HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is the UK’s tax payments and customs authority. We collect the money that pays for the UK’s public services and help families and individuals with targeted financial support. We help the honest majority to get their tax right and make it hard for the dishonest minority to cheat the system.
Data scientists in HMRC tackle a variety of challenges:
- Steering compliance activity worth hundreds of millions of pounds by building predictive models.
- Modelling key operational processes, such as the flow of customs declarations following EU departure.
- Deriving key strategic and tactical insights from large bodies of documents collected by HMRC, such as statutory returns.
- Providing senior leaders with a clear view of progress toward the adoption of digital channels of communication by building live information dashboards.
The data science vacancies are spread across four teams, located in two HMRC directorates; Knowledge, Analysis and Intelligence and the Chief Data Office. The teams enjoy strong links and have much in common by way of analytical approaches and general culture.
Examples of output delivered and currently worked on include:
- A random forest document classification tool that categorises hundreds of thousands of legal documents at a time;
- An array of enterprise-level predictive models that employ techniques such as gradient boosting, random forests and elastic nets;
- An RShiny dashboard that uses natural language processing to analyse free-text feedback and incorporate insights into service improvements;
- Custom R packages that aid data visualisation, processing and analysis;
- Interpretation of machine learning models through techniques such as LIME and SHAP; and
- Semantic models that synthesise customer feedback regarding HMRC’s online services.
We use R, SAS and SQL, with clear coding standards that encourage replicability, reuse, test-driven development and version control. We manage most of our data science projects using Agile methodology.
Your work will span the full data science life cycle:
- Building and maintaining statistical and machine learning models;
- Engaging with our partners to understand their needs, identify where data science can add value, and be a key contact for particular products;
- Learning and applying novel analytical techniques to ensure outputs are as effective as possible;
- Writing R packages to effectively deploy our own work and support the work of analyst colleagues;
- Designing, monitoring and evaluating trials to measure the value of our work;
- Supporting continuous improvement to operational models and processes dependent on them; and
- Networking across HMRC, government, and wider industry to share our work and learn from others.
You will also have the opportunity to put your previous experience in data science to good use by:
- Supporting and mentoring junior analysts;
- Assuming technical leadership on projects; and
- Leading on improvement initiatives.
There will be ample opportunity to develop data science skills even further, and to explore novel approaches in the context of project delivery, formal training and independent worktime learning.
Successful applicants will join the Government Digital, Data and Technology profession as Data Scientists.
Required Experience. We'll assess this using the Personal Statement you provide as part of your written application.
- A genuine enthusiasm for data science;
- An ability to use modelling techniques intelligently, adapting them where necessary;
- An ability to identify new opportunities for the application of data science techniques;
- An ability to communicate effectively, verbally and in writing;
- An ability to explain analytical approaches to specialists and lay audiences alike;
- Experience of a programming language (any language is fine, though we use mainly R, SAS and SQL);
- Experience of working effectively with complex datasets; and
- Experience of successful delivery of data science products.
We'll assess you against these behaviours during the selection process:
- Seeing the Big Picture
- Delivering at Pace
We'll assess you against these technical skills during the selection process:
- Domain Expertise
- Applied maths, statistics, and scientific practices.
- Learning and development tailored to your role
- An environment with flexible working options
- A culture encouraging inclusion and diversity
- A Civil Service pension
If you are applying for a role in an office within a regional centre location or a transitional or specialist site, then the following may apply: Daily Travel Assistance will be available for this role, provided the successful applicant is a current HMRC employee and meets the eligibility requirements outlined in the department’s Daily Travel Assistance guidance.
Apply before 11:55 pm on Monday 22nd February 2021