How to Get the Most Out of your Citizen Data Scientist

As data scientists are increasingly sought-after (and costly), citizen data scientists are becoming a necessary addition to your team.

As discussed in our last blog, a citizen data scientist is someone with a business background, who uses data science techniques to uncover new insights and develop processes to drive better business outcomes.

Adding these individuals to your team can have a significant impact on your company’s data science activities. Read on to explore how you can get the most out of this role at your organization.


Data scientists spend around 80% of their time preparing and managing data for analysis according to a Forbes study. Further, 76% of data scientists view data preparation as the least enjoyable part of their work.

So, why have data scientists (who receive an average $121k salary) spend most of their time massaging data when we really need them mining and modeling data?

These tasks are perfect for your citizen data scientists. They’re able to bring a business viewpoint to the data they’re collecting while also freeing up time for your data scientists to focus on more impactful, skilled work.

Additionally, since your citizen data scientists have been in the business for a long time, they are able to reach conclusions faster as well. If your citizen data scientist happens to have a data science background, you can also build predictive solutions without needing to involve a data scientist.

Tools for success

The success of your citizen data scientists - and your business intelligence efforts as a whole - is largely contingent on supplying them with proper resources, including:

  • Collaboration. It’s vital for your citizen data scientists to be able to work in an environment that allows them to easily collaborate with other citizen data scientists and data scientists.

  • Visualizations. These allow your citizen data scientists to relay information quickly in a way that makes sense for other members of the team.

  • Documentation. We’ve all been in those meetings where we talk about one calculation for 30 minutes. It’s essential to document these discussions along with your team’s findings for time savings and future reference.

Ensuring access to these resources can help make your citizen data scientists as useful as possible.

Citizen data scientists can now be the difference between data science activities happening or not at your organization. By strategically assigning responsibilities to these individuals and thoughtfully selecting your team, your organization can benefit from increased data science activities, without having to pay a full team of data scientists.

Grab our guide to learn more about the citizen data scientist and how you can upskill your team.

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