Citizen Data Scientists Can Collaborate with Others!

How Should My Citizen Data Scientists Work with Data Scientists and Analysts?

Gartner has predicted that, ‘30% of organizations will harness the collective intelligence of their analytics communities, outperforming competitors that rely solely on centralized analytics or self-service.’ What does this mean for business Citizen Data Scientist initiatives? It does NOT mean that the organization should turn away from this type of initiative. What it DOES mean is that a business should recognize the value and purpose of each aspect of its analytical community.

‘The organization should establish rules of engagement and manage guidelines to dictate which roles will take on which types of analytics and when and how they will collaborate.’

In this article, we will discuss how Citizen Data Scientists, Data Scientists and other professionals can work together and where and how these professional roles can collaborate to produce better results.

Citizen Data Scientists, Data Scientists and Analysts Can Work Together

Here are some crucial considerations to include in your assessment and your implementation of a Citizen Data Scientist initiative in order to ensure that collaboration with other roles is part of the process.

  • Citizen Data Scientists are not business analysts or data scientists. They are business users and team members within the organization. The typical profile of an ideal Citizen Data Scientist is a person who is respected within the organization and often shares data and information with other users to collaborate and produce outcomes that are designed to achieve goals and objectives and produce a successful outcome. These individuals may already be ‘power users’ of business applications and may have developed and reported or presented data to others with an eye toward clarifying decision-making. Citizen Data Scientist candidates may also be IT team members who are interested in data science. Because Citizen Data Scientists can come from any corner of the organization, they bring their professional expertise and domain knowledge to the task of analytics and they can influence and affect the use of analytics within their own team. This cultural shift allows analytical champions to bring other professionals and roles into the process of data democratization. Citizen Data Scientists will perform day-to-day analytics at the individual, team and business unit level and develop hypotheses and prototypes, establish appropriate use cases and collaborate with Data Scientists, IT and others as appropriate. In most cases, this collaboration will occur when a topic or issue must be 100% accurate to clarify a strategy or meet an overall objective.
  • Data Scientists will renew their focus on strategic initiatives and analytics that require refined accuracy and clarity. Data Scientists will be available to refine analytical results produced by Citizen Data Scientists as necessary and requested. The senior executive team may wish to implement a process for escalating these results to Data Scientists with guidelines for when and why analytics will be advanced to the Data Scientist team for further refinement. This will ensure that there is no confusion on when and where Data Scientists should be called into play. Data Scientists will collaborate as appropriate with Citizen Data Scientists and IT team members.
  • The organization should establish rules of engagement and manage guidelines to dictate which roles will take on which types of analytics and when and how they will collaborate. IT, CDO involvement in data source management and access rules will allow for appropriate enterprise data governance using watermarks and data identification to ensure that all parties understand the provenance and credibility of the data they are using. The business should establish and manage a data literacy program to ensure that managers, team members, analysts, executives, IT and other roles understand how to use and interpret data for the best results.

‘Citizen Data Scientists will perform day-to-day analytics at the individual, team and business unit level and develop hypotheses and prototypes.’

Transforming business users into Citizen Data Scientists, provides advantages to the organization, to the business users and to data scientists. Appropriate Citizen Data Scientist Training and organizational planning will provide a  solid foundation and build business user confidence by providing an introduction and fundamental information on Predictive Analytics and other tools these users will employ. The business should also consider engaging an IT consulting partner with knowledge of the augmented analytics market, and a solution and support services to provide the guidance and Products And Services your business will need to succeed.

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