Director Data Science

The Director Data Science leads the entire Data Science team, that is, the data scientists and the data engineers. The Director Data Science manages the junior data science teams, ensuring proper execution of functions within the department.

The Director Data Science will lead the department’s engagement with business stakeholders and executives and partners with these stakeholders and executives in enhancing the existing data management methodologies and developing new approaches and methodologies.

Objectives and Responsibilities of the Director Data Science

Leadership/Supervisory Role: As mentioned, the primary role of the Director Data Science is heading the data science department. In this position, the Director Data science is responsible for developing the team’s culture, hiring standards, and HR policies. He develops the data science vision and oversees its adoption among data science departments.

The Director Data Science oversees the data science department’s training and competency development, determining best practices and work standards. The Director Data Science initiates data science programs across the department not only with a view of improving departmental performance but also with a focus on revenue growth and achievement of the business’ overall targets and objectives.

The Director Data Science additionally leads the department in the development of new insights, advanced modeling techniques, and data science capabilities. In his leadership capacity, the Director Data Science is also responsible for the preparation of white papers, conference presentations, and scientific publications.

The Director Data Science personally works on challenging fundamental data science issues where necessary, realizes, and develops solutions independently. The Director Data Science is ultimately accountable for the project portfolio within the data science department.

In this capacity, the Director Data Science is also plays a mentorship role where he encourages the professional growth of key data science personnel, assisting in the execution of their duties upon request, and readying them for the assumption of his functions in his retirement or absence.

Strategy: The Director Data Science also plays a strategic role and in this position he is tasked with building and managing new data tables that support data collection in the department, cross-channel data integration, data visualization, dashboards, predictive analytics, and data mining.

In this position, the Director Data Science establishes actionable KPIs and success metrics and ensures that there is timely and accurate reporting. In his strategic role, the Director Data Science leverages data science tools and techniques in analyzing large data-sets that will enable him to develop custom models and algorithms to uncover insights, trends, and patterns in the data, which will be useful in availing informed courses of action.

In this capacity, the Director Data Science will create data science platforms to test and experiment with techniques inclusive of advanced analytics, behavioral modeling, and churn capitalizing on new data science approaches that can yield revenue for the business.

Analytics: As expected, the Director Data Science will also play an analytical role where he will be responsible for the evaluation of analytics and machine learning technologies in use in the business. The Director Data Science communicates the findings to key stakeholders through reports and presentations with whom he makes any necessary changes.

It is also the role of the Director Data Science to design and architect data processing pipelines for the department. In this analytical position, the Director of Data Science further drives the collection of new data as well as the refinement of existing business data sources.

He utilizes SQL, Hadoop, and MySQL languages and technologies for the purpose of extracting and processing data for the business’s analytical needs.

Collaboration: The role of the Director Data Science is also a collaborative one and in this position, the Director Data Science partners with senior business executives and key stakeholders in creating the data science roadmap tailored to constantly aid data governance across the business and improve the overall business performance.

The Director Data Science partners with other non-technical departments within the business assisting them in understanding how data science can benefit them and improve their effectiveness and performance. The Director Data Science works closely with the IT department within the business for the purpose of facilitating easy and effective access to computing and data resources within the business.

Knowledge: The Director Data Science takes initiative and stays up to date with the latest data science trends, techniques, and best practices, determining how to incorporate the most suitable practices in the department.

Other Duties: The Director of Data Science performs similar duties as he deems fit for the execution of his duties and duties as delegated by the Chief Data Officer or the Employer.

Required Qualifications of the Director Data Science

Education: The Director Data Science has to have a master’s degree (PhD preferred) in Statistics, Machine Learning, Mathematics, Computer Science, Economics, or any other related quantitative field. An equivalent of the same in working experience is also acceptable for the position.

Experience: The candidate for this position will have had at least 10 years of working experience in a data science capacity, preferably working as a Head of Data Science. He will also have a demonstrated and successful experience leading a data science team through the implementation of new data science models, tools, and techniques that lead to improvement if business performance due to a continued culture of informed decision-making.

The candidate will also have extensive experience solving analytical issues through quantitative approaches and machine learning methods as well as vast experience using advanced statistical methods, data mining techniques, and information retrieval. A suitable candidate will show comfort analyzing and manipulating large, complex, high-dimensional data from numerous sources.

The candidate will also have had experience working with distributed computing tools such as Hadoop as well as experience working with big data technologies such as SQL, A suitable candidate will also have had vast experience with a programming languages, for example, Python.

Communication Skills: Communication skills are a must have for the Director Data Science. Due to his leadership position, the clarity of his instruction and information as passed down the line to junior data science personnel will greatly determine the performance and efficiency of the data science department.

The Director Data Science will also play a collaborative role where he interacts with non-technical departments and, as such, he will need to have exceptional communication skills in order to be able to tailor and convey technical messages in a clear and understandable manner, leading to business-wide improvement of data management, informed decision making, and ultimate improvement in performance.

The Director Data Science also has to draw reports and presentations for Data and Analytics and key stakeholders to serve as valuable insights and aid in departmental decision making. These reports and presentation must, therefore, be clearly articulated, becoming clear, engaging, and convincing.

Ms Office Software: A suitable candidate for this position will be highly proficient in the use of Ms Word, Ms Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook, all necessary for the creation of both visually and verbally engaging reports and presentations, for Data and Analytics executives, and stakeholders. The candidate must also have demonstrated skills in SQL server reporting services, Tableau, analysis services, Salesforce, integration services, or any other data visualization tools.

Technological Savvy/Analytical Skills: The candidate will further possess superior computer and technological knowledge/skills. He will also have passion for analytics and empirical research. The candidate will have a flexible analytic approach and be proficient in one or more scripting languages, for example, Python or R.

The candidate will be capable of using SQL to query databases and will also be an expert working with both relational and non-relational data bases systems such as SQL, Redshift, PostgreSQL, or Vertica. The candidate must also be highly familiar with modern machine learning techniques for classification and regression as well as knowledge of A/B testing, experimental design, and general statistical modeling.

Interpersonal Skills: A candidate for this position must be a result-driven individual, he must be a strategic and creative thinker, be highly analytical, be highly organized, be able to handle multiple simultaneous tasks and meet aggressive deadlines, be a team player, be comfortable working in cross-functional settings, be comfortable working with business executives and top leadership, be proactive and a self-starter, and have an ability to stay calm in times of adversity and uncertainty.

Leadership/People Skills: A candidate for this position must have exceptional leadership skills, portraying an ability to lead a cross-functional group in a unified direction as well as an ability to influence and move top business leadership and executives. The Director Data Science must be a people person, demonstrating an ability to form strong and meaningful connections with others.

He will be approachable and relatable which will allow junior data science and collaborating personnel to easily follow and trust in his directives and insights. This will also inspire trust and confidence in Data and Analytics executives and key stakeholders who will readily give credit to his insights and judgments.

Career path