Full-Time Data Scientist at Sparx
Location: Sparx Head Office in Exeter.
Term: Full time, Permanent.
Salary: £28-50k dependent on experience (plus generous benefits and relocation package).
Reporting to: Product Director.
Here at Sparx, we’re working flat out to scientifically investigate what it is that makes the best learning experience. By using real-time data to drive an evidence based approach to education, we’re developing an extraordinary new technology for the classroom that is redefining the limits of what young people can achieve and is helping us work out what works (and what doesn’t) in the field of education.
Our platform for maths uses custom built content and a powerful, data-driven mobile framework to deliver a tailored set of exercises, games and incentives to the student.
We’re looking for people with a deep passion for education and a belief in the power of technology to improve it. Things move fast at Sparx so we need people who assume excellence is a given and who are curious, creative and technically brilliant. People who want a challenge; people who want to make a difference.
As a Data Scientist at Sparx, you’ll be carrying out research and analysis into how technology can be used to optimise learning that will determine the future of how the next generation learns.
The scale of data you’ll be working with is big – one year group in one school generates 10,000 data points in just one day – and the rapidity of change, and potential for impact is vast.
You’ll be blending the use of maths, analytics, algorithms and your understanding of human behaviour on a daily basis to drive the development of the Sparx system and inform strategic decisions. Working together with our team of Content Scientists – our subject gurus – you will be developing engaging new ways to teach topics that unlock a whole new world of understanding for students.
- Show what’s working (and what’s not) on the Sparx system through the analysis of data, observation of school lessons, and talking to teachers.
- Put the data through its paces, performing rigorous statistical evaluation to look at the bigger picture, and provide actionable solutions and insights that will guide product development.
- Develop and implement sophisticated algorithms and analytical routines to work in real-time and with historical data.
- Proactively problem solve and provide suggestions and theories for improvements in lesson flow, content, rewards and the algorithms that underpin it all, as well as developing and specifying new tools and procedures to improve Sparx.
- Produce compelling visualisations, displaying data in appropriate formats that both scientists and non-scientists are able to understand and use.
- Work with the wider Sparx team to ensure the product is the best it can be.
- Be a good team player – help out if someone asks.
- Be positive and infectiously enthusiastic about the values and vision of Sparx.
You’re a champion of the scientific method with a rigorous, disciplined approach and ruthless attention to detail. Complicated mathematics comes naturally to you, and you are quite at home working with vast, messy data sets. But you’re equally happy to use a simple solution if that’s the right way to approach a problem and not get excited by complexity for its own sake – you’re happy to adopt the right approach for the problem in front of you. You’ll also be able to simplify complex ideas and communicate them clearly to those who aren’t as number savvy, validating your own findings and explaining their implications to a varied audience. With an insatiably inquisitive nature and razor sharp analytical skills, you’ll be a natural at using data to question, challenge, solve problems and tell stories beyond just pointing to the numbers.
On the whole, you’re a whirlwind of activity: proactive, dynamic and enthusiastic with a scary ability to multi-task and focus on the detail, without losing sight of the bigger picture. Things move quickly at Sparx so you’ll be able to work under pressure, to tight deadlines and be able to adapt in the face of constantly changing priorities and a fluctuating workload.
Teamwork and creativity are key here so you’ll be a great team worker who can work with software developers to create algorithms and models rather than relying on out-of-the-box ones. You’ll also be committed to the success of the project, with the ability to focus on what’s best for the team and the wider business, above your own objectives.
In terms of specifics, the list below gives an overview of some of the skills and experiences we’re looking for:
- Minimum 2:1 degree in Statistics, Mathematics, Decision Science or a related subject.
- Postgraduate qualification in Statistics or a related subject, plus 2 years post-university experience.
- Demonstrated experience in analysing large data sets using R, SAS, SPSS, Matlab or SQL.
- Comfortable programming in at least one language (C++, Java, Python etc.).
- Highly proficient knowledge of Microsoft Office (includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Exchange, and web browser).
- Teaching and/or tutoring experience and knowledge of education and the school system.
We’re about living life, not putting it on hold. Our generous benefits include substantial holiday leave and a company pension once you’ve completed your probationary period. We also have a range of on-site facilities for all employees to use free of charge. There’s a five-a-side football pitch just outside, an onsite gym, a running track and pool table, a 2012 Olympic table tennis table and a café serving free, delicious, local, and organic food. On top of this, you’ll be able to see Dartmoor from your office window, and get to the beach in 20 minutes. Plus we’re constantly organising events and activities to support our charities, and to socialise. Our work is serious, but we’re all about having fun while we do it!
To find out more, and to see the other roles we are recruiting for, please visit our website at www.sparx.co.uk.