Fresh Blood: The Democratization of Enterprise Data Science


This article was contributed by James Kobielus, IBM Data Science Evangelist.

Disruptive data applications don’t germinate spontaneously. Organizations must plant the seeds through continuing investments in data science, cognitive computing, advanced analytics, data engineering, and other competencies.

Businesses should be investing in sustaining data science center of excellence in order to harness this powerful resource for business success. Data science is all about putting the people who engineer and model the data in constant touch with those who understand the applications and own the business outcomes being addressed.

Speed and agility depend on a having a strong data-oriented business culture. In spite of the mythology surrounding genius “unicorn” who produce data-driven brilliance in splendid isolation, smart people really do need each other. Mutual stimulation and support are critical to the creative process, and science, in any form, is a restlessly creative exercise. In most real-world context, data is a team sport in which each participant goads the others toward collaborative brilliance.

In establishing a data science center of excellence, CIOs, CDOs and their organizations need to look beyond specific teams toward diffusing these skills into a wider range of knowledge workers. Going forward, the businesses that truly disrupt their industries will be those who empower all of their personnel with competencies in data-driven app development, data science, machine learning, and cognitive computing. The organizations that lead the way will be those who cultivate data-science skills and platforms that go well beyond any single tool or platform, such as Hadoop and Spark, toward collaborative cross-disciplinary development on hybrid cloud data platforms.

Democratization of data science in the enterprise is a powerful trend, which some refer to as the “citizen data scientist” movement. At IBM Analytics, we are investing in a strategic initiative to encourage this trend by cultivating data-driven centers of excellence within our clients’ organizations. To accomplish this, we are now deploying a consultative engagement model: the IBM DataFirst Method. With the DataFirst Method, IBM Analytics is empowering clients who know that they must disrupt their industries or run the risk of being disrupted themselves by rivals who are better positioned to succeed in the digital age.

In partnership with Galvanize and the Bluemix Garage, IBM DataFirst Method leverages our own data science center of excellence to provide the strategy and expertise for helping clients see the desired end state for their business and to help them invest in the appropriate human capital, technology, and others resources needed to achieve business success. The key enabling technologies that unlock these disruptive opportunities include cloud services, open source analytics, cognitive computing, mobile apps, and social media.

IBM Analytics developed the DataFirst Method recognizing that clients are at varying levels of maturity in their readiness to establish data science centers of excellence and diffuse data science expertise throughout their business cultures. Sometimes, clients struggle to recognize what is possible with data. Or they may lack the know-how and technology to get to where they want to be.

To learn more about IBM DataFirst Method and to witness the next step in the democratization of data science in business, we urge you to attend the IBM DataFirst Launch Event on Tuesday, September 27 in New York. Speakers at the event will include Bob Picciano, SVP IBM Analytics; Ritika Gunnar, VP of Offering Management IBM Analytics; Jim Deters, CEO & Founder Galvanize; Travis Oliphant, CEO & Founder Continuum Analytics; Nik Green, Director of Business Intelligence & Data Management Delhaize America, and Mukesh Sehgal, Founder, President & CEO, RSG Media Systems. 

Register here to attend the DataFirst Launch Event in person.

Those attending the second training day of Strata + Hadoop World Event can easily walk to the DataFirst Launch Event, which is just a few blocks from Jacob Javits Center. Or, if you can’t make it, to watch the live stream. If you register for the live stream we’ll send you a calendar update and login link. You will also be able to follow the event on Twitter at @IBMBigData and using the hashtag #DataFirst.