Are We Asking Too Much from Citizen Data Scientists?

Anybody who has tried hiring a data scientist can attest to the fact that we’re in the midst of a skills crunch of epic proportion. Cutthroat competition and sky high salaries are just two signs of the considerable lack of available data science talent. Some folks are trying to fill that by putting automated machine learning (AutoML) tools in front of citizen data scientists, but others warn that it could backfire.

Gartner is credited with coining the title “citizen data scientist” back in 2016 to refer to data professionals who use advanced software like AutoML packages to develop predictive analytic applications. While citizen data scientists’ primary job function typically lies outside statistics and analytics, they’re knowledge of the business and access to new tools turns them into “power users” who can tackle simple and moderately sophisticated analytical tasks that would typically have required the services of a full-fledged data scientist.

Author: Alex Woodie

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