Will My Career Benefit from Becoming a Citizen Data Scientist?

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Read more about author Kartik Patel.

As a team member within a business environment, you may be familiar with the term “citizen data scientist.” This term has been around for some time and was popularized by Gartner, which defines a citizen data scientist as “a person who creates or generates models that leverage predictive or prescriptive analytics, but whose primary job function is outside of the field of statistics and analytics.”

If your business is positioned to leverage this advantage you, as a team member, may find yourself nominated to transition to a citizen data scientist role. In this article, we consider the question of “what’s in it for me?” If you are concerned about this transition or resistant to the idea, you might be interested in the benefits this role will provide.

Positive Career Impact: Perhaps you are a technology power user, or someone who is curious about analytics and wishes to know more. By embracing your personal strengths and interests, you can take on the citizen data scientist role and, in so doing, increase your visibility at the management level. You can demonstrate your mentoring and leadership capabilities as you take on the role of champion for augmented analytics and help other business users gain familiarity with these tools. Using augmented analytics to make fact-based decisions and recommendations will put you at the forefront of the team. As analytics trends evolve, the concept of storytelling is taking center stage and, when you use augmented analytics to discover and solve problems, illustrate opportunities, reveal trends and patterns, and predict results, you will prove your value to the management team and to your fellow team members, thereby positioning you for advancement. 

Leveraged Domain and Industry Knowledge: When you combine your industry and domain knowledge with analytics capabilities, you can merge the two and achieve results. Your experience and skill in your business function, industry, or area of market focus can add value and insight. Using your experience, you can ask the right questions to produce reports and illustrate issues, using objective metrics and data to make recommendations and suggestions. 

Adding Value to the Organization: As a citizen data scientist, you are well-positioned to collaborate with analysts, IT staff, and data scientists to focus on areas that may require a more strategic approach. Your day-to-day analytical activities will become the foundation from which data scientists can refine results for senior management. Speaking in an educated way about the results of your analytics is not difficult when you have an augmented analytics solution that allows you to ask simple questions in a Google-type environment and to receive simple answers and clear insights in the form of reports and graphs. You can drill down to discover the root cause of problems, and you can hypothesize and theorize to determine probable results before the organization commits to product pricing changes, competitive market changes, new locations, or other changes.

Transforming business users into citizen data scientists provides advantages to the organization, to the business users, and to data scientists, and it can provide numerous benefits to you as a citizen data scientist candidate.