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Principal Data Scientist

In a nutshell:

IDEO is looking for a Principal Data Scientist to join our Palo Alto office. We’re looking for a self-starter who can lead creative teams, apply data science in the real world, and continually learn new things (both technical and non-technical) independently.

In this role, you will be involved in many parts of the design process and our business: proposal writing, client relationship development, user research, concept development, prototyping, project management, and design stewardship.

Data science is a new craft within IDEO and the role will include helping to scale our data science chops globally. Though we’re only hiring for our Palo Alto location at this time, we’re looking for colleagues who are excited about being mobile, and working with our community around the world.

Why is this role important for IDEO’s work?

IDEO is growing its data science team as part of its Design for Augmented Intelligence (D4AI) offering. Principal Data Scientists will make the biggest impact by designing and deploying intelligent systems, products, services, and experiences. We count on our data science colleagues to lead their project teams in data-driven thinking and provide expertise on the positive potential of intersecting intelligent technologies with human-centered design.

Principal Data Scientists also drive substantial impact as Project Leads. In other words, you will be responsible for leading one client project at a time, together with a team of 2-4 IDEO designers. Project leads at IDEO have a significant amount of freedom and responsibility. Your job is to deliver great work to the client, build a trusting relationship, and foster a creative and productive environment for the team. Project leads also contribute to the development of IDEO's business by joining new client conversations and developing existing relationships.

Once here you will:

  • Practice data science in a human-centered way, treating data as a richly complex and flexible medium for design
  • Tackle a range of large-scale and complex challenges. Key activities include design leadership, talent development, and business development
  • Build an understanding of the value and dynamics of client organizations and partner with clients to drive innovation
  • Dive into project work, performing exploratory data analyses, creating plots and interactive data visualizations, implementing various machine learning / statistical / optimization techniques
  • Shape the emerging data science discipline across IDEO globally, by demonstrating what it means for data science to have a disproportionately positive effect on human experiences
  • Continually hone and improve your data science skills by practicing your craft on project work, researching techniques and methods that are new to you, and applying these new methods in code
  • Work with an incredibly diverse and passionate group of world-class designers on a wide array of local and global challenges

What does IDEO offer you?

IDEO is a place unlike any other. It’s a place where you can solve complex challenges for our clients or the organization, alongside thoughtful individuals who lead with curiosity, empathy, and optimism. Sure we work hard, but we also intentionally craft moments that allow our community to pause, create, and connect. We encourage our community to bring their whole selves to work, respect the need for work-life balance, and allow for autonomy in the design process and your career.

Relevant experience:

We’re looking for people who are confident and flexible leaders, with demonstrated experience managing interdisciplinary teams where collaboration is imperative.

We're looking for people who demonstrate visible experience writing reusable code (probably mostly Python) to do exploratory data analysis, simulation, data visualization, and various machine learning and optimization techniques. This could mean a portfolio of open source contributions, personal projects, presentations, or other things that show that you were passionate about a subject, took some initiative to learn about it, and applied it to a real problem.

Beyond the above requirement, our ideal colleague:

  • Is interested in or even fluent in design thinking
  • Is not afraid to learn something new independently
  • Likes using math to solve problems
  • Has professional consulting experience, especially in a project management capacity
  • Continuously strives to improve on writing and speaking
  • Is comfortable with ambiguity and freedom, and can self manage
  • Strives to be an excellent and versatile computer programmer
  • Is eager to contribute to our culture of exploration, learning, and diversity of thought
  • Is interested in aligning with our values
  • Isn't scared by words like Python, TensorFlow, scikit-learn, SQL, d3.js, map-reduce, or R and, better yet, knows how to use them

Questions about you:

Tell us about a project on which you wrote data analysis code as part of a team. What went well on the project and what would you do differently next time? URLs to examples (slides, reports, apps, code) are encouraged.

What excites you about applying data science at IDEO?

Equal Opportunity Employer

IDEO is an equal opportunity employer; applicants are considered for all roles without regard to race, color, religious creed, sex, national origin, citizenship status, age, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, marital, parental, veteran or military status, unfavorable military discharge, or any other status protected by applicable federal, state or local law.