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Senior Data Scientist - Streaming Experimentation and Modeling

Netflix, Los Gatos, California

Leading subscription service for watching TV episodes and movies


Netflix is revolutionizing entertainment. We deliver over a billion hours of movies and TV shows per month to more than 100 million members globally.  Our data-driven culture and relentless focus on experimentation allows us to continuously innovate and provide the best experience for our members. We are at the forefront of using advanced mathematical models and algorithms on big data to provide a personally optimized experience for each of our members, and our scientists and engineers are constantly looking for new ways to improve the state of the art. Netflix data science is a unique combination of big data, algorithms, and entertainment: where else do you get to work on big data and win forty three primetime Emmys, four technical achievement Emmys, four Golden Globes, and earn seven Oscar nominations (one win and counting)!
 
The Quality of Experience Experimentation team has a broad and cross-functional mandate to design, implement, and analyze A/B tests related to the quality of the video streaming experience,  and to innovate on testing and analysis methodology. Our current work includes:
Partnering with engineers to optimize the adaptive video streaming algorithms that determine key aspects of the viewing experience such as video quality, delay before playback starts, and rate of playback interruptions.
• Working with the video and audio encoding teams to optimize content delivery to cellular and other low-bandwidth networks, opening up the Netflix product to more people around the world.
In collaboration with the Consumer Insights team, working to understand how our customers perceive video quality, and how video quality impacts viewing habits.
• Exploring ways to efficiently and effectively localize our content (video and audio assets, subtitles, text descriptions) to new markets and languages around the globe.
 
For more of a sense of the work we do, have a look at these blog posts, written by Nirmal Govind, Director of Studio Production and Streaming Science and Analytics:
 
The streaming QoE space is still nascent within Netflix, and Netflix is a global leader in streaming video. As part of our team, you will have the opportunity to do groundbreaking experimentation and modeling work that will shape the experience for our customers, and push the boundaries of an entire industry. You will help optimize the Netflix streaming video experience via A/B experimentation on all aspects of our video streaming algorithms and strategies, and use rigorous statistical modeling and analysis to discover critical insights that shape the product experience for more than 100 million Netflix subscribers around the globe.

Responsibilities

  • Partner closely with scientists, engineers, and consumer insight researchers to design, run, and analyze A/B and multivariate hypothesis tests aimed at optimizing the streaming video experience.
  • Analyze experimental data with statistical rigor. Ensure accurate interpretation by combining business acumen with detailed data knowledge and statistical expertise.
  • Contribute to existing, and lead new, internal research and development efforts to improve experimentation methodologies. Current research areas include, but are not limited to, Response Surface Methodology (RSM), survival analysis, and nonparametric test analysis via computationally efficient bootstrapping.
  • Develop causal inference methodology to analyze behavior in cases where A/B testing may not be possible.
  • Build statistical models that better leverage test results to uncover insights or effect changes in the product.
  • Translate analytic insights into concrete, actionable recommendations for business or product improvement, and communicate these findings.
  • Drive efforts to enable independent interpretation of results through education, improved tools, and data visualization.

Qualifications

  • PhD degree in Statistics, Mathematics, Operations Research, Psychology, Sociology, Econometrics, or related field, or a Master’s degree in statistics or related, and a domain-specific PhD that involved substantive applied statistics work.
  • 3+ years relevant post-PhD experience with a proven track record of leveraging analytics and large amounts of data to arrive at actionable solutions to large-scale problems, in either research or business settings. 
  • Solid applied statistical knowledge and intuition, and solid grounding in statistical theory; experience with experimental design, analysis of hypothesis tests, and statistical modeling.
  • Strong algorithmic thinking and independent research ability.
  • Passion for learning and innovating new methodologies at the intersection of statistics, applied math, and computer science.
  • Exceptional interpersonal and communication skills coupled with strong business acumen. Must be able to translate business objectives into actionable analyses, and analytic results into actionable business and product recommendations.
  • Impactful presentation skills, including the use of meaningful data visualizations to convey information and results clearly and concisely.
  • High-energy self-starter with a passion for your work, attention to detail, and a positive attitude.

Technical Skills

  • Proficiency in at least one statistical analysis tool such as Python, R, SAS, etc., and a willingness to adopt new tools as needed. 
  • Above average capabilities with SQL and related querying languages.
  • Experience with distributed databases and query languages such as Hive/Pig and/or general MapReduce computing is a plus. 
  • Knowledge of common data structures and ability to write efficient code in at least one language is a plus.

Culture

The Science and Analytics team at Netflix is lean and tasked will solving some of the business’s most pressing challenges. In this role, you will have the opportunity to make positive and meaningful impacts on the business, and to interact directly with stakeholders across Netflix. You will have the freedom to innovate, solve interesting problems, identify the problems we should be solving, and influence our direction in a fast paced, exciting environment. You will work with smart people who love to solve hard problems, and who expect and foster high performance. For a more in-depth look into life at Netflix, have a look at our culture description. 

About Netflix

Netflix is the world’s leading Internet television network with over 100 million members in over 190 countries enjoying more than 125 million hours of TV shows and movies per day, including original series, documentaries and feature films. Members can watch as much as they want, anytime, anywhere, on nearly any Internet-connected screen. Members can play, pause and resume watching, all without commercials or commitments.

Want to learn more about Netflix? Visit https://www.netflix.com/