Lead Data Scientist

The Lead, Data Scientist will lead Zest’s ML team to deliver technically excellent, highly predictive yet explainable models to drive Zest’s businesses. The Lead, Data Scientist will also communicate and champion Zest’s underwriting technologies to external constituencies including conferences, press, and potential clients.

You will lead the team to develop radically new methods for manipulation and prediction that will enable us to provide fair, transparent credit. Using a combination of machine learning technology and vast amounts of data sources, we seek to transform the credit market while expanding our team into interesting and revolutionary frontiers within the credit world.

In this role you will:

  • Lead a team of 5+ data scientists in developing high-quality, robust, predictive and explainable algorithms that produce robust and scalable real-time predictions
  • Define Zest’s modeling strategy and manage pipeline for internal and external modeling efforts
  • Translate unstructured business problems into well-defined machine learning projects
  • Collaborate with a cross-functional team of Engineers, Product Managers, and Business Analysts to identify and manage high leverage opportunities for modeling work
  • Represent ZestFinance in calls, meetings, conferences to advance Zest’s position as the world’s leading ML team
  • Visibly drive innovation by incorporating new modeling capabilities and/or pioneering data sources
  • Develop and evangelize best practices for scoping, building, validating, and monitoring modeling projects
  • Recruit, motivate and develop members of the data science team

We are looking for:

  • Masters/PhD Degree in Math, Computer Science, Statistics, or a related quantitative field.
  • Expert command of statistical analysis, algorithm development, and state-of-the-art tools and methodologies for data science
  • 5+ years creating predictive models using advance machine learning techniques
  • 2+ years managing a team of data scientists
  • Expert command of SQL and R or Python as applied to data science
  • Experience developing real-time production data pipelines
  • Experience interacting with external clients is a plus

Perks and benefits:

  • People – the best part of Zest
  • Robust healthcare plans, matching 401K and unlimited vacation time
  • Dog friendly office with lounge areas, video games and gigantic jigsaw puzzles
  • On-site gym with yoga, salsa and other employee run fitness classes
  • Generous family leave policy (6 month maternity leave/3 month paternity leave)
  • Tuition reimbursement, conference allowance and Zest talks
  • Complimentary massages, manicures, pedicures and more
  • Daily catered lunches from LA’s best restaurants and fully stocked kitchen


About ZestFinance: 

ZestFinance, Inc. applies its unique credit-decisioning technology platform — based on data science and machine learning — to help lenders effectively predict credit risk so they can increase revenues, reduce risk and ensure compliance. ZestFinance was founded in 2009 by Douglas Merrill and a team of former Google employees with the mission of making fair and transparent credit available to everyone.

We are committed to diversity in hiring, professional development, and everyday discussion.  Zest is determined to hire crazy smart people who are different from each other to create broad thinking, lots of different ideas, and by extension, the best team possible.





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