Agoda is one of the world’s largest and fastest growing online travel agents. Coming from over 90+ countries, our 5,000-plus person team is young, energetic, and hyper-focused on every detail of the travel experience. Our parent company, Booking Holdings, owns several other premier travel brands, including Booking.com, Priceline.com, Kayak, and OpenTable.com, making us the largest and fastest growing travel portfolio in the world. But the group is focused on entrepreneurialism, and each brand operates independently, allowing us to experiment and move fast.
Our 25-strong Data Science team is already responsible for a big portion of our success, we deploy ML across the board. Our marketing automation is managing a budget of 100Ms$ with automated bidding, our recommendation and ranking engines give billions of predictions a day based on deep learning models running in production. Our NLP lab is perfecting the chat engine in order to reduce customer friction and there are many other examples, including fraud, pricing, experimentation, anomaly detection etc. All of this is running on our home-grown data platform, currently collecting 1.2 trillion data points every day.
But we are still not satisfied…
So far, we have been using Data Science to improve the product, but now it’s time for a revolution. We want to use data science in every aspect of the product, front or back, make it clear to the customer that we are giving them a superb experience from all aspects and empower the entirety of our tech team to utilize our data in real time.
A vision like this requires leaders that can combine strategy, execution, communication and intelligence to materialize these ideas all the way to the customer; are you that person?
As a director of data science, you will:
Manage and grow your DS team. Our team is mostly MSc and PhD graduates from top universities around the world, including Stanford, Harvard and others. Talent is the key to a success in data science and we need to make sure we keep our strong team engaged and motivated while growing it.
Drive revolutionary initiatives. You will be responsible for the company future by making sure we are in front of the innovation curve. We will go into projects that have not been done before at our scale, this will require world-class data science but also the ability to communicate effectively with senior management and get them on board. Agoda is a well-tuned machine and any change is tested, making big steps requires careful planning to make sure we eventually follow the customer needs.
Deliver results. As a leader of a data science team, you are responsible for our success across all products, sometimes that means understanding why some models aren’t working as expected, sometimes it’s about having the right people on the right projects and sometimes is some dependent system that we need to augment in order to achieve our goals. In any case, the responsibility and the ownership are on you to get the desired outcome.
Build for the future. These are exciting days for data science and machine learning, new technology pops up every few days, from modeling to data processing to orchestration it’s clear that there’s currently no one “right way to do it”. Agoda has always been a very independent company, we want to control our fate and our technology so we almost never use “enterprise software” and rely mostly on open source that we can tweak and contribute back to. You’ll be contributing to our strategic technical roadmap for data science, thinking about problem like measuring model’s health, centralized feature stores, orchestrating model deployment and others.
Work in one of Asia’s most vibrant cities. Bangkok provides a setting like no other: edgy, luxurious, impossibly sensorial, endlessly layered. The perfect junction of a globally minded career and the heart of Asian travel.
What you’ll get the chance to do:
- Oversee the execution of DS related initiatives and projects from initiation to production and beyond
- Join in key discussion to facilitate a scientific approach in key decisions and raise new initiatives
- Interface with business and product units to help shape the future of the product and find the opportunities where DS can be helpful
- Drive a culture of science and ML in the company, help to educate and train our 1200 people tech team to utilize DS in every aspect of our products
What you bring:
- Vast analytical problem-solving capabilities, and experience
- Experience in leading teams of data scientists and data engineers, preferably in an e-commerce, tech, advertising or management consulting environment
- Strong knowledge in Statistics, DS and ML practices and technologies, specifically in big data environments
- Strong understanding and implementation experience of predictive modeling algorithms such as regressions, time series, neural networks, clustering, decision trees and heuristic models, with familiarity dealing with tradeoffs between model performance and business needs
- Experienced with planning and managing ML projects in real time environments with incremental testing capabilities
- Fantastic communication skills that enable you to work cross-functionally with product managers, tech geeks and design gurus, building solid relationships with a diverse set of stakeholders
- The ability to convey complex solutions to a less technical person
- Bias for action
- Advanced degree (MSc/PhD) in Computer Science, Economics, Engineering, Operations Research, Physics, Mathematics, or Statistics is preferred
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