As the Data Science galaxy starts to form, novel concepts will inevitably emerge—ones that we cannot predict from today’s limited vantage point.

 

One of the latest of these is the “citizen data scientist.” This person is leveraging the latest data science technologies without a formal background in math or computer science. The growing community of citizen data scientists––engineers, analysts, scientists, economists and many others––outnumbers the mythical unicorn data scientists and, if equipped with the right technology and solutions, will substantially contribute new discoveries, new revenue, new innovations, new policies and more that will drive value in the marketplace through innovation, productivity and efficiency.

How Open Data Science is Giving Jedi Superpowers to the World

As the Data Science galaxy starts to form, novel concepts will inevitably emerge—ones that we cannot predict from today’s limited vantage point.
 
One of the latest of these is the “citizen data scientist.” This person is leveraging the latest data science technologies without a formal background in math or computer science. The growing community of citizen data scientists––engineers, analysts, scientists, economists and many others––outnumbers the mythical unicorn data scientists and, if equipped with the right technology and solutions, will substantially contribute new discoveries, new revenue, new innovations, new policies and more that will drive value in the marketplace through innovation, productivity and efficiency.
 
Unlike previous technology periods, where only specialized gurus could engage with innovation, Open Data Science empowers anyone through a wealth of highly accessible and innovative open source technology. As a result, a new generation of Jedis is being armed with greater intelligence to change the world from the near-infinite applications of data science today.

Open Data Science Puts the Power of Intelligence in the Citizens’ Hands

In the past, data and analytics were sequestered into a back corner for highly specialized teams to mine and unearth nuggets that led to epiphanies from mounds of data. Not only is data liberated today, but now data science is also being liberated. The lynchpin to data science liberation is making data science accessible via familiar and consumable applications. Now, any curious analyst, engineer or anyone using Open Data Science has the power to make informed decisions with real evidence and, most importantly, intelligent power that leverages not just predictive analytics, but machine learning and, increasingly, deep learning. Armed with this saber of intelligence, every day tasks in business and life will change. 
 
Take, for example, the TaxBrain project. Taxbrain is a striking example of the power of Open Data Science. Using open source resources like Anaconda, the Open Source Policy Center (OSPC) launched a publicly-available web application that allows anyone to explore how changes to tax policies affect government revenues and taxpayers. This browser-based software allows journalists, consumers, academics, economists––all citizen data scientists––to understand the implications of tax policy changes.
 
With Open Data Science underlying the creation of TaxBrain, anyone can run highly-sophisticated mathematical models of the complex U.S. tax code without having to know the details or code underlying it.
 
That’s truly empowering—and the range of potential data science applications doesn’t end there.

Making Data Intuitive with Modern Interactive Visualizations

Open Data Science is ushering in a golden age of consumability through interactive visualizations that engage and activate citizen data scientists. Our minds are not optimized for holding more than around seven numbers, let alone the tens of millions that are part and parcel to displaying Big Data. However, the human visual system is much better at wrangling complexity. The more these visualization methods progress, the more intuition—from anyone, not just experts—can be brought to bear on emerging challenges with visualizing Big Data. 
 
High-tech and brain-optimized visual interactions were foreshadowed in the 2002 film “Minority Report” where the hero, portrayed by Tom Cruise, uses a holographic display to rapidly manipulate data by flicking through the images with his hands, physically interacting with and manipulating the data as he experiences it. This interface allowed him to quickly analyze complex data as intuitive, beautiful visualizations.
 
Similarly, Open Data Science currently offers beautiful visualizations that allow citizen data scientists to engage with massive data sets. Datashader and Bokeh – delivered with Anaconda, the leading Open Data Science platform – provide intuitive visualizations using novel approaches to represent data—all based on the functionality of the human visual system. Analysts can see the rich texture of complex data without being overwhelmed by what they see, which makes data science more accessible. 

Open Data Science Allows Us to Focus on Essentials

We are approaching a future where complexity and uncertainty are finally embedded into intelligent applications that everyone can use without having to understand the underlying math and computer science. By arming citizen data scientists with these powerful intelligent applications, we empower everyone with a virtual supercomputer at their fingertips that closes the gap between the status quo predictive analytics and the power of human cognition and “intuition.” As we gain confidence in these intelligent apps, we will embed the intelligence into devices and applications that will automatically adapt to ever changing conditions to determine the best, or set of best, courses of action. 

Take the budgeting process of a company, for example. Various projects, hurdle rates, costs, staffing and more can be analyzed to recommend the best use of corporate resources––cash, people, time––eliminating the political jockeying, while achieving conflicting objectives such as maximizing ROI, while minimizing costs. The actual execution results are used to feed into future budgeting so that the new budgets adapt based on the execution capabilities of the organization. Streamlining decisional overhead allows citizen data scientists to focus on what matters.

Through the interoperability of Open Data Science, separate analysis components will work together like perfectly interlocking Lego pieces. That’s a multiplier of value, limited only by the imagination of visionary citizen data scientists.

Builing the Empire with Open Data Science 

Open Data Science is ushering in the era of the citizen data scientist. It’s an exhilarating time for organizations, ripe with innovative opportunities. But, managing the transition can seem daunting.
 
How can organizations embrace Open Data Science solutions, while avoiding a quagmire of technical, process and legal issues? These points are addressed in a recent webinar, The Journey to Open Data Science, with content freely available.
 
Exciting changes are coming, brought to us by the citizen data scientists of the future.