Bridging Business Gaps with Citizen Data Scientists 

There’s a new trend in the world of business and it all stems from data. More and more, departments within a team are all looking to data to make decisions, prove ideas, and guide the way they think. However, most companies simply don’t have the staffing and infrastructure to leverage data like they find themselves needing. They may be an early startup, or established and are just starting to embrace data. Either way, they don’t have an overly robust data department. As a result, we’re seeing a new unofficial role emerging across teams all over: the Citizen Data Scientist. 

What is a Citizen Data Scientist?

Citizen data scientists are a relatively new concept in the business world, but they are quickly becoming valuable assets for many organizations. A citizen data scientist is a non-technical employee who has a strong understanding of data science concepts and is able to use data analysis tools to make informed decisions. This allows organizations to leverage the skills of their employees to gain insights from their data, without having to rely solely on data scientists or analysts. Citizen data scientists also come from varying backgrounds, typically ones that have large business acumen and business strategy. For example, business analysts are quickly becoming citizen data scientists in many companies. 

Shorten the Learning Curve

With this influx of citizen data scientists looking at and using machine learning and AI tools, how do you meet the demand? They don’t necessarily have the full technical know-how to build something complex from scratch. However, they have a clear understanding of what they want to achieve with machine learning and AI. In the past, most companies have felt limited in fully embracing data-driven decisions and goals because the process to access the data in a meaningful way relied upon technical experts alone. Non-technical professionals can now actively use machine learning to understand what the data is telling them. In fact, Sentiero’s portfolio includes Mia, a no-code machine learning tool that is perfect for a citizen data scientist to use! 

Citizen data scientists are becoming a powerful resource within companies, allowing companies to be versatile and flexible, while leveraging data to grow and become a stronger force in their industry.” – Samantha Walker, Mia

Citizen data scientists are not a replacement for data scientists or data analysts. A solid data team still has a critical role, especially when it comes to complex or large data sets. They can also provide guidance and mentorship to citizen data scientists, helping them continue to develop and improve their skills. The data team within any business is vital to ensure appropriate strategy and integrity with the data, connecting all departments together for an accurate picture of the business and opportunities. 

Many of us have already seen the power of applying data to real-world applications to help solve problems, create strategies, and make decisions. There’s no need just to throw spaghetti at the wall and see what sticks; we can use the data within our organizations to make decisions based on shown patterns of success. We also see the power of data in the world of venture capital to help us understand the current state, and future potential, of a potential investment. Citizen data scientists can embrace and use the data to help nearly any department within a company and as a result, we’re seeing data truly become part of the business model!