Citizen Data Scientist- What is the Role and How to Be The One?/data-science-insights/citizen-data-scientist-what-is-the-role-and-how-to-be-the-one

Citizen Data Scientist- What is the Role and How to Be The One?

Citizen Data Scientist- What is the Role and How to Be The One?

A citizen data scientist is a data analyst with the technical skills to solve complex problems. They collect, analyze, and interpret large amounts of data and work with various mathematical, statistical, and computer science elements.

Data Scientists’ jobs are predicted to experience a soaring hike of 36% over the decadal period of 2021-2031 (as reported by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics). Experienced Data Scientists are expected to do more with less as they are envisioned to be given more access to faster computers and cheaper storage space. That is a surefire prediction to ignite a new generation of data science aspirants across the globe.

About Citizen Data Scientist

Citizen Data Scientists work closely with business managers and other important players to fully understand the company's goals and pinpoint data-driven strategies for achieving those goals.

A professional Data Scientist may be responsible for the following functions:

  • Identifying issues with businesses that data analysis can help solve.
  • Collecting and cleaning data from various sources.
  • Analyzing data using statistical and data modeling tools.
  • Communicating insights to stakeholders through data visualizations and reports.
  • Collaborating with IT and Data Science professionals teams to develop and deploy models and solutions.

Why are businesses turning to Citizen Data Scientists?

Organizations are increasingly placing more value on citizen data scientists due to the persistent shortage of skilled data scientists.

These latter individuals frequently have various analytical and technical skills, and professional data scientists have many advanced degrees in data science or related fields like statistics, mathematics, and computer science.

Like professional Data Scientists, citizen data scientists can primarily assist organizations with the following:

  • Depending on business trends, find potential new income opportunities.
  • Increase customer service, supply chain management, and other activities.
  • Analyze financial and reputational risks to identify potential issues for your organization.
  • Strengthen your business strategies and plans.

Becoming a Citizen Data Scientist

A citizen data scientist role is an ever-evolving process. You can become an asset to any organization looking for data-driven decisions by following these steps and gaining expertise.

  • Understand the fundamentals of data analysis
  • Improve your technical skills in using Excel, Python, R, SQL, and others
  • Develop domain expertise
  • Participate in data science projects
  • Keep up to date with industry developments

Skills and Abilities to Become Citizen Data Scientist

Citizen data scientists must be able to work collaboratively with other stakeholders in an organization and have a mix of technical, analytical, and business skills.

By utilizing their talents and abilities, professional scientists can contribute to data-driven decision-making and provide value to the community.

  • Data analysis: To find patterns and trends and generate insights, qualified data scientists must be able to gather, examine, and understand vast amounts of data.
  • Statistical knowledge: Citizen data scientists should be well-versed in statistics and statistical methods like hypothesis testing, regression analysis, and data modeling.
  • Business knowledge: Citizen Data Scientists should be well-versed in business processes and objectives, as well as be able to translate data insights into actionable recommendations.
  • Technical abilities: Citizen Data Scientists should be familiar with data analysis tools and technologies such as Excel, Python, R, SQL, and other related software.
  • Communication abilities: Citizen Data Scientists should be able to effectively communicate with both technical and non-technical stakeholders, presenting data insights and recommendations understandably and clearly.
  • Problem-solving abilities: Citizen Data Scientists must be problem solvers with the ability to think creatively and critically to solve complex business problems using data.

Popular Tools for Citizen Data Scientists

  • Tableau
  • Power BI
  • RapidMiner
  • H2O.ai
  • Apache Spark

How a Citizen Data Scientists differs from professional Data Scientists?



Possesses good knowledge and skills in data analysis but comes from a non-technical background.

Have an extensive understanding of statistics, machine learning, and different data science methodologies.

Work with small to medium-sized datasets as they analyze and visualize data using programs like Excel, Python, and Tableau.

Create models, analyze the data, and create data-driven solutions to challenging business problems using tools like Python, R, and Hadoop.

Self-taught or have completed online courses to advance their careers. They work in a range of sectors, including marketing, finance, and healthcare.

Hold a bachelor's degree in computer science, statistics, or a closely related field and have extensive experience working with large datasets.


Finally, citizen data scientists play an important role in the analytics industry by analyzing and visualizing data using their unique set of skills and tools. And while they have restrictions compared to professional Data Scientists, they are valuable contributors to data-driven decision-making and are in high demand across a range of businesses. Anyone can become a citizen data scientist and make a positive impact in the field through continuous learning and upskilling.

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