Junior Data Scientist

Business Unit: Discovery Health

Function: Data Sciences

Data Scientist 

About Discovery 

Discovery’s core purpose is to enhance and protect people’s lives. It does this through breakthrough product designs that harness incentives to encourage people to make healthier lifestyle choices. Healthy behaviour leads to lower claims, higher margins, and lower lapses. These savings are shared with our clients which in turn leads to a healthier society, improved productivity, and a reduced healthcare burden. One of Discovery’s core assets is its large and diverse data, covering health, wellness, driving, investments, and life insurance. This forms the basis for our shared value model, along with innovation, risk management and operational efficiency improvements. Discovery’s energetic and motivated analytical teams make this happen.  

About the Data Science Lab

The Group Data Science Lab applies predictive analytics, machine learning, big data, and operations research skills to run and to support key projects for the Discovery Group and for the individual Discovery business units, including the health, life, and short-term insurance businesses. We work across operational, clinical, wellness, financial, customer service, sales, and behavioural science areas. We use and create state-of-the-art tools and work with terabytes of structured and unstructured data within a big data environment.

About the Position

We have a vacancy for a data scientist to work on cutting-edge Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Large Language Model (LLM) projects. The team has been researching, using, training, and engineering systems which leverage NLP and LLMs for years, and we are looking for team members to help expand and accelerate this research and development.

Responsibilities include

  • Working with huge quantities of unstructured text data from a variety of sources.
  • Completing reviews of relevant academic literature and industry releases
  • Working with seniors in the team to own the delivery of projects from inception through to deployment and business adoption.
  • Prototyping code for data science and ML systems, particularly those using NLP and LLMs, in line with architecture designed with senior data scientists and data engineers.
  • Evaluating prototypes, models, and deployments robustly to ensure scientific rigour and business value.
  • Presenting analyses and project updates to both technical and business audiences.
  • Keeping an open mind and looking for new opportunities for the use of existing datasets and tools, as well as new ones, for novel business applications

Personal Attributes  

  • A creative and eager attitude to learning, unearthing valuable insights, and generating value for Discovery clients.
  • Enthusiasm for building systems which solve real problems through data and technology.
  • Ability to balance multiple priorities and step back to see how your work fits into the wider business context.
  • Aligned to Discovery values and core purpose.

Technical Skills

  • SQL and working with databases.
  • Python for data science and machine learning.
  • Ability to formulate a clear problem statement, develop a plan for tackling it, and clearly communicate findings verbally, visually, and in writing.
  • Advantageous
    • Version control (Git).
    • Experience with R.
    • Experience with using and/or developing NLP packages and models.
    • Experience with TensorFlow and/or PyTorch.
    • Experience with using and/or training LLMs.
    • Experience with Spark and/or Dask.

Education and Experience

  • Honours or Master’s degree in Computer Science, Mathematics, Statistics, Data Science, Actuarial Science, Statistics, Operations Research, Industrial engineering, Applied Mathematics, or similar quantitative field. A PhD degree would be advantageous. Other qualifications will also be considered if accompanied by relevant experience.
  • We will consider candidates at all levels of experience.

The Company’s approved Employment Equity Plan and Targets will be considered as part of the recruitment process. As an Equal Opportunities employer, we actively encourage and welcome people with various disabilities to apply.

Click here to apply

All the best with your applications

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