Data Scientist (Rapid Prototyping Team)

  • Ordnance Survey
  • Southampton, UK
  • 01/04/2021
Full time Data Science Data Analytics Big Data Data Management Statistics

Job Description

Ordnance Survey (OS) provides national mapping services for Great Britain and is world-leading provider of geospatial solutions.

OS location data and expertise has helped governments make smarter decisions, businesses gain valuable data insight, and everyone experience the world outside for over 225 years.

Data Scientist – Rapid Prototyping Team

We are looking for a talented and motivated Data Scientist to join our Rapid Prototyping Team within Propositions & Innovation at Ordnance Survey. This new function involves developing applications and products to gain customer feedback as quickly as possible, thereby enabling growth within the business. Example projects include using hyperspectral imagery and computer vision to monitor tree health, using machine learning to detect radio jamming incidents in real-time, and combining aerial and road-captured imagery to identify junctions which could challenge autonomous vehicles. Though the type of work will vary every month, each project will be grounded by repeatable and transparent Data Science processes.

Imagine working for a team where your opinion and creative problem-solving skills are the prized assets. Agility is the order of the day and no time will be lost chasing impossible targets or dead-end projects. There has never been a better time to be an innovator at Ordnance Survey: new data sources provide more detail than ever; our Python developers are making machine learning models implementable in a few lines of code; cloud computing investments have made national scale models possible at the push of a button. The Rapid Prototyping Team galvanizes all the best aspects of innovation at Ordnance Survey and provides real people with real solutions in real time. If you’re a skilled Data Scientist who is able to produce actionable insight rapidly, this is a fantastic opportunity to join our fun and dynamic Innovation Team whilst helping the business to grow.

About the Role

We are looking for a Data Scientist to propose powerful solutions to customer problems within the Rapid Prototyping Team. This will include collecting requirements and regularly working in a hackathon-type environment to evaluate algorithms and models. Each project could last anywhere between two weeks and six months, so it is important to remain agile and responsive to new ideas. You will have experience of marrying your own algorithms within pre-built python frameworks in order to make best use of existing libraries. The majority of prototypes will involve manipulating geospatial data in some way, so experience with geodatabases would be a bonus.

There will be plenty of opportunity for your work to be championed directly to stakeholders and it is important that you are able to integrate well with the friendly Ordnance Survey community. Moreover, there may arise occasion to present internationally or even patent the technology you are developing, which will be generously rewarded. We recognise that working at the forefront of innovation may require training and support, so there will be ample opportunity to upskill in some of the most interesting areas of technology.


  • Co-lead the engineering of short-term (1-6 months) projects with a small team of python developers and data scientists

  • Research best approaches to new problems using all services at your disposal

  • Lead and take part in Mob-Programming sessions with the Team

  • Identify creative new approaches to Data Science problems

  • Identify project risks and effectively mitigate these using appropriate test suites

  • Explain risks and dependencies to stakeholders in a clear way

  • Identify and deliver effective training, proactively sharing best practices with the rest of the Rapid Prototyping Team

Essential Skills

Ideally you will have graduated from a STEM-degree, or can demonstrate similar experience of analytical problem solving. The ideal candidate will enjoy working at pace and will relish the opportunity to approach problems creatively and share their results with the team.

To be the successful candidate you will need to be able to demonstrate the following:

  • Very good knowledge of one or more aspects of Data Science, such as data mining (SQL, scraping), data analytics (machine learning / computer vision), data visualization (matplotlib / tableau)

  • Excellent knowledge of a high-level programming language, preferably Python

  • Consultancy skills, with a strong emphasis on customer focus, including an ability to determine, and to meet, customer requirements

  • Excellent presentation and communication skills

  • Ability to rapidly assimilate new pieces of software (off-the-shelf and in-house)

  • Evidence of prototype development of data products or services

  • A track record of achieving actionable insight at pace along with a knowledge of when to fail fast

I deally you will have knowledge and experience of:

  • Python Machine Learning Frameworks, such as Pytorch or Keras

  • Big Data frameworks, such as Spark or Hadoop

  • Working in a development environment regularly interfacing with a Software Engineer

  • Microsoft Azure tools (Databricks / DevOps / Pipelines)

  • Mob / Pair Programming

  • Agile Development Practices

  • Experience with JavaScript and Flask

  • Querying Geodatabases (SQL / Postgres / Pandas)

About the Rewards

We want you to love what you do. That’s why our benefits package rewards a job well done. We’ll give you:

  • Salary - £40,749 - £45,543

  • Performance related bonus

  • Competitive pension

  • 37 hour working week

  • 25 days annual leave - (30 days after five years) bank holidays and an extra 3 over Christmas

  • Plus a suite of excellent additional benefits

Location: This role will be based at our state-of-the-art Headquarters in Southampton. However, all our people, where they can are currently working from home.

We believe diversity and inclusion is about working together – in a supportive and respectful environment to reach our full potential. We think combining different backgrounds, experiences and perspectives will help us reach our vision and be trusted and admired across the globe for setting the standards and leading the way. We are looking for talented and experienced individuals from a range of backgrounds and welcome applications from any race, age, gender, background or religion.

We’re individually talented and collectively powerful and we give you the space to take your career in whichever direction you want.

We’re always happy to hear from you, so don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn or find us on Facebook.