Welcome to the brave new era of employees becoming Citizen Data Scientists! There can be no doubt we now live and work in a world where data is power, and companies who have harnessed the power of data are outperforming the competition.
But who creates insights from this data? While traditional data science teams lead the charge, many organisations are recognising the value of having a team of Citizen Data Scientists, these are practitioners from within the organisation who are leveraging data and tools with their own knowledge and experience to transform data into insights and leverage those insights to support data driven decision making. These are non-data professionals who possess the analytical skills to draw insights out of vast quantities of data.
The demand for Citizen Data Scientists is on the rise as traditional data science teams struggle with handling the explosion of data that modern businesses generate. Citizen Data Scientists help reduce the team size in addition to providing diverse perspectives on problem-solving.
This is useful because reaching insights takes both business acumen and technical knowledge, unlike typical data scientists. In the following sections, we’ll explore the characteristics of Citizen Data Scientists and why they’re transforming data analytics in today’s workplace.
Who are Citizen Data Scientists
There has been much discussion around the topic of how Citizen Data Scientists can and ae revolutionising Data Analytics in today’s workplace, but few are able to explain in plain language what citizen data scientists are, and why they matter in today’s workplace.
Citizen Data Scientists are in many ways the new superheroes in the world of data analytics. They have the power to turn data into insights, just like traditional data scientists. What makes them different from traditional data scientists is their background and education.
While traditional data scientists typically have advanced degrees in mathematics or statistical analysis, Citizen Data Scientists come from a variety of fields such as finance, marketing, or technology and have picked up data analytics skills through their work experience.
Their skillset and responsibilities are equally impressive. They are responsible for collecting and analysing data, use it to create visualisations and dashboards, and provide insights that can drive business decisions.
They are also experts in tools such as SQL, Excel, Qlik, Talend and Tableau and have a deep understanding of data quality and governance best practices. In essence, Citizen Data Scientists have a unique blend of business acumen and data analytics skills that make them indispensable in today’s data-driven workplace.
By leveraging the skills and expertise of Citizen Data Scientists, companies can gain very real and extremely valuable competitive advantage by quickly generating useful insights gleaned from vast amounts of data they already have, as well as data and datasets they have access to outside their own organisation. The benefits of developing or hiring Citizen Data Scientists are many and varied.
Benefits of hiring Citizen Data Scientists
Hiring traditional data specialists can be an expensive affair, not to mention the difficulty in retaining them due to significantly increasing demand. With Citizen Data Scientists, you can save money without sacrificing results. Their diverse background and skillset make them a valuable asset in the analytics team. They bring fresh perspectives and creative insights-essential ingredients for innovation.
Citizen Data Scientists enable businesses to make better and faster decisions. Their availability within specific departments gets you insights quicker than waiting for a traditional data specialist to be available. Tasked with specific projects, Citizen Data Scientists require less management and more focus. You can leverage their skills to ensure that the time-to-market stays shorter, thereby delivering results at an accelerated pace.
Leveraging the diverse perspectives of the Citizen Data Scientist helps in improved outcomes. They can bridge gaps between departments by solving complex problems. Their collaboration with traditional data scientists leads to a quick resolution of hidden issues.
Hiring Citizen Data Scientists also contributes to a more diverse workforce as they come from different backgrounds, experiences, and cultures. A diverse workforce leads to innovative ideas while promoting the opportunity to learn from each other.
Challenges in implementing Citizen Data Scientists
No matter how innovative and beneficial a new idea may seem, there will always be challenges and hurdles to overcome when implementing it. The same holds true for Citizen Data Scientists. One of the most significant obstacles that companies face when attempting to integrate citizen data scientists into their workplace is resistance from traditional data teams.
These teams may be hesitant to welcome individuals with non-traditional backgrounds into their ranks. Another issue that companies face is finding the right talent to fill these positions. Citizen data scientists may come from many different fields, and finding candidates with the right combination of skills and experience can be difficult. Finally, ensuring proper training and support for these new team members is essential for success.
However, these challenges shouldn’t discourage companies from embracing the potential benefits of citizen data scientists. With proper planning and implementation strategies, businesses can overcome these obstacles and leverage the diverse perspectives of citizen data scientists to drive innovation and growth.
By finding the right balance between existing data teams and citizen data scientists, providing ongoing training and support, and ensuring compliance with ethical data use, organisations can successfully integrate citizen data scientists into their workflows. So, while there may be challenges along the way, the long-term benefits of implementing citizen data scientists make it a worthwhile endeavour.
Examples of successful implementation
One organisation that has successfully integrated Citizen Data Scientists is a healthcare company. They implemented a program to empower employees with basic data analytics skills, allowing them to identify areas for improvement in patient care. This resulted in an increase in patient satisfaction and a decrease in readmissions.
Another company that has embraced Citizen Data Scientists is a manufacturing company. By providing training and support to employees from various departments, they were able to uncover new insights and solutions to production challenges. This led to a significant reduction in waste and an increase in productivity.
These examples show that integrating Citizen Data Scientists can result in significant positive outcomes for organisations. By leveraging the diverse skill sets of their employees, organisations can achieve more efficient and effective data analysis. However, it is important to ensure proper training and support and to find the right balance between existing data teams and Citizen Data Scientists to overcome the challenges of implementation.
Best practices for integrating Citizen Data Scientists
While hiring Citizen Data Scientists can bring a lot of benefits, it’s important to integrate them into the existing data teams seamlessly. Finding the right balance between traditional data teams and Citizen Data Scientists is crucial to ensure that everyone is on the same page and working towards the same goals.
Providing ongoing training and support is essential to ensure that Citizen Data Scientists are equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to tackle new challenges. This will also help them stay up to date with the latest advancements in technology and data analytics.
Ethics and compliance are another crucial aspect that needs to be considered when integrating Citizen Data Scientists. Data privacy and security should be of the utmost importance, and Citizen Data Scientists should be aware of the ethical implications of their work.
Overall, integrating Citizen Data Scientists can bring a lot of benefits, but it requires careful planning and execution. By finding the right balance between traditional data teams and Citizen Data Scientists, providing ongoing training and support, and ensuring compliance and ethical use of data, organisations can maximise the potential of this new approach to data analytics.
Citizen Data Science is here to stay
Citizen Data Scientists have the potential to revolutionise data analytics and help organisations stay competitive. Embracing this approach can bring diverse perspectives, reduced time to insights, and cost savings compared to traditional data teams.
Successful implementation requires finding the right talent, providing ongoing training and support, and ensuring compliance with ethical use of data. Organisations such as Ford and Cisco have already integrated Citizen Data Scientists and achieved significant results.
So don’t be left behind. Stay ahead of the game by tapping into the potential of Citizen Data Scientists. Your data will thank you, and so will your bottom line. Follow me on Twitter for more insights on how to stay ahead in the game.