4 Ways to Democratize Data Science in Your Organization

career advice data Feb 14, 2023
Data Scientists teaching others (abstract)

Recently, I was talking with an engineer who was working on a project with data scientists for the first time. During the recount of his experience, he kept reiterating that he did not know how helpful data scientists could be. This had me thinking about how we can make data science more accessible to others within our organizations.

Emphasize the value of data science work 

In the corporate world, money talks louder than science. Presenting facts about the data will not be as relevant to higher ups as ROI will. To emphasize the value of your work, present it strategically by solvingon problems with the highest level of strategic benefit first. Insist on tracking ROI for your projects, this will help open new doors for data science in your organization because it enumerates the value of your work.

Be willing to provide data science education

Collaborating on a project with coworkers outside of your data science department can help open new lines of communication. Take the time during these projects to explain the significance of the data and your findings. Additionally, seek opportunities to provide data and analytical literacy programs for ALL employees. Tailor content so that it will relate to each of the individual business functions. All means all.

Seek opportunities to consult 

Think outside of the box when it comes to your role. Help others do analytical work (i.e. an internal consultant model). Becoming an internal consultant can help mitigate potential misuse of data. Consulting will provide you with the opportunity to detect any process issues from the data science point of view.

Develop and communicate a broad vision of data science

Choose one research question or business problem that everyone throughout the entire organization can help with. This all-hands approach is about developing and communicating a broad vision of data science. (It's the 'moon landing' strategy). The more people you are able to make contact with, the more they are going to understand about data science and your role in the organization.


Data science offers immense value to an organization, both financially and operationally. This value can often be overlooked or underestimated due to a lack of understanding of the power and potential of data science. To close this knowledge gap and ensure maximum possible benefit from data science projects, it is important for data scientists to encourage dialogue with other departments on the same project. Doing so allows both sides to understand each other’s perspectives, including the goals and limitations from their respective angles. 

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