Job description

The big question: why on earth should a Tech professional like you work for a 150-year-old retail chain? Because we’re on a journey. Changing the way we operate. Learning to think nimble. Giving our teams the time and freedom, they need to push boundaries. To create amazing systems and technologies. To give our colleagues and our customers even more incredible experiences.

There are thousands of experts to talk to and learn from. We’ve got data from billions of transactions, millions of qualitative and quantitative customer feedback responses, and streams of delivery van location data to play with. Things get built here. They get made here. They hit customers and colleagues quickly.

Our team ADA (Applied Data and Analytics) Data Science, is responsible for:

  • Developing in-house AI solutions that assist/automate decision making across the business
  • Working closely with engineering teams to ensure we deliver ‘production-ready’ models, that do not require extensive refactoring
  • Acting as machine learning, simulation, and optimisation subject matter experts, enabling our sister function ‘ADA Analytics’ to deliver advanced analytics projects

More about the role:

  • Stakeholder Management
  • Using non-technical language, tell engaging stories that influence business stakeholders
  • Develop and maintain relationships with key internal customers and product owners
  • Identify, scope and size data science opportunities across the Business, and across all brands (Sainsbury's, Argos, Habitat, Tu)

Technical Leadership

  • Lead the development of data science products with broad autonomy over solution design (subject to business needs and priorities)
  • Research, design and prototype algorithms and models
  • Work closely with engineering (MLOps) teams to align on production architectures that support long term algorithm support and iteration
  • Ensure correct design of experiments to quantify the performance of algorithms in both digital and physical domains, evaluating performance using business-relevant metrics
  • Coaching and Mentoring
  • Take a leading role in the development and delivery of team upskilling
  • Mentor less experienced Data Scientists
  • Contribute to our vibrant Data and Analytics community of over 800 colleagues

What we’re looking for:

Essential requirements

  • A quantitative advanced degree (e.g., science, engineering, computer science, maths, operational research) or equivalent industry experience
  • Practical experience applying machine learning techniques to deliver measurable business value
  • Excellent business acumen, commercial awareness, and judgement
  • An understanding and translation of retail business problems into feasible and practical algorithms
  • Proficiency with Python, SQL and the Data Science stack (pandas, NumPy, scikit-learn, etc.)
  • Familiarity with software engineering best practices including version control, CI/CD, testing

Preferred experience

  • Experience with Agile team management methodologies (preferably Kanban)
  • Experience in at least one of pricing, NLP, recommender systems, forecasting or mathematical optimisation.
  • Knowledge of algebraic modelling (e.g., AIMMS) and solvers (CPLEX, Gurobi) is a plus
  • Familiarity with data engineering tools (i.e. terraform, CircleCI, Jenkins, Docker)
  • Experience across the full data-science product lifecycle: from conception to production deployment on the cloud

In return you’ll get:

  • Colleague discount across the multi-brands – Sainsbury’s, Argos, and Habitat
  • Holiday allowance
  • Bonus scheme
  • Pension plan
  • Private medical insurance
  • Special offers on gym memberships, restaurants, holidays, retail vouchers and more
  • Flexible working



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