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Data Scientist - The World Bank

The World Bank

Washington D.C. Metro Area
  • Data Scientist
  • Data Analytics
  • Business Intelligence
  • Statistician
The World Bank
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Job Details

The World Bank Group (WBG) twin goals of ending extreme poverty and promoting shared prosperity reflect a new global landscape: one in which developing countries have an unprecedented opportunity to end extreme poverty within a generation.

The big data program sits in the Global Operations Knowledge Management unit of the World Bank Group. The program works to accelerate capabilities in big data analytics, including machine learning, and applications in network analytics and text analytics to support the World Bank’s knowledge strategy to improve operational and development effectiveness.

The data scientist will support an interdisciplinary team that delivers both technical assistance and knowledge activities to support World Bank Global Practices to put big data into action for development. The candidate will help test and incubate big data applications across several sectors, including pilots profiled in recent publication http://bit.ly/biginno . Further, we are seeking specialized skills in network and graph analytics for use in applications to improve and mobilize development knowledge and services within the World Bank, and toward emerging development applications in sectoral areas like trade, mobility patterns, and accessibility to jobs.


The solution areas the data scientist will support include, but are not limited to:

• Operational Applications: Topic modeling, natural language processing, and network analytics on development and organizational information to develop innovative and automated knowledge and data products and services to improve operational effectiveness

• Development Applications: Provide data science technical assistance to applied research projects to test and validate big data pilots that typically use non-traditional data sources and methods, including social media, mobile phone, satellite, and ground sensor data and analytics for sectoral development applications like machine learning on big data sources to estimate poverty, to monitor crop yields, road conditions, and urbanization assessments.


Duties and Responsibilities

The Data Scientist will work closely with colleagues in operations, knowledge functions, data units and Information Technology Solutions. Projects typically involve interdisciplinary teams, often comprised of sector specialists, development economists, geographers and technologists.

Candidates should be adept at extracting insights from complex analyses through computational techniques, developing analytic products through well documented and reproducible workflows, writing concise reports, developing compelling visualizations, communicating results clearly and working in teams.


The specific roles and responsibility include, but not limited to the, following:

1. Extract and analyze a wide range of development and operational knowledge using machine learning, network and text analytics to create knowledge and information products and services.

2. Provide data science technical assistance to big data pilots in collaboration with Global Practices in sectors like Trade, Transport, Finance, Energy, Urbanization, Water, and Governance.

3. Support technical scoping, design solutions requirements, support selection and technical supervision of vendor contracts.

4. Support efforts to develop robust methods for analysis, and to enhance big data technologies and tools.

5. Provide leadership to promote the use of big data analytics in the World Bank through talks, blog posts, presentations, knowledge activities, community of practice and global solutions groups.

6. Collaborate with other World Bank groups to develop shared technical resources, frameworks and practices for big data and reproducible analytics, workflows and analytic products.

7. Support existing partnerships and help form new partnerships with private sector, academia, UN agencies, and governmental agencies to further the use of big data for development.


Selection Criteria

1. Master’s degree in a relevant discipline and 5+ years of relevant work experience. PhD will be a plus. Relevant disciplines include Computer Science, Economics, Statistics, Mathematics, Physics and other quantitative disciplines with strong computational elements.

2. Technical expertise and background – Experience in various aspects of data science: a creative problem solver with a strong understanding of statistics and research design. Excellent working knowledge of either R or Python. Excellent working knowledge of SQL and NoSQL systems and related approaches to large scale distributed computing. Strong understanding of network analytics, text analytics and machine learning methods and strategies.

3. Knowledge, Learning and Communication – Actively seeks knowledge needed to complete assignments and shares knowledge with others, communicating and presenting information in a clear and organized manner. Strong network with leading institutions (academic, private, and/or government) and established collaboration on big data topics.

4. Business Judgment and Analytical Decision Making – Analyzes facts and data to support sound, logical decisions regarding own and others' work.

5. Written and Verbal Communication – Delivers information effectively in support of team or workgroup. Good writing and editing skills, with a strong command of English and an ability to convey complex ideas in a clear, direct, and lively format.

6. Data Interpretation and Analysis – Able to demonstrate functional proficiency level sufficient to apply this competency to all tasks, including those with significant challenges with both structure and unstructured data.

7. Teamwork and Inclusion – Proven ability to collaborate with other team members across boundaries and contribute productively to the team's work and output, demonstrating respect for different points of view. Able to use strong interpersonal and teamwork skills to cultivate effective, productive client relationships and partnerships across organizational boundaries, to generate excitement and momentum around the Big Data Initiative.

8. Client Orientation – Able to take personal responsibility and accountability for timely response to client queries, requests or needs, working to remove obstacles that may impede execution or overall success.

9. Drive for Results – Able to take personal ownership and accountability to meet deadlines and achieve agreed-upon results, and has the personal organization to do so.


For Corporate Information and to apply to the position, please visit www.worldbank.org/careers, vacancy number 170687 Deadline is April 25, 2017.

The World Bank Group is committed to achieving diversity in race, gender, nationality, culture, and educational background. Individuals with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply.