Create a Thorough Plan and Training Strategy for Citizen Data Scientists

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Read more about author Kartik Patel.

As a business owner, executive, or manager, you are likely aware of the term “citizen data scientists.” Perhaps you have even implemented this type of initiative in your organization. While business journals and industry and technology publications discuss the advantages of the citizen data scientist approach, many businesses fail to get the most out of the initiative. In most cases, the reason these projects fall short is because of poor planning. 

Technology research firm Gartner has predicted that 50% of data scientist activities will be automated by artificial intelligence, easing the acute talent shortage. The citizen data scientist strategy is a crucial component of the augmented analytics, artificial intelligence, and data analytics concepts that Gartner predicts will improve productivity and allow businesses to move forward without adding an endless supply of data scientists.

If your business wishes to leverage the power of the citizen data scientist strategy and enable data literacy and a balanced approach for data analytics, the enterprise must do more than select an augmented analytics solution for its team members. While this aspect of the project is certainly crucial to success, the organizational culture is equally important. In order to achieve your goals for a citizen data scientist strategy, you must carefully assess and address your current team culture, how your business users interact with and leverage data and technology, how they collaborate, and other factors that will affect project success. 

Without changing the culture, the enterprise runs the risk of spending money and time implementing an augmented analytics solution that will sit on the shelf and gather dust. Once you have a roadmap to incorporate all aspects of the citizen data scientist strategy, you will want to provide a clear and common understanding of the roles, collaborative techniques, augmented analytics solutions, and analytical techniques your business users will employ to enable this new strategy. A simple and risk-free way to achieve this common understanding is to offer a free online training course that will allow for self-paced training and for users to repeat any elements of the training they wish to review so that everyone can proceed at their own pace. 

The course should include:

  • A review of the citizen data scientist concept
  • An overview of the benefits of and reasons for the citizen data scientist approach
  • A review of analytical roles and processes and how business users will collaborate with other roles
  • A definition and discussion of predictive analytics
  • A discussion of analytical techniques
  • Real-world examples of the use of analytics in business use cases

Transforming business users into citizen data scientists provides advantages to the organization, to the business users, and to data scientists. Businesses can explore staff training and should consider engaging a knowledgeable IT consulting partner to build a solid foundation and business user confidence.

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