James M. Connolly

Take the A2 Quick Poll: Citizen Data Scientists

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magneticnorth0
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Data Doctor
Re: Citizen data scientist citizens
magneticnorth0   9/30/2016 11:54:41 PM
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That's idea. I've seen MOOCs that might help, I think at Coursera or edX.

kq4ym
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Data Doctor
Re: Citizen data scientist citizens
kq4ym   9/21/2016 9:46:10 AM
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It would surely be a good movement forward to encourage those "private citizens" to volunteer or otherwise join up with community organizations in data analysis. Maybe there is a movement somewhere for crash courses for those with expertise in other areas to expand their knowlege to data in order to help out causes?

Jamescon
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Re: Citizen data scientist citizens
Jamescon   9/20/2016 6:40:47 PM
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@Lyndon. Maybe the "citizen data scientist" title will apply to all of the above in terms of the holder's technical and data expertise. Then again, some BI, analytics, database, and even marketing people seem to have adopted the "data scientist" title with a simple tweak on their resume. I'm reminded of an anecdote from an analytics exec earlier this year. His company did a skills survey as they searched for analytics talent. This mid-sized company discovered that they had a couple hundred more "data scientists" than they knew about. I suspect this could be a result of all the talk about how much of a salary premium a data scientist can command.

Lyndon_Henry
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Citizen data scientist citizens
Lyndon_Henry   9/20/2016 5:31:56 PM
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..

Jim writes in his blog article

The citizen data scientist concept is relatively new in the analytics space, but I get the sense that it's one of those "love it or hate it" ideas that will bring the discussion to a boiling point. ...

As we have seen over the past few years, there's still no solid agreement on the role of the data scientist in an organization, and which skills are most critical. ...

I've talked to probably a dozen analytics professionals about the citizen data scientist concept in recent months. Some embrace it. Others want to squash it like a bug. ...

Like so many other new tech-related concepts, one challenge regarding "citizen data scientist" is in defining the term itself.

...

Then there is the idea that a citizen data scientist merely is a business pro who is given more advanced query tools built out by an experienced data scientist, but the business pro is isolated from the actual database.



 

In a 2015 Information Week article, Lisa Morgan wrote:

A recent Gartner report 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."



 

This is not a bad definition, but the way it's being applied seems to ignore a large growing category of "citizen data scientists" whose role in that respect is more involved with community service rather than with a business enterprise or public agency. These are savvy professionals with backgrounds in math, social sciences, public policy, IT, etc. and skills in predictive analytics, data analysis, and similar data analytics-related applications who use those skills for collaborative community projects.

We experienced that here in Austin starting three years ago with respect to a local controversy over an official urban rail proposal. How analytics-savvy community activists used their skills in this context was described in my own 2014 A2 article: Analytics Fuel Transit Duel in Austin.

I think the analytics community might be wise to pay more attention to this growing category of private-citizen-type "citizen data scientists".

 

Jamescon
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Editor
Re: Digital world
Jamescon   9/20/2016 2:19:32 PM
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@Maryam. Even if the business person isn't called a data scientist, pairing them with an actual data scientist or analytics pro makes sense to me. Maybe it's a dotted line connection where each relies on the other's experience for sanity checks and to generate ideas.

impactnow
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Digital world
impactnow   9/20/2016 12:38:46 PM
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Jim I just voted and I think this is a great idea. In a digital work you can't separate data analytics from business they are the business. They are telling you every day about what is happening in your market and how you should focus your efforts. Training those with an interest in analytics is a great career path and a way to fill the gap with a known employee that has business knowledge.

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