Technical Lead, Data Science and Ventures
Permanent: 39 hours per week
Salary range: £35,000 - £45,000 per annum, plus benefits
Based in Central London
Overview of the Role
The Behavioural Insights Team (BIT) is looking for an exceptional candidate (or candidates) to work across our BI Ventures and Data Science teams. The role will involve working closely with our Chief Scientist and the Head of Ventures to help develop BIT’s data science capacity and digital products that use behavioural and data science to solve real world problems. Successful applicants will be given time and encouragement to expand BIT’s work in these emerging areas, with the potential to progress quickly into a management role.
Overview of the Behavioural Insights Team
The then Prime Minister created BIT in 2010 to apply behavioural science to public policy in the UK. In February 2014 we became a social purpose company, owned by the Cabinet Office, Nesta (an innovation charity) and our employees.
The Behavioural Insights Team works with governments around the world in almost every area of policy. Whilst the subject and output of our projects varies considerably, there are common threads: we try to understand the contexts in which people make decisions; we notice small details; we find out what has and hasn’t worked before; and we measure everything we do as robustly as we can.
The company today spans three continents but has the same relaxed and non-hierarchical office culture as it did when it was a team of just eight employees. Though our origins are from within the UK Government, staff at BIT today come from countries across the world. We regularly eat lunch together; play sport; and socialise outside of work time.
As well as displaying professional excellence, BIT selects staff on the basis of our company values: always prioritising social impact; empiricism and humility; fresh thinking, collaboration; and public service.
About Ventures at BIT
BI Ventures is a relatively new team, led by the Head of Ventures and overseen by BIT’s Managing Director. We use cutting edge insights from the broad range of projects at BIT – including data science, successful interventions from field trials, qualitative research, policy research and academic literature. These unique insights are the starting point for the development of digital products to solve social issues. By using these insights, we can move quickly to prototyping solutions and piloting. Our objective is to create commercially sustainable startups so that we can drive social impact for the long term.
Ventures invests in the incubation and launch of digital products for social impact. We have a growing portfolio of products in a wide range of areas, including recruitment, consumer financial decision making and health and wellbeing. We invest at the pre-seed and seed stages - our first venture is now taking on external funding to support its next stage of development.
BI Ventures is strategically important to BIT and we aim to scale the programme over the next 6-18 months. There is an opportunity for the successful candidate to progress to a senior management role as BI Ventures grows.
About BIT Data Science
BIT Data Science is a new team at the Behavioural Insights Team, led by the Head of Data Science and the Chief Scientist.
The team will work to apply cutting edge techniques from the data sciences to the policy problems BIT confronts in its work. This will include:
- Using machine learning techniques to identify subgroups for which interventions are most effective;
- Identifying trends and patterns in data that suggest where interventions might work;
- Predicting future behaviours by individuals (such as students failing exams, or health or social care issues), so that interventions can be targeted most effectively; and
- Designing new interventions that make use of data to personalise messages to help people make better decisions for themselves.
Roles and Responsibilities
The roles and responsibilities of the successful candidate(s) will depend on their precise skills, qualifications, and experiences, but are likely to include:
- Working with colleagues at BIT to help develop insights based on large administrative datasets used by government departments;
- Being the technical lead across a range of BI Ventures startups in incubation;
- Independently identifying opportunities for projects or venture opportunities with high social impact;
- Merging existing administrative and public datasets with found datasets to help illuminate policy problems and predict where and when they might occur;
- Developing BIT’s expertise in data visualisation;
- Developing prototypes of BI Ventures products to support concept validation;
- Producing or product managing the production of pilot products to ship to early customers; and
- Working with third party developers (contractors, agencies or offshore) to build out features once a product has been successfully piloted.
The Behavioural Insights Team brings people together with different skill sets. You must be able to demonstrate a balance of skills across those listed below, but we do not expect you to be exceptional in all the areas listed.
- Experience or substantial training in using and analysing large data sets (such as administrative data) for the purposes of evaluation or predictive modelling;
- Experience in visualising data and the results of analysis in a way that makes complex findings accessible and useful to an audience of policymakers and practitioners;
- Ability to manage your own time across several projects, including some large scale projects;
- Creative thinking and pragmatism, challenging existing assumptions and thinking of solutions to implementation problems;
- Experience using statistical software (ideally R or Stata);
- Experience writing or integrating with APIs;
- Experience working on Iterative and Agile projects; and
- An interest in product design and user experience.
- A Masters or PhD in a relevant subject area (including, but not limited to, data science, computer science). The role provides an excellent opportunity for someone with a strong academic background to gain applied experience, working on a range of projects and with datasets made available by BIT’s work with governments;
- Experience working with third party developers (agency or offshore); and
- Experience working in a startup environment or on a small product team.