Gartner defines a citizen data scientist in “Citizen Data Science Augments Data Discovery and Simplifies Data Science” as a person who creates or generates models that use advanced diagnostic analytics or predictive and prescriptive capabilities, but whose primary job function is outside the field of statistics and analytics. Citizen data scientists are “power users” who can perform both simple and moderately sophisticated analytical tasks that would previously have required more expertise. Today, citizen data scientists provide a complementary role to expert data scientists. They do not replace the experts, as they do not have the specific, advanced data science expertise to do so. But they certainly bring their OWN expertise and unique skills to the process.1
Is it a fad? Is it a trend? Will it stick?
Is it bullshit or the way of the future?
My personal opinion is we should get the PhD's and veterans together and perform some "citizens arrests" on some of these people who don't know statistics lol. Granted I personally empathize with them a little bit, because I personally think that we should be using GUI's more often for rapid development and efficiency improvements instead of staring at the terminal all day. Also I think that Gartner reports are sort of a bullshitish (they're not all useless) publication every since they over pumped consumer 3D printing and missed out on the industrial trend into additive manufacturing.
1 Gartner: Citizen Data Scientists and Why They Matter