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#AFPJargonWatch: Citizen Data Scientist

  • By Bryan Lapidus, FP&A
  • Published: 9/9/2019

#AFPJargonWatch is an occasional series to help finance professionals better understand the changing knowledge and definitions of the industry.

The latest installment of #AFPJargonWatch looks at citizen data scientists.


A citizen data scientist is person who is not a formally trained data scientist, but uses data science techniques (i.e., statistics, machine learning or sophisticated models) to discover new insights and create predictive models to improve outcomes. 


You may have heard that we have a lot of data—and there are not enough data scientists in the world to perform all the analyses we want to do. Enter citizen data scientists (CDSs)—hearty folks who can complement the formal scientists. CDSs have intimate business knowledge to bring questions and improve the research. Digital tools are democratizing data analytics by making the capabilities more accessible; digital transformations of business and finance are creating more demand for this role. Who knows? Maybe you could be the next one.


  • Worldwide data volume is set to rise by 61% between 2018 and 2025—eventually reaching 175 zettabytes (IDC).
  • Fully 50% of companies won’t have enough AI and data literacy skills to “achieve business value” by 2020. (Gartner)
  • CDSs will overtake data scientists in the amount of advanced analysis produced by the end of 2019. (Gartner)


AFP is holding a Virtual Roundtable on Thursday, September 12, titled Creating Citizen Data Scientists, A Case Study from Novelis. Register here.   

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