VP, Data Science
Tala is looking for a highly motivated VP, Data Science to build and develop our world-class data science organization with a demonstrated pattern of talent development, as well as research and innovation, capable of supporting Tala’s data needs now and into the future. Tala is a world leader in providing direct loans and financial services in emerging markets. We are a global team with diverse backgrounds who are singularly focused on using technology, data, and a customer-centric approach to meet the financial needs of the 2+ billion people of the emerging global middle class.
The VP, Data Science will report to the SVP, Engineering and will be responsible for leading our Data Science and engineering teams that support Tala’s squads and quarterly goals. Specifically, we need a senior leader to provide technical and organizational solutions as we scale, give consistent, direct, targeted feedback to each director and manager, and to ensure their road maps incorporate longer-run initiatives that address upcoming risks more proactively. This role is a necessity if we expect to continue to develop our talent effectively and capitalize on every Tala data opportunity. Successful candidates will have a deep background in data warehousing, transfer, and integrations at scale, as well as demonstrable experience with a data science organization that works using an embedded, distributed model. This role will be based in Santa Monica.
- Support the career development of Tala's existing data science managerial corps, with a focus towards managing managers / technical leads and deepening leadership potential in others.
- Become a strategic partner with Talent Acquisition to improve on our recruiting processes and playbooks. Ensure that each data manager owns their recruiting process and help them be successful.
- Work with Tala’s engineering team and our direct Santa Monica stakeholders to recognize opportunities for data to provide value to Tala and to develop, prioritize, and implement new and novel data science work through the squad structure.
- Implement strategic cultural programs to ensure that every member of the organization feels a sense of unique “Tala Data” identity.
- Serve as a backup and second point-of-contact to the SVP, Engineering on Santa Monica related LT meetings. Fill in for the SVP in weekly rituals such as the Current/New Portfolio meeting, the LT meeting, etc.
- Thorough understanding of translating data opportunities into different types of business value (ex. revenue, efficiency).
- Ability to develop and influence a product roadmap during strategic planning cycles to provide technical and organizational solutions to our challenges.
- MS/PhD in a quantitative field.
- Fluency in Python, R, SQL , bash commands.
- Expertise in advanced modeling and machine learning methodology including deploying machine learning models to production.
- Proven ability to enable and communicate data insights outward across the business
- Expertise in data warehousing (SQL, NoSQL), transfer (distributed computing and storage), and integrations (containerization, third party data management) at scale.
- 10+ years working experience, including 5+ years building and managing data teams.
- Experience managing data teams of at least 25 people, consisting of multiple levels of management.
- Demonstrable experience with a data science organization that works using an embedded, distributed model while balancing resourcing for long-run risks such as data privacy regulations and algorithmic accountability.
- Demonstrable experience growing both individual contributor and managerial talent.
Preferred Skills & Experience:
- Experience in emerging markets in either a personal or a professional scope.
- Experience in the financial technology industry.
Travel to various emerging markets is expected at this level.
We strongly believe that inclusion fosters innovation and we’re proud to have a diverse team with a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences. We focus on hiring talented people regardless of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status.
Tala is a mission-driven mobile technology and data science company that’s opening up financial access for underserved people globally. Tala’s smartphone app uses alternative data to deliver instant credit and help customers build their financial identities. Unlike traditional credit scoring, Tala's proprietary underwriting models draw on thousands of mobile data points including network diversity, social connectedness, geographic patterns, and financial transactions to score customers in real time, without a need for formal credit history. Tala is headquartered in Santa Monica with additional offices in Nairobi and Manila.