Head of Data - Data Science

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 audiences in their millions every day.
But behind the scenes, however, we have work to do. We are making the shift from being a
broadcaster that speaks to our audiences to being a service that is shaped by them and
designed around their wants and needs. We are creating personalised products and
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 that’s why it is right at the top of our
As Head of Data Science within the BBC Product Group you will be responsible for leading
the community of Data Scientists working within multifunctional product teams across the
Group. You will be responsible for the value delivery of AI and machine learning capabilities,
embedding a data-driven outcome-focused culture across the wider Group, and working in
collaboration with leadership, across the Data function and the wider Group, to influence and
implement an industry-leading data and ML strategy for the BBC.

Role Responsibility

  • You will be responsible for recruiting, coaching and progressing the careers of a talented and diverse team of data scientists within the Group.
  • You will be jointly responsible for defining and implementing the Product Group’s data and ML strategy, in collaboration with teams and leadership across Data, Engineering, Architecture and Product.
  • You will proactively shape and enable engagement and collaboration opportunities across the BBC and externally, evangelising the use of data-driven decision making and bringing others on-board along that journey.
  • You will grow and enable diverse teams, fostering an inclusive environment to ensure all individuals can be their authentic self and contribute at their best.
  • You will be a passionate advocate for the responsible use of AI and ML, jointly responsible for embedding best practices in the workflows of data teams across the Product Group.
  • You will bring a mature understanding of the data science technical landscape, able to work with teams to build and scale capabilities, taking a simplest-first approach.
  • You will report to the Director, Product Data, forming a core part of the Product Data senior leadership team, alongside others in analytics, data management and more.
  • You will be an influential technical leader, able to clearly communicate challenges and opportunities to both the Product Group and wider BBC leadership.

The Ideal Candidate

  • You’ll have significant experience hiring and retaining data scientists in a competitive market.
  • You’ll be experienced in overcoming the hurdles required to get solutions involving data science into production, with a proven track record of delivering significant value to users or audiences.
  • You’ll be able to demonstrate evidence of a highly collaborative approach, able to inspire and enable data scientists to work effectively with other disciplines in a digital product organisation.
  • You’ll have the technical knowledge to guide teams and assess the feasibility and suitability of proposed solutions. You will demonstrate the ability to delegate and allow teams autonomy to deliver.


  • You’ll be an experienced coach of people leaders, with the ability to identify and shape individuals to flourish as successful team and project leads.
  • You’ll have experience as an individual contributor in data science or related disciplines, able to demonstrate a clear understanding of the needs and support required by the team.

Package Description

Band: F
Contract type: Permanent
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.

About the Company

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


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