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Democratizing Data Science Is Not As Risky As Many Fear

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The role of Citizen Data Scientist has been showing rapid growth, though not without some controversy. Many people are concerned that democratizing data science is about giving people capabilities way beyond what they are ready to handle and, therefore, ensuring disasters as a result. While bad outcomes can certainly happen if things aren’t planned and implemented well, it is possible to minimize risk by approaching a citizen data science program with the right mindset.

Is Democratizing Data Science Different From Democratizing BI?

I recently presented on a webinar about democratizing data science when a terrific question came in. It was of the nature, “People generally agree that enabling broader access to BI capabilities is safe, but isn’t enabling broader access to data science capabilities playing with fire?” I pointed out that while people think the broad use of BI and visualization tools is safe today, that wasn’t always the case.

When I started my career, there were no BI tools. To create a report, somebody had to hand write code. The only way to generate SQL was to write it. That took a high degree (at the time) of skill and technical ability. Early SQL generators and BI tools were notorious for how …

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