Monday, 27 March 2017 21:09

Tibco helping citizen data scientists

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Tibco is aiming to help more people become citizen data scientists even though "most real data scientists hate this term", according to senior product manager Tim Alexander (pictured).

Noting recent Gartner predictions that by 2019 citizen data scientists — people with data skills working in various business areas — will be performing a larger number of advanced analyses than data scientists, and that by 2020 more than 40% of data science tasks will be automated, Alexander said Tibco's Spotfire helped people improve their skills.

It is aimed at those who, for example, know how to use confidence intervals, but don't know enough about them to be able to write code to calculate them.

"We want to bring everybody into the fold," he said, while being mindful of the need for real data scientists to provide governance as "we don't want citizen data scientists to hurt themselves".

Senior product marketing manager Lou Bajuk-Yorgan said there were three groups: a few data scientists; more analysts, engineers and scientists; and then the general business population. The issue was how to put data science skills into the general population.

Tibco's Spotfire ecosystem makes it possible to make data scientists' work more widely available, as it allows their analyses (which may have been done using R, SAS, H2O, Python, Hadoop or other tools) to be plugged into corporate applications.

He gave the example of a model designed to allow what-if analysis of offers made at the checkout (eg, the coupons you increasingly see at the foot of cash register dockets). Once an expert has constructed the underlying model, a much wider range of people can explore it.

Tibco's portfolio includes StreamBase, which can be used to assemble models used to analyse streams of data, for example to make real-time recommendations in an online store based on the shopper's activity and history.

The company also offers accelerators to act as starting points for those wishing to apply analytics to areas such as monitoring equipment, connected vehicles, and fraud prevention.

Disclosure: The writer attended Tibco Now 2017 Singapore as a guest of the company.

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Stephen Withers

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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