Lead Data Scientist

Marks & Spencer

Paddington, London, UK

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Job purpose: Lead the Data Science remit with the Customer Team and general M&S analytical community whilst delivering best in class solutions and insight to answer commercial questions

Reporting to: Head of Insight Platforms

Scope of the role: Internal Business Team and Data Solutions

Key accountabilities and measures

  • Manage a Senior Data Scientist o prioritise and solve real-life business problems within a data science remit which align to business priorities and enable M&S to grow/better serve its customer base
  • Use expert knowledge of data science techniques and statistics to both lead and regularly deliver complex projects with a robust commercial approach being mindful that operationalisation is a key success criteria
  • Deliver high quality and actionable data science by performing ad hoc analysis to predict, measure and interpret business trends.
  • Demonstrate a culture of analytical ‘curiosity’ through innovative, data driven insights on business questions
  • Lead the data science agenda within Customer Insight which is in its infancy – develop a long-term vision of the team, clearly demonstrate an expertise above and beyond current capabilities and introduce data science solutions into everyday business problems
  • Implement a highly visual and commercial approach when delivering data science projects that engages and challenges the thinking of non / less technical audiences. Clearly and concisely communicate data science insight that then gets buy in
  • Similarly work alongside the rest of the Customer Insight Analytics team to champion/implement self-service and data-driven decisioning for the CI client base with a strong emphasis on automation to lift the team out of BAU
  • Act as consultant to CI analysts and other M&S functions, such as Marketing, Merchandising or Logistics to identify opportunities and appropriate solutions to problems whilst prioritising, influencing Senior Leadership and forming plans of the best course of action
  • Continuously scan and maintain a presence within the market for opportunities in optimisation, analytical techniques, visualisation, tools and big data working with M&S Big data / IT Teams to prioritise and scope improvements
  • Engage the CI analytical community by pushing best practice, helping coach data scientists and upskilling business analysts

Key skills

  • Significant experience in landing data science capability, applying the most effective statistical /machine learning models on real world commercial problems and having measured the business benefits
  • A team leader who has line manager experience with a high performing team
  • Degree level or higher in numerate subject is preferred e.g. Mathematics, Statistics, Operational Research
  • Strong statistical background applied across a number of areas; Segmentation, NLP, predictive modelling and recommendation systems. Experience using both simple and complex statistical models such as; regression, clustering, affinity analysis, neural networks, random forest, dimensionality reduction
  • Comprehensive proficiency in key programming languages (e.g. Python, Java, R, SPARK, SQL, etc) and software development skills.
  • Expert in mining large & complex data sets - both structured and unstructured data and including (but not limited to) efficient extraction of data, transformation and application
  • Able to demonstrate innovation in approach and application
  • Development of collaborative relationships with colleagues across the business
  • Clear communication skills are essential as the role will require translating data science into actionable insight and influencing at different levels within M&S
  • Experience and keen interest in coaching & developing Data Scientists

Key relationships and stakeholders

  • CI and Loyalty wider team
  • Internal clients from the business, especially various Leadership teams


Closing date: February 21st 2019, 11:55 PM.


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