The purpose of the Senior Data Scientist role is to transform and model large and complex data sets that provides valuable insights to the business while contributing towards leveraging data as a competitive advantage for Shoprite. The role works collaboratively across a multi-disciplinary, agile team, delivering large scale projects while extracting, analysing and interpreting data from a range of sources, using algorithmic, data mining, artificial intelligence, machine learning and statistical tools, to uncover trends and patterns that support business objectives. The Senior Data Scientist is a logical and analytical thinker requiring in-depth technical, analytical and communication skills to infer meaning from data and translate these in a concise, cohesive and engaging story.

Role Description

  • Work with multiple business stakeholders to identify business requirements and model and frame business scenarios that are meaningful and that answers key business questions.
  • Work closely with data and software teams to translate business requirements into fit-for-purpose, robust and scalable solutions. 
  • Develop, validate and execute algorithms and predictive models to collect, merge, analyse, extract and interpret large and complex datasets.
  • Use data to investigate complex problems, detect patterns and extrapolate insights that delivers business value and impact.
  • Develop data structures and pipelines to organise, collect and standardise data.
  • Perform sophisticated data preparation in order to reduce and shape data. Clean and validate data and assure its integrity, accuracy, completeness, and uniformity.
  • Adhere to stringent quality assurance and documentation standards using version control and code repositories.
  • Test data mining models to select the most appropriate one for use on a project.
  • Cross-validate models to ensure their generalizability.
  • Assess the effectiveness of data sources and data-gathering techniques to improve data collection methods.
  • Communicate and present analytical findings, results and reports to stakeholders, using data visualisation techniques to tell compelling stories.
  • Effectively structure and plan projects, timelines, and deliverables, weighing business and technical trade-offs as required.
  • Conduct research from which to develop prototypes and proof of concepts.
  • Guide and support new and emerging data scientists with new and complex projects and approve the quality of specific project outputs.
  • Share insights across teams to inform collaborative efforts.
  • Understand and apply best practices for own work while supporting others to improve delivery standards and adopt best practices.
  • Stay updated on the latest research and developments in Data Science and adjacent fields to ensure the latest technology, techniques and methods are always applied.

Qualifications and experience

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Data Science, Computer Science, Mathematics, Statistics, Information Technology, Information Systems or a related field – (essential).
  • Post Graduate Degree in the above or related fields – (desired).
  • +4 years’ experience in a similar role with demonstrable experience working with complex data sets and applying machine learning, deep learning, data mining, modelling and mathematical and/or statistical concepts and methodology to support business objectives – (essential).
  • Excellent knowledge of SQL, Python and data science toolkits – (essential). 
  • Strong proficiency in MS Office 365 with advanced Excel skills – (essential).
  • Experience delivering project outcomes using design thinking, lean and agile principles – (desired).
  • Experience in a retail, commercial or IT environment – (desired).

Key competencies and work ethic

  • A data specialist with the skill of practicing the art of Data Science. Solves complex data problems using their experience in scientific disciplines. Able to dig deep to uncover the right trends and patters that can be optimised.
  • Strong analytical and quantitative thinking skills – Able to collect, organise and assimilate disparate, multiple and complex pieces of data to draw sound conclusions and arrive at optimal solutions.
  • Strong technical aptitude with a passion and excitement for data, new technologies and solutions and its range of possibilities, applications and value for the business.  
  • High level of self-motivation and drive to meet and exceed on goals and expectations. Able to work independently and use own initiative to deal with challenges across a range of problem-solving challenges as and when they arise.
  • Detailed, organised and quality focused – Has an affinity for detail, structure and efficiency, balancing planning and execution. Is diligent and vigilantly watches over work processes, tasks and outputs to ensure accuracy while independently actioning and correcting any quality concerns.   
  • Strong communication and presentation skills – Ability to communicate effectively both verbally and in writing. Able to explain and simply complex technical concepts and confidently convey information to a variety of stakeholders. Able to compile visual reports that tells a concise and compelling story.
  • Team player and collaborative partner - Works effectively across functions and as part of a multi-disciplinary team. Is collaborative and able to build sound, professional relationships with internal and external stakeholders.
  • Ability to work under pressure and under tight time constraints, efficiently prioritising workloads, balancing multiple and competing priorities and managing time effectively in a high-volume, fast-moving environment.  
  • Is curious and open to learning with a strong interest in data, discovery and trying new ideas. Curious about exploring and answering business analytics questions.