Senior Data Scientist - Digital Publishing


The job has expired.

Number of Positions:
Contract Type:
Permanent – Full Time
Contract Details:
Competitive market salary, excellent benefits, flexible working and world-class training
Working Hours:
Closing Date:
Job Category:
Technology, Systems & Delivery
BBC Region / Division:
Design & Engineering
BBC Business Unit:
D+E: Content Production Workflows

Package Description

Band: D
Contract type: Continuing
Location: London

We’re happy to discuss flexible working. Please indicate your choice under the flexible working question in the application. There is no obligation to raise this at the application stage but if you wish to do so, you are welcome to. Flexible working will be part of the discussion at offer stage.

  • Excellent career progression – the BBC offers great opportunities for employees to seek new challenges and work in different areas of the organisation.
  • Unrivalled training and development opportunities – our in-house Academy hosts a wide range of internal and external courses and certification.
  • Benefits- We offer a competitive salary package, a flexible 35-hour working week for work-life balance and 26 days (1 of which is a corporation day) with the option to buy an extra 5 days, a defined pension scheme and discounted dental, health care, gym and much more.

The situation regarding the coronavirus outbreak is developing quickly and the BBC is keen to continue to ensure the safety and wellbeing of people across the BBC, while continuing to protect our services. To reduce the risk access to BBC buildings is limited to those essential to our broadcast output. From Wednesday 18th March until further notice all assessments and interviews will be conducted remotely. For more information go to

Mae’r sefyllfa gyda’r coronafeirws yn datblygu’n gyflym, ac mae’r BBC yn awyddus i barhau i sicrhau diogelwch a lles pobl ar draws y BBC, gan barhau i warchod ein gwasanaethau hefyd. I leihau’r risg, dim ond y bobl sy’n hanfodol i’n hallbwn darlledu fydd yn cael mynediad i adeiladau’r BBC. O ddydd Mercher 18fed Mawrth ymlaen, bydd pob asesiad a chyfweliad yn cael ei gynnal o bell, nes rhoddir gwybod yn wahanol. I gael mwy o wybodaeth, ewch i

Job Introduction

The BBC has been serving audiences online for more than 20 years. Across key products including BBC iPlayer, BBC News and BBC Sport, BBC Weather, and now BBC Sounds, we entertain, educate and inform people in their millions every day.


Behind the scenes, however, we have work to do. We are making the shift from being a broadcaster that speaks to audiences to building products that are shaped around people. We are creating personalised services that bring the right content, to the right people, at the right times – a personalised BBC. It will be our greatest leap since iPlayer, and it is right at the top of our agenda.


Delivering it is going to require a fundamental reshaping of the BBC’s culture and how we work. For the Digital Publishing Team that means a ground-up rethink of the tools, workflows and technologies involved in creating, describing and curating all of our content -- journalism, audio, video and digital alike.


This means asking ourselves some big questions: What does online journalism look like as we leave the print world behind? How do we put tagging at the heart of a personalised BBC? The News and Sport front pages are seen by millions of people and are built by our tools: what are the best ways of curating the stories on them? What does structured content look like at scale, with a workflow that serves thousands of journalists around the world publishing in more than 40 languages?


We’re thinking about technology and culture too. Questions like: How can we best use our audience, content, and production data to make content commissioning and production more impactful and effective? How can we bring data science and machine learning to bear on content classification and publication workflows? And what are the ways of working that let data science, working in cross functional teams, design, build and support this at the scale of the BBC?


We’re figuring out the answers to these questions and more like them, and we’re starting right now. Come join us.

Main Responsibilities

  • Designs experiments, test hypotheses, and build models
  • Translates business challenges into machine learning problems
  • Develops machine learning algorithms to problems that don’t always have existing text book solutions
  • Collaborates with subject matter experts to select the relevant sources of data from across BBC divisions
  • Works with team leaders and members to solve data science problems and documents results and methodologies
  • Works in iterative processes and validates findings, performs experimental design approaches to validate finding or test hypotheses.
  • Validates analysis by comparing appropriate samples, employs the appropriate algorithm to discover patterns
  • Uses the expected qualification and assurance of the data to quantify the accuracy metrics of the analysis
  • Qualifies where information can be stored or what data, external to the organisation, may be used in support of the use case
  • Assesses the volume of data supporting the initiative, the type of data (e.g., images, audio, video, text, clickstream etc.) and the speed or sudden variations in data collection
  • Collaborates with the data engineer to ensure that the data used follows the compliance, access management, and control policies and that it meets the qualification and assurance requirements
  • Recommends ongoing improvements to methods and algorithms that lead to findings, including new information
  • Spreads the value of data and data science across the wider organisation

Are you the right candidate?


  • Typically holds an advanced degree in mathematics, statistics or computer science or related field, or equivalent experience.
  • Experience manipulating large datasets and using databases, and experience with a general-purpose programming language (such as Hadoop MapReduce or other big data frameworks, Java, Python)
  • Good experience in the use of statistical packages and machine learning algorithms
  • Familiarity with basic principles of distributed computing and/or distributed databases
  • Demonstrable ability to quickly understand new concepts-all the way down to the theorems- and to come out with original solutions to mathematical issues
  • Good communication and interpersonal skills
  • Knowledge of one or more business/functional areas


  • Contributing to the development of area of specialism or industry domain
  • Broadcast, production, start-up or media experience
  • A mix of public sector and commercial experience
  • Participation in published documents within your area of specialism
  • Successful academic background in your specialist discipline

About the BBC

We don’t focus simply on what we do – we also care how we do it. Our values and the way we behave are important to us. Please make sure you’ve read about our values and behaviours in the document attached below.

Diversity matters at the BBC. We have a working environment where we value and respect every individual's unique contribution, enabling all of our employees to thrive and achieve their full potential.

We want to attract the broadest range of talented people to be part of the BBC – whether that’s to contribute to our programming or our wide range of non-production roles. The more diverse our workforce, the better able we are to respond to and reflect our audiences in all their diversity. 

We are committed to equality of opportunity and welcome applications from individuals, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, socio-economic background, religion and/or belief. We will consider flexible working requests for all roles, unless operational requirements prevent otherwise.

To find out more about Diversity and Inclusion at the BBC, please click here