Head of Data Science

The Head of Data Science plays a leadership position in the data science department and is responsible for overseeing activities of the junior data science team ensuring proper execution of duties and alignment with the business’s overall vision. The Head of Data Science is responsible for the creation of new data sciences capabilities for the business by envisioning and executing strategies that will influence improvement of the business’s performance by enabling informed decision making.

The Head of Data Science proactively works with business executives and various departmental heads across the business in order to provide advanced analytic data modeling systems. The Head of Data Science designs and launches innovative and complex analytic models, utilizing a blend of contemporary and traditional data mining techniques, which he applies to both structured and unstructured data sets.

The Head of Data Science leads the development of big data capabilities and utilization as well as the coordination of cross-functional analytic initiatives.

Objectives and Responsibilities of the Head of Data Science

Leadership/Supervisory Role: This is the first and most prominent role of the Head of Data Science and in this leadership position he is responsible for playing the role of leading innovation within the business and, as such, he defines how the business creates additional value through the utilization of its data assets and analytics.

He is tasked with consistently identifying and monitor key business risks and realizing the data needs of the business. The Head of Data Science manages the junior data science teams and oversees all activities ensuring alignment with departmental and business-wide vision and strategies.

In this position, it is also the Head of Data Science role to drive education and evangelization of data sciences throughout the business by communicating the vision and use cases of advanced analytics.

The Head of Data Science manages the business’s external data and analytics partners and plays a leading role in the development and design of the departmental vision, capabilities, infrastructure, and quarterly/annual roadmap for the launch of data sciences capabilities. It is also the role of the Head of Data Science to build the business’s data science talent needs through role definition, recruitment, and development of a team of data scientists that will jointly move the business’s agenda forward.

The Head of Data Science additionally plays a mentorship role to key data science positions, guiding them in them through the execution of their duties, and encouraging their professional growth in preparation for their occupation of his position in future.

Strategy: The Head of Data Science also plays a strategic role where he is tasked with continuously improving the business’s data analysis model, creating industry-leading performance through the leveraging of new and creative data-sources, and employing the latest in machine learning in the department.

The Head of Data Science also scopes, designs, and implements machine-learning models to support the business’s numerous initiatives and programs with a view of achieving overall objectives and targets. In this position, he matches and optimizes algorithms that are fundamental to the business’s products/services identifying better matches that will ultimately improve the consumer experiences.

Collaboration: The role of the Head of Data Science is a highly collaborative one and in this position he works closely with other Data and Analytics Teams, inclusive of data analytics, data warehousing, and data engineering teams in creating big data applications through the utilization of structured and unstructured data, designing optimal data architecture, and experimenting on new machine learning techniques.

The Head of Data Science also works collaboratively with the senior Data and Analytics management and serves as a trusted advisor to this executive leadership in the creation and deployment of useful insights that inform and activate business strategies across the business. This collaboration sees the Head of Data Science translate models and validate key findings to Data and Analytics executive leadership.

Analytics: The Head of Data Science will also play an analytical role where he will drive experimental data modeling designs within the business. He will constantly run A/B tests in order to evaluate changes in the business’s product/services. It is also the duty of the Head of Data Science to track the business’s performance against data analysis model and monitor trends in key business KPIs, providing valuable insights to relevant departments for overall business performance improvement.

The Head of Data Science will be required to draft regular reports for senior Data and Analytics reporting on departmental performance and presenting recommended models and departmental strategies for approval.

Knowledge: The Head of Data Science is tasked with maintaining a deep understanding the business’s marketplace dynamics. He takes initiative and conducts exploratory data analyses and experimental designs, which will help the business to better understand trends and behavior within these markets and settle on the most suitable strategies to drive success and achievements of goals and targets.

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

Required Qualifications of the Head of Data Science

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

Experience: A candidate for this position has to have had at least 7 years of working experience in a data science position, preferably working as a Senior Data Scientist. The candidate for this position will have to be highly proficient and experienced in scripting languages and have rapid prototyping skills, that is, fluency in SQL, Python, Perl, Java, VB, among others.

The candidate must also have a proven and successful experience track record of leading high-performing data analyst teams leading through the successful performance of advanced quantitative analyses and statistical modeling that positively impact business performance.

A suitable candidate will also have had experience working with and influencing and possess vast experience and expertise with probability and statistics, inclusive of machine learning, experimental design, and optimization. As a bonus he will also have had experience working with Hadoop.

Communication Skills: Communication skills will also be a necessity for the Head of Data Science. As a departmental leader he must be able to convey important messages and information down the line in order to ensure proper exception of duties by junior data science personnel.

Communication skills will also be a necessity for the Head of Data Science and in his collaborative capacity where information must be clearly articulated between the collaborating parties in order to ensure effective, lasting, and mutually beneficial collaborative relationships.

The Head of Data Science will also have to draft various reports and presentations that will be used by senior Data and Analytics management and executives for decision making and strategy development.

Ms Office/Software: A suitable candidate will have outstanding skills in the use of Ms Word, Ms Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook, which will all be necessary for the creation of both visually and verbally engaging reports and presentations, for senior data science management, executives, and stakeholders.

The candidate must also demonstrate exceptionally good skills in SQL server reporting services, analysis services, Tableau, integration services, Salesforce, or any other data visualization tools.

Technological Savvy/Analytical Skills: The Head of Data Science will also need to be technologically adept and especially demonstrate an understanding of database and computer software.

The Head of Data Science must also be highly skilled in statistical and modeling packages such as SAS, Statistica, Matlab, R, visualization and other advanced analysis tools. He will also be an expert in data management programming such as SQL, PL-SQL, and Python as well as being familiar win the workings of motion-tracking data and time-series analyses.

Interpersonal Skills: A suitable candidate for this position will be a team-builder, be result-oriented, be proactive and self-driven requiring minimal supervision, be open and welcoming to change, be a creative and strategic thinker, have innovative problem-solving skills, be highly organized, have an ability to handle multiple simultaneous tasks prioritize and meet tight deadlines, and demonstrate calmness in times of uncertainty and stress.

People Skills: The Head of Data Science is a people person who is able to form strong, lasting, and meaningful bonds with others people. This will make him an approachable and trustworthy individual who junior personnel readily follow and who senior Data and Analytics executives and stakeholders trust and who’s insights they give credit to, making execution of his duties that much easier.

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