A new term has hit the wind, “citizen data scientists.” These data workers are the cheaper, good-enough version of the gold standard, the data scientists. Where does it work, if anyplace at all?
In the business world, this windy new term is just another bauble. Business people will drop it soon enough.
Why? For one thing, we already call these guys business analysts, data analysts, self-service analysts, and other terms. But do data workers need a term at all? Hasn’t data become so commonplace by now that people with pretty good data skills go by the most ordinary name of all, which is no name at all? Isn’t data work among the masses taken for granted in many organizations by now?
“Citizen data scientist” fits in just one good place: the truly democratic “smart city.”
“Smart cities” are usually thought of as top down. The city fathers and mothers use data to ease traffic flow, even out demand on utilities, and other nice things.
Bottom-up “smart” occurs when white-hat hackers use open data to do good things for the city. These are true citizen data scientists. That role is where “citizen” means something.