Data Scientist Forecasting

Company:
Location: Utrecht

*** Mention DataYoshi when applying ***

How do you
make our customers happy?

Bol.com is changing retail to make daily life simpler for 12 million customers. Together with 42,000 partners who do business on our retail tech platform, we offer over 28 million articles and achieve peak sales of 700 orders per minute (Black Friday 2020). That’s a tremendous number of customer-partner matches ‘made in heaven’. It also makes for a heavenly (read: data-rich) setting. Your role is to leverage this data to enhance the customer journey. Because that’s what our Data Science & Advanced Analytics team does every day. By making already good algorithms divine!

Your responsibilities
as Data Scientist Forecasting

As Data Scientist in the Forecasting Team, you use the vast amounts of data at our disposal to facilitate smart decision-making. A high degree of accuracy is only part of the equation; ideally, every forecast will directly contribute to making the lives of customers and partners a little easier. So our first step is always to validate hypotheses and use cases with basic models. When we are confident we are solving the right issue and can provide the right level of detail, we incrementally refine our forecasts until we hit the bull’s-eye.

The forecasting team supports the entire organization. This centralized position gives us insights into multiple departments, and we leverage our knowledge and technology across a broad range of use cases. For example, we utilize various time series and ML techniques to generate forecasts. We are free to pick (and combine) whatever methods produce the optimal results on a case by case basis. We can also feed the results of one forecast into the next, so that the benefits of a single improvement can trickle down to multiple forecasts. The scale at which we forecast – for instance sales projections 18 months out for a single product – provides unique challenges and makes the work addictively fun.

The process of helping colleagues make better decisions involves lots of user interaction. We listen to what users want to achieve. And what’s holding them back. We work together to turn challenges into models that we can refine together. Strong communication skills are a necessity. It’s up to you to explain how a forecast was created, how it works, how it should be used, and what can be gained by including it in the decision-making process. This is how you earn our stakeholders’ trust and commitment.

As for the technology, you will do most of your work on our Delphi platform. This platform makes it easy to strip away extraneous data and focus purely on exploring relevant time series. Identify important patterns and generate more accurate forecasts. The platform encompasses job scheduling, ETL pipelines, archiving of historical forecasts and models, easy experimentation, and a bulk interface for forecast output. And this is just the tip of the iceberg… of a platform that is under constant development!

3 reasons
why this is(n’t) for you
Yes, if you want to use your PhD or Master’s degree in Econometrics, Applied Science, Artificial Intelligence or Data Science to make the lives of over 12 million customers easier and more fun
Yes, if you have 3+ years of relevant work experience and are a master at wrangling large data sets, creating new features, constantly running new experiments, and tweaking your models to get the best performance possible
Yes, if you understand that to solve a problem, you need to understand it first. By talking with the domain experts
No, if you’d rather look at a complex data model than the face of a happy forecast user
No, if you have no affinity with software engineering and save scripts as _v3_new_experiment_mar21.ipynb instead of creating a new branch
No, if discussing ideas with direct colleagues sounds like a waste of time; you already know everything
What you get
How do you
make our customers happy?

Bol.com is changing retail to make daily life simpler for 12 million customers. Together with 42,000 partners who do business on our retail tech platform, we offer over 28 million articles and achieve peak sales of 700 orders per minute (Black Friday 2020). That’s a tremendous number of customer-partner matches ‘made in heaven’. It also makes for a heavenly (read: data-rich) setting. Your role is to leverage this data to enhance the customer journey. Because that’s what our Data Science & Advanced Analytics team does every day. By making already good algorithms divine!

Your responsibilities
as Data Scientist Forecasting

As Data Scientist in the Forecasting Team, you use the vast amounts of data at our disposal to facilitate smart decision-making. A high degree of accuracy is only part of the equation; ideally, every forecast will directly contribute to making the lives of customers and partners a little easier. So our first step is always to validate hypotheses and use cases with basic models. When we are confident we are solving the right issue and can provide the right level of detail, we incrementally refine our forecasts until we hit the bull’s-eye.

The forecasting team supports the entire organization. This centralized position gives us insights into multiple departments, and we leverage our knowledge and technology across a broad range of use cases. For example, we utilize various time series and ML techniques to generate forecasts. We are free to pick (and combine) whatever methods produce the optimal results on a case by case basis. We can also feed the results of one forecast into the next, so that the benefits of a single improvement can trickle down to multiple forecasts. The scale at which we forecast – for instance sales projections 18 months out for a single product – provides unique challenges and makes the work addictively fun.

The process of helping colleagues make better decisions involves lots of user interaction. We listen to what users want to achieve. And what’s holding them back. We work together to turn challenges into models that we can refine together. Strong communication skills are a necessity. It’s up to you to explain how a forecast was created, how it works, how it should be used, and what can be gained by including it in the decision-making process. This is how you earn our stakeholders’ trust and commitment.

As for the technology, you will do most of your work on our Delphi platform. This platform makes it easy to strip away extraneous data and focus purely on exploring relevant time series. Identify important patterns and generate more accurate forecasts. The platform encompasses job scheduling, ETL pipelines, archiving of historical forecasts and models, easy experimentation, and a bulk interface for forecast output. And this is just the tip of the iceberg… of a platform that is under constant development!

3 reasons
why this is(n’t) for you
Yes, if you want to use your PhD or Master’s degree in Econometrics, Applied Science, Artificial Intelligence or Data Science to make the lives of over 12 million customers easier and more fun
Yes, if you have 3+ years of relevant work experience and are a master at wrangling large data sets, creating new features, constantly running new experiments, and tweaking your models to get the best performance possible
Yes, if you understand that to solve a problem, you need to understand it first. By talking with the domain experts
No, if you’d rather look at a complex data model than the face of a happy forecast user
No, if you have no affinity with software engineering and save scripts as _v3_new_experiment_mar21.ipynb instead of creating a new branch
No, if discussing ideas with direct colleagues sounds like a waste of time; you already know everything
Where you’ll work

At the premier online retail tech platform in the Netherlands and Belgium. A platform where 12 million customers can choose from over 28 million articles. A platform that helps roughly 42,000 commercial partners run their businesses. And a platform that will never be ‘finished’, because bol.com has been reinventing retail since 1999 and we always will be. If there’s a better way to do something, we’re working on it! Together with our customers, partners, and 2,200 colleagues. As Data Scientist you’ll be at the center of our data-intensive landscape. Our business model focuses on technology, and data-driven improvements that drive customer-oriented innovation are our bread and butter. The data science community at bol.com is a growing team of data-savvy professionals that includes Data Scientists, Machine Learning Engineers, Data Engineers and Software Engineers. And because we work in cross-functional teams with ample representation from the business units, you’ll always have a complete picture of the organization. Professional success in data science requires more than any university can teach you, and bol.com is the perfect place to learn the rest. The setting is informal, pragmatic and innovative. Our success is based on collaborating as equals and continuously learning from each other.

What you get
cd /benefits-all
A blue and safe landing
We warmly welcome our new colleagues, so they feel home as soon as possible. During your onboarding program, we give you all the ins and outs about bol.com!
Money and more...
Working at bol.com is challenging and therefore you get something in return. Besides salary, you will receive a yearly bonus, holiday allowance, holiday entitlement of 29 days, travel allowance, group insurance and more.

*** Mention DataYoshi when applying ***

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