightening. The term may conjure up images of novices trying to do the work of someone with years of training and failing miserably in the process. For others, the image may be of an organization run amuck with business users leveraging sophisticated advanced analytics tools to create and share data that may be misinterpreted or distributed improperly.

So, why is everyone so excited about the concept of Citizen Data Scientists? It’s simple! When an enterprise selects a self-serve business intelligence solution with Advanced Data Discovery, Smart Data Visualization, Plug n’ Play Predictive Analysis and Self-Serve Data Preparation, it can create an environment where business users are empowered and become greater assets to the organization. It can also improve its time to market and competitive advantage, its ROI and its TCO. But, perhaps the most important aspect of the Citizen Data Scientist approach is the democratization of advanced analytics within the organization and the resulting agility and ‘smartness’ in the organization.

Each of your business users has a different skill and a different responsibility. Each of them brings a different perspective and domain expertise to their work and each has the potential to find and leverage opportunities and to solve problems in a unique way – based on their knowledge, their role and the goals and objectives you have set for them and for your organization.

The problem with traditional business intelligence solutions is that they are often too complex or restrictive to allow business user access. These solutions require programmer intervention or the assistance of a data scientist or analyst. So, if a business users wants to find and analyze data, that user must depend on others to understand the user’s needs, gather the data and create the report. By the time the user receives the report, the data may be outdated or it may be presented in a way that makes it difficult to interpret and use. The user may or may not be able to share this data with others in an easy way, and that will limit collaboration, empowerment and creativity.

It is important to note that the concept of citizen data scientists is not only about preparing data and creating reports or dashboards. Most importantly, it is about providing tools and insight that will help business users to identify trends, and patterns, and apply predictive algorithms to discover an association, clustering and classification and uncover crucial nuggets of information that will help the organization to achieve a competitive advantage.

The simple truth is that when business users become Citizen Data Scientists, each of them can add more value and benefit to the organization.

  • Advanced Data Discovery allows business users to perform early prototyping and to test hypothesis without the skills of a data scientist.
  • Tools like plug n’ play predictive analysis and smart data visualization ensure data democratization and drastically reduce the time and cost of analysis and experimentation.
  • With the right tools for Assisted Predictive Modeling, business users can compile and analyze data and test theories and prototypes to support dynamic decisions and planning on their own.
  • Your organization can create a different approach to data access, dependability, mobility, and the user experience to allow a clearer focus on the business bottom line.
  • Advanced Data Discovery allows business users to quickly and easily prepare and analyze data and visualize and explore data, notate and highlight data, share data with others and identify the important ‘nuggets’, buried in traditional data, and to connect the dots, find exceptions, identify patterns and trends and better predict results.
  • Business users with average skills can do all of this without specialized skills, knowledge of statistical analysis or support from IT or professional data scientists.

By providing your business users with sophisticated tools in an easy-to-use environment, you ensure the clarity and accuracy of data, reports and decisions. Citizen Data Scientists do not create chaos. Instead, if an enterprise transforms its business users into Citizen Data Scientists, it can rest assured that the access, and distribution of data is governed and shared appropriately and that the business intelligence solution will do the heavy lifting when it comes to drawing conclusions. When users gather information for smart data visualization, they can receive recommendations and options to present the data in a way that ensures appropriate interpretation. In addition to processing and analyzing the data, features like plug n’ play predictive analysis and self-serve data preparation are designed for flexibility to satisfy user needs, and assure accuracy and clarity.

By leveraging these tools, your organization can create empowered, productive Citizen Data Scientists and a business environment that enables rapid resolution of problems, capitalizes on opportunities and identifies trends, patterns and allows for accurate forecasting and planning – and all without hiring a team of data scientists!

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