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Director of Data Science

Location: London, England.
Company Description:

Merkle is a leading data-driven, technology-enabled, global performance marketing agency that specialises in the delivery of unique, personalised customer experiences across platforms and devices. We call it ‘people-based’ marketing, and with over 25 years’ experience, we are proud to be recognised as a global leader.

Merkle’s heritage in data, technology and analytics is the foundation for our understanding of consumer insights that drives our people-based marketing strategies. Combined with our expertise in performance creative and media, we can then offer our clients content-driven, contextual and compelling customer experiences that drive business growth.

In 2016, the agency joined dentsu, one of the world’s biggest media companies to form the Customer Experience Management (CXM) Line of Business.

Job Description:

The Role

Our Director of Data Science plays a key role continually striving to make our Merkle Analytics clients superstars through analytical and evidence-led decision making.  This role leads and oversees the delivery of cutting-edge, commercial analytics which make a difference for customers across a wide range of industries. 

The postholder is responsible for forming and driving success within Merkle Analytics and oversees all analytical aspects of the service line. Whilst ultimately being responsible for developing and delivering the strategic plans for this area of the business, ensuring that it meets both internal and external requirements.

In this role, the postholder will work closely with CXM and wider EMEA leadership bringing their key industry and product expertise and knowledge, to continue to shape our Merkle Analytics strategy.

This role with report to our General Manager and will themselves be responsible for overseeing the direct management of a team of Senior Directors and Directors aswell as indirectly leading a team of around 90 employees (including Technical Leads, Senior Analysts, Analysts and Graduates).

Establishing the company’s vision, leading and inspiring all aspects of analytics throughout the organisation. Developing and leading Analytics strategies and plans which support initiatives across the organization. Cultivating strategic alliances across the organisation.

Helping to create an environment where data and analytics professionals can develop their skills and grow their careers through taking on increased responsibility and adding value to the organization.

Key Responsibilities:

Internal Stakeholder Management

  • Working with Head of Operations and other key roles to ensure robust operational processes are in place to deliver across all areas of responsibility.
  • Strong focus on internal practice building and encouraging good practice across the teams.
  • Strong focus on sharing team’s successes to leadership and across the wider organisation.
  • Providing suggestions as to how work can be better progressed toward final result.
  • Responsibility for ensuring compliance within the team in order to work through any breaches. Ensuring all company documents, data and equipment are securely transmitted, stored and archived in line with the Information Security Policy.
  • Maintaining agreed department gross margin.

Client Stakeholder Management

  • Focused on building strong relationships with the client and prospective clients; sharing best practice across the teams(s). Responsible for helping clients understand what is possible for them; encouraging and driving colleagues to achieve the best result and further develop stakeholder relationships.
  • Ensuring that Solutions deliver work to a quality, accuracy and speed expected. Promoting best practice across Clan on client engagement through analytical process.
  • Working with Commercial in shaping up new solutions.

Technical Skills

  • Awareness and understanding of who has key skills and knowledge, liaising with Managers as appropriate to undertake skills planning with reference to industry developments.
  • Proactively providing and sharing key knowledge and skills with others (across Analytics, Digital, Tools and Technologies, Methodologies, Big Data, Research, Problem Solving etc.) Sharing analytical specialism and continually upskilling.

Billing and Income Tracker

  • Working with other leaders to monitor income versus plan and associated target impacts; providing information to relevant colleagues in line with company guidelines relating to billing/project management.

Resource Management

  • Influencing and shaping available resources as appropriate to meet current and future needs of the organisation in order to have substantial impact on the organisation’s direction, strategy and objectives.
  • Delegate responsibility, as appropriate, through stand-ups and regular catch-ups, so that direct reports monitor staff over/under utilisation – providing advice on resolution as and when appropriate.

Client and Business Development

  • Ensuring sign-off (can be delegated to Senior Elder, Elder or Technical Lead) in relation to timelines and requirements for new SOW and/or pitches to new clients.
  • Working with Commercial Team to identify, lead and win new opportunities. Ensuring client development opportunities reach appropriate colleagues. Developing new products and ideas to sell to clients, working with colleagues to propose new solutions.
  • Encouraging others to share ideas with wider group, helping to promote internal and external events’ participation. Also creating ideas and sharing with wider group; leading innovation workstreams. Being a role model for others, leading by example.
  • Representing the organisation internally and externally at events and in negotiations.
  • Consider ways to measure if campaigns are cutting across markets and brands, considering if there are any business development opportunities to capitalise on.
  • Keeping abreast of new developments and applications relevant to the organisation, within our and our clients’ industries. Leading on white paper releases and supporting the team in engaging with internal and external marketing initiatives.

Line Management

  • Optimise team performance through leadership and mentoring, understanding needs and concerns of the team, and retaining key talent.
  • Actively communicate business priorities and expectations to the team.
  • Identify key skills and embed best practices within the team; reviewing proposed training and development plans from senior managers
  • Ultimately accountable for the Service Line hiring, retaining, developing and engaging top level talent within Analytics Delivery that inspires the trust and confidence of our clients.
  • Oversee graduate scheme: selection, recruitment and development aswell as successful transition into Analyst role.

 A few of the benefits

Whether it’s the joy of working with people at the top of their game or the Merkle social calendar, people love working here – and we hope you will too

  • Career development through Merkle University and other tools; with access to courses, textbooks and mentorship
  • Private Medical Insurance, Company Pension, life insurance and other corporate benefits
  • A selection of other benefits including ability to buy additional holiday, season ticket loan and 2 volunteer days

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

At Merkle, a dentsu company, we believe that creating diverse and balanced teams is not just a moral imperative, it is a business imperative. To help our clients reach millions of different people every day, we need our people to reflect the society that we represent.

We aim to create an inclusive culture where all talent thrives, and we champion meaningful progress in diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) for our people, clients and partners.

DEI is firmly embedded into our shared values - the 8 Ways to Never Before - and our Leadership Framework, which applies to all of our people. And our Global DEI Principles reflect our pledge to be an organisation that promotes wellbeing and inclusivity for everyone - regardless of ethnicity, race, sexual orientation, gender (incl. gender identity and gender expression), age, neurodiversity or physical ability. 

We are proud of what makes us diffeent and encourage applicants from all different backgrounds to apply to join us. We are always happy to discuss all flexible and agile approached to working and should you have any reasonable adjustment needs arising from a disability or medical condition to fully participate in the recruitment process, please discuss this with our recruitment teams.


What we are looking for in you

  • Proven skills in matrix team management, optimising performance of team through leadership and mentoring, managing any challenges, ensuring alignment between team members skills and needs from the business.
  • Demonstrated skills in leading a large team (ideally across multiple locations), providing mentorship, recruiting and retaining key talent with proven successful results.
  • Significant experience with managing stakeholders and clients, navigating difficult conversations to mutual benefit, knowing when to challenge and when to go the extra mile to deliver, and prioritising efforts.
  • Demonstrated success in delivery of complex projects into clients across a wide range of industries
  • Travel is expected as required for client projects, in addition to engaging with the broader team.
Additional Information:

At the point of application, the candidate must have the legal right to work in the UK as we are unable to sponsor visas as this time.

Merkle does not discriminate against job applicants on the basis of age, disability, gender reassignment, marital or civil partner status, pregnancy or maternity, race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation. Experience stipulated in this job description serves as a guide only and all applications will be considered on their merits, irrespective of experience.

As part of our Diversity and Inclusion agenda, and as an Equal Opportunities employer, if you require reasonable adjustments during the selection process please engage directly with your Recruiter.

More Information:

Graduate Opportunities: Whether you're still studying, recently graduated or are already working and fancy a career hop, we could have a perfect opportunity for you.
Experienced Hires: Leverage your expertise, challenge the status quo and grow your career at Merkle.