• Senior Director, Data Science and Analytics

    Job Locations US-IA-Iowa City | US-CO-Lakewood | US-Remote
    Posted Date 1 month ago(3/23/2018 4:42 PM)
    Job ID
    # of Openings
    Research Management
    25 - 50% Travel
  • Overview

    ACT is a nonprofit organization helping people achieve educational and workplace success.  Our programs are designed to boost lifelong learning in schools and workplaces around the world. Whether it's guiding students along their learning paths, enabling companies to develop their workforce, fostering parent, teacher, and counselor understanding of student progress, guiding job seekers toward career success, or informing policymakers about education and workforce issues. ACT is passionate about making a difference in all we do.

    Learn more about working at ACT at act.org.



    The Senior Director of Data Science and Analytics leads a team of data and research scientists to conduct data science projects with applications in assessment and learning analytics, such as automated scoring, forensic analyses to detect test administration anomalies, development of recommendation engines for instructional content, development of learner profiles, etc.



    Typical work-related activities include:

    • Lead a team of data and research scientists to develop data and algorithms in support of learning and assessment products and other business priorities.
    • Conduct research and development efforts to improve model and algorithm performance using new methods and data.
    • Oversee ongoing predictive model management; develop best practices around optimal model refresh and re-estimation.
    • Identify, create, and implement novel data sources and research new outcomes for inclusion in ACT’s progression of internally-developed predictive models.
    • Provide data-science-as-a-service to adjacent research teams and to the business.
    • Direct the work of professional staff. Attract, engage, develop, and retain top talent. Responsible for the team’s successful performance.
    • Partner with research data engineering leadership to ensure effective curation and governance of data resources.
    • Partner with research technology and enterprise technology leadership in identifying and implementing tools/software/architecture required to meet the analytics needs of the business.
    • Partner cross-functionally to investigate new solutions, processes, and opportunities in big data, visualization, and data mining.
    • Develop and maintain strong relationships across functional areas to ensure alignment of data science initiatives with ACT’s objectives.
    • Provide data science industry leadership and scholarly contributions through research, publications, presentations and partnerships.
    • Contribute to a culture of high achievement, industry leadership, innovation, and accountability.



    • Ph.D. or M.S. in a quantitative field such as Computer Science, Statistics, Mathematics, Economics, Decision Science, Operational Research, Engineering, Learning Science, or Psychometrics; Ph.D. preferred.



    • 10+ years’ experience in an analytical environment with advanced analytic rigor including 5+ years machine learning, deep learning, big data processing, predictive modeling, and/or time series modeling.
    • 8+ years in management roles leading direct reports of scientists and/or quantitative analysts to develop advanced analytics with demonstrated business value.
    • Experience in assessment or learning analytics industries preferred.
    • Scholarly contributions in data science preferred.


    Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:



    • Project and budget management, strong business acumen required.
    • Demonstrable expertise with machine learning techniques and algorithms: decision trees, penalized regressions, bootstrap aggregation, boosting, model ensembling, model stacking, and other methods of contemporary predictive analytics required.
    • Demonstrable expertise with multivariate statistical methods, including cluster analysis, linear PCA, and factor analysis required.
    • Expert R, Python required; C++ or Java preferred.
    • Strong understanding of databases, database architecture, and high performance computing frameworks (Spark, Hadoop) required.  Experience with data lakes preferred.
    • Familiarity with RESTful APIs and low-latency scoring technologies preferred.
    • Hands-on experience with natural language processing preferred.
    • Hands-on experience analyzing streaming data in production applications preferred.
    • Hands-on experience collaborating in Zepplin or Jupyter notebooks preferred.
    • Experience leading during organizational change management preferred.
    • Cross-functional leadership experience interacting with technology leadership to successfully roll-out new analytic capabilities including software and data preferred. 
    • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
    • Innovative thinker and thought leader.
    • Exceptional collaborator and team member.
    • Demonstrated willingness to both teach others and learn new techniques.
    • Agile mindset.


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