Does Big Data Need Citizen Data Scientists? – Computerworld


In my discussions with CIOs in the #CIOChat, it looks like big data is moving out of something CIOs were comfortable experimenting with and into something where CIOs expect concrete business returns. As a result, CIOs are starting to worry about the impact of big data on organizational and cultural design. At the same time, CIOs say they are a bit less sanguine about big data. One CIO summarized it this way, “We realize now that every big data initiative isn’t going to save the planet.” In fact, some CIOs are focused on deriving concrete customer benefits from big data around things like efficiency, speed, and resiliency.

CIOs are also talking the need for “citizen developers,” a term coined by a leading analyst firm (of course). According to CIO Isaac Sacolick, “I have been a strong proponent of citizen development. Self Service BI is a form of citizen development and a strong practice is a key ingredient to becoming a data-driven organization.”  

I’d like to suggest that we extend this concept to the “Citizen Data Scientist.” Dr. Kirk Borne, principal data scientist, Booz Allen Hamilton, is espousing this notion as well. CIOs say they like this idea because recruiting large numbers of data scientists is proving difficult. Given this, self-service becomes an interesting response. The question is, how do CIOs deliver this?

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