Lead Data Scientist

| Greater LA Area

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
Read Full Job Description

Technology we use

  • Engineering
    • PythonLanguages
    • RLanguages
    • RubyLanguages
    • Ruby on RailsFrameworks

Location

The office has lots of great fun after work activities, such as bars, escape room games, and an indie theater.

An Insider's view of ZestFinance

What's something quirky about your company?

All of our conference rooms are named after famous 80's bands and have the records on the door to help us keep them straight! Our benefits rooms features hair metal band Poison, our main boardroom is Iron Maiden, and my favorite conference room is Devo.

Lucy

Executive Assistant

How do you collaborate with other teams in the company?

Some of the best ideas for my team have come from family style lunches with a random group of coworkers. Our open office space allows unfettered access to everyone in the company, and when you couple that with reasonable confidence that you’re surely not the smartest person within earshot, cross-functional collaboration at Zest is just status quo.

Jose

Business Operations Associate

What makes someone successful on your team?

A successful Business Analyst at ZestFinance embraces new and challenging problems, takes ownership of driving a team to develop data-driven, rigorous solutions, and clearly communicates those solutions to a variety of stakeholders. And they do all of that while never taking themselves too seriously and remembering to have a good time!

Leland

Lead Business Analyst

How do you empower your team to be more creative?

The first step is to create a safe space where they feel that they can give voice to ideas and get feedback. So I try to encourage openness and I try to show my team that their input is valued. When people know that they can share their ideas, and that behavior is rewarded and reinforced, they’re more likely to be thoughtful and creative.

Jay

CTO

How do your team's ideas influence the company's direction?

I love working in a talented team with individuals from a variety of backgrounds. Across the board, we have expertise in a comprehensive set of data science problems, and our ever-growing aptitude in predictive modeling enables and encourages senior management to pursue novel, challenging goals. It’s thrilling to see such direct impact of my work.

Ozan

Data Scientist

What are ZestFinance Perks + Benefits

Health Insurance & Wellness Benefits
Flexible Spending Account (FSA)
Disability Insurance
Dental Benefits
Vision Benefits
Health Insurance Benefits
Life Insurance
Wellness Programs
ZestFinance’s wellness program provides free yoga classes, an onsite gym, unlimited vacation plan and generous family leave to keep employees happy and healthy.
Onsite Gym
ZestFinance has a state-of-the-art fitness center with cardio equipment, weights, and fitness classes.
Retirement & Stock Options Benefits
401(K)
401(K) Matching
ZestFinance’s 401(k) retirement plan matches 50% of an employee's contributions up to 3.5% of their annual base salary.
Company Equity
ZestFinance’s equity plan allows employees to share ownership and achievement in our company.
Performance Bonus
Child Care & Parental Leave Benefits
Generous Parental Leave
ZestFinance provides 6 months paid maternity leave with the option to return to work part-time for 6 months after that (for new primary caregivers) and 3 months paid paternity leave (for new secondary
Flexible Work Schedule
ZestFinance offers a completely flexible schedule outside of core hours. Our experienced team can build market-leading systems – without working 15-hour days in the office.
Family Medical Leave
Vacation & Time Off Benefits
Unlimited Vacation Policy
ZestFinance’s unlimited vacation policy gives employees the flexibility to travel and take time off.
Generous PTO
Paid Volunteer Time
Paid Holidays
ZestFinance offers all employees paid time off to observe all major holidays.
Paid Sick Days
ZestFinance offers unlimited paid sick days.
Perks & Discounts
Beer on Tap
ZestFinance offers beer on tap as well as two fully stocked bars.
Casual Dress
ZestFinance’s casual dress code includes jeans, t-shirts and flip-flops every day of the week.
Commuter Benefits
To help reduce their carbon footprint, ZestFinance reimburses employees for their monthly Metro cards.
Company Outings
Each team has quarterly offsite outings like go-kart racing, paint & sip, and museum trips. In addition, we throw company-wide holiday parties.
Free Daily Meals
ZestFinance provides healthy, delicious catered lunches every day from some of LA’s best restaurants.
Game Room
At ZestFinance, we’re all about starting a little friendly competition with video games, ping pong, gigantic jigsaw puzzles and game nights.
Stocked Kitchen
ZestFinance offers a fully stocked kitchen complete with all the snacks and coffee needed to fuel your day.
Happy Hours
ZestFinance hosts a company-wide happy hour every Wednesday in our in-house bar.
Parking
ZestFinance employees don’t have to worry about parking—we have our own private lot and garage.
Pet Friendly
ZestFinance is proud to be a dog friendly office.
Recreational Clubs
ZestFinance employees participate in salsa club as well as basketball and soccer leagues.
Relocation Assistance
Professional Development Benefits
Job Training & Conferences
ZestFinance offers a wide range of programs including management and leadership development, along with an annual budget for attending conferences and tuition reimbursement.
Tuition Reimbursement
Diversity Program
Zestians are widely diverse, and at the same time, we’re united by a common DNA. We’re people who want to change the world. We’re on the customer’s side. We voice our thoughts and the best ide

Additional Perks + Benefits

People – the best part of Zest
Competitive salary and equity grants
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 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

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