Natan Meekers

Boost Your Analytics: The Rise of the Citizen Data Scientist

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SaneIT
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Re: Bridging the gap
SaneIT   2/22/2017 1:29:58 PM
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Agreed that the interface will need to be intuitive enough that the creativity of the end user isn't hampered.  What I see a lot of software packages doing now is giving you dozens of canned templates that get close enough 80% of the time.  It's that 20% that you want your users to feel comfortable in.  To be successful in the future I think these tools will have to cater more to that 20% as not to drive users away once they get past the surface level of the software.           

SethBreedlove
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Re: Bridging the gap
SethBreedlove   2/21/2017 3:56:19 PM
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@ SaneIT. That sounds like a good case for open source anaytical software where companies can tweek things to their indiviudal needs.  No one software can solve it all. 

kq4ym
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Re: Bridging the gap
kq4ym   2/21/2017 3:55:05 PM
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And not only must the interface be easy to operate and understand, but the user probably needs some education and incentive to make the efforts necessary to take on the tasks as well. It's one thing to have the tools ready to go, but if the staff isn't convinced of the need or necessity they aren't going to be implemented fully.

T Sweeney
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Re: Bridging the gap
T Sweeney   2/21/2017 11:35:00 AM
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Ha! Great point, Joe. I'm no fan of Excel either, but at least there's plenty of online help available to steer me through calculations or processes I find cumbersome and confusing.

James Connolly
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Re: Bridging the gap
James Connolly   2/21/2017 10:10:30 AM
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I'm curious about how quickly the tools that might be suitable for the citizen data scientist can reach a level of reasonable maturity. It isn't surprising that the first generation of tools are suited only for the data sets that might be considered low hanging fruit.

Until those tools do mature a bit we probably will be stuck with having citizen data scientists go through crash courses in data science so they will have some degree of proficiency.

Another thing that will be interesting to see is how quickly the technology providers and the higher education systems respond to the likely need to train business managers in some level of data science/analytics. Some MBA programs are already integrating analytics elements into their curricula. Will those managers be content with an involvement in analytics that is limited to considering what data can do for their organization? Or, will they want to get hands-on with manipulating data and experimenting with their own models? If it's the latter, then those "citizen" tools better be ready.

 

SaneIT
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Re: Bridging the gap
SaneIT   2/21/2017 8:27:30 AM
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Sadly, what I find is that the new tools while easier to create very simple graphical depictions of data as soon as you step outside of a preconceived reporting model it is not only difficult but often impossible to get what you need. I've had some talks with companies lately that I'm using their product three different ways to get sets of data out.  Out of the box it works very well if you want to look at the data they have decided everyone wants.  Getting deeper into the data means making connections using another version of the tool or an external tool.  If you can keep reporting simple, then yes we're in a much better place than we've been in the past but if the tool's developers didn't think of things that you need it can be even more frustrating.

 

tomsg
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Re: Bridging the gap
tomsg   2/18/2017 3:55:36 PM
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I agree that most in the past have not been too user firendly. The new visual analytics tools , however, are much more intuitive and are easier to use.

Joe Stanganelli
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Re: Bridging the gap
Joe Stanganelli   2/18/2017 2:25:09 PM
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@Terry: Meanwhile, many in the field are still saying that Excel is the real problem.  My take: The tool is the tool.  How are you making it accessible?

T Sweeney
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Re: Bridging the gap
T Sweeney   2/18/2017 1:54:57 PM
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I'm in total agreement with simplifying the interface, Seth. This has been an ongoing complaint I've had with many analytics packages -- expensive to acquire, cumbersome (and expensive) to learn, challenging to manage over the long term.

T Sweeney
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Who's doing it?
T Sweeney   2/18/2017 1:50:11 PM
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Interesting post, Natan... and one certainly to draw second and third looks from those who run major departments or lines of business.

One easy question: Any anecdotal examples of organizations that may have already benefited from data collected and analyzed by citizen data scientists?

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