Data Scientist – commercial experience

  • Sparx
  • Exeter, United Kingdom
  • 31/12/2018
Full time Data Science Data Engineering Data Analytics Data Management Statistics Software Engineering

Job Description

With a statistician as our founder, data and a rigorous scientific approach is at the heart of Sparx. We have a fantastic data environment in place and a talented team using it already – and we are looking to build on it further. 

You will play a key role in our Insights team, creating actionable insights for our external customers and working with stakeholders across the business at the heart of internal decisions. 

Your role will involve the following responsibilities:

  • Build new customer-focused insights: create powerful data-driven insights for schools, students and parents that reflect their needs and allow them to improve their experience and student learning, using the abundance of our product, exam and other data. Build an initial working version quickly and iterate through working with internal and external stakeholders to make the insights highly impact, statistically accurate and easy to understand.
  • Investigate key business questions: work with stakeholders across the business to answer questions critical to the direction of the business in a robust and data-driven way. Independently analyse the relevant data using the most suitable approaches and techniques ranging from simple analysis to purpose-built statistical models, and visualise results in a compelling way.
  • Develop, improve and maintain insight tools and dashboards: work with internal stakeholders to understand how our customers interact with the product, enabling data-driven insights and decisions across the business. Understand what questions stakeholders are trying to answer and design how they should be answered in a rigorous way. Build or refine the required tools, calculations and/or dashboards and iterate them over time to maximise the impact from insights.  

About Sparx

Sparx is about learning.  We work with schools, in schools and for schools because we understand the challenges faced by educators, teachers and students on a day to day basis and we are passionate about finding a way to help.

Empowering educators and motivating young people to improve educational outcomes is our mission - aiming to improve life opportunities for over 5 million learners by 2030  #Ed5M.

For over 7 years we have been investigating how young people learn. We have gathered data, listened to teachers and students and overlaid these insights with our own observations, drawing on the expertise of our team.  The result is not an off-the-shelf software product - it is an approach to learning. Our unique, blended learning methodology combines traditional teaching methods with sophisticated technology, our own high quality content and unparalleled levels of support.

Our Team

Our diverse and vibrant team is growing fast! We’re not just developers, data scientists, product owners, content or education experts – we’re also cyclists, DJs, triathletes, published scholars, parents, pet owners, musicians, adventurers, and more. We bring our whole selves to work, and we’re united by our belief in the transformative power of learning and excitement about tackling the hard problems in technology.

Based in one of the best workspaces in the country, we set clear and challenging goals, collaborate, celebrate success and have the opportunity to learn from each other every day. We encourage everyone to stretch beyond their roles and deliver on our mission.



  • Degree in a quantitative discipline such as Science, Statistics, Mathematics, Engineering etc, with significant exposure to statistics
  • Proven experience of working with internal and external customers in a commercial environment, understanding their needs and concerns, and translating technical findings into practical recommendations and compelling visualisations that address those needs and concerns
  • Excellent knowledge of R (preferred), Python, MATLAB, SAS, SPSS or similar, and experience applying it in a business context to analysing and statistical modelling based on millions of data points
  • Sound knowledge of common statistical techniques such as linear models, general linear models and k-means, and their limitations
  • Excellent communication skills with ability to tailor communication across a broad technical and non-technical spectrum


  • MSc and/or PhD in a quantitative discipline
  • Teaching and/or tutoring experience and knowledge of education and the school system
  • Experience developing new insights-based products in a data driven environment 

Unfortunately, at this current time, we cannot accept applications that require sponsorship for an employment visa.