https://competitionandmarkets.blog.gov.uk/2019/10/18/tech-insights-and-agile-working-in-the-data-unit/

Tech insights and agile working in the DaTA Unit 

Person typing on a laptop

Right now, artificial intelligence and digital tech are transforming how companies operate and delivering huge benefits to people across our society. But this comes with risks to competition, and ultimately, to consumers.

At the CMA, we are working hard to find answers and solutions to important questions such as:

  • how can we ensure that the largest tech firms use their capabilities and data to manage their platforms and protect consumers?
  • does retailers’ use of automated algorithms to price products increase their prices for the most vulnerable consumers? if so, what can be done?

These new technologies - AI, machine learning and data engineering – also present great opportunities for the CMA to increase the effectiveness of our operations and thereby protect people and markets.

We’ve previously blogged about the role of our new DaTA Unit - to ensure the CMA stays at the leading edge of data and tech.

We've built a team of 20 brilliant data scientists and engineers (check out our team photo). We use cutting-edge analytics platforms developed using AWS, Jupyter Hub, Spark, Python and much more. The view from our brand new office in Canary Wharf isn’t bad either, with floor to ceiling windows that look out over the Thames and the London city skyline.

View of London city
View from the CMA office in Canary Wharf

We support major cases under investigation by the CMA by analysing swathes of large and complex data, using the tools of the big technology firms. For example, we are using our analysis and technical insight to fully contribute to the CMA’s current market study on online platforms and digital advertising.

Due to demand for our technical work, we are looking for an additional lead data scientist to join the team. 

And to further develop our capabilities we’re recruiting for 2 entirely new roles in the DaTA unit:

Data & Technology Insight

This team will have the scope and capability to shape CMA policy, enforcement cases, and market investigations that directly benefit consumers. It will provide knowledge and insights through engaging and working with data and technology markets at the leading edge, whilst keeping a finger on the pulse of new, emerging and current trends.

The team will collaborate and integrate with our data science, data engineering and behavioural science teams to shape, deliver, iterate and best communicate our analytical projects to a variety of audiences. It will deliver innovative external events, such as ‘hackathons’ and ‘unconferences’ to help us not only understand key issues and how we might solve problems, but also how we can work with and influence tech companies to deliver consumer focussed solutions too.

We’re looking for strong communicators to join the team, with knowledge of new tech and data and the companies that use them. But most importantly, we’re looking for people with a keen interest to learn more.

See more about the roles here:

Agile Operations

Our Operations Team will support the delivery of our projects and oversee the Unit’s wide and varied portfolio of work. We see effective project management as important and key to strong project delivery. We like to innovate, iterate and improve. To date, we have developed an agile operating model based on the project management approaches used by start-ups and tech companies. The Operations Team will continue to develop and improve it.

Our project managers will work proactively with our data scientists, engineers and business users to scope, prioritise and deliver our projects. We want people who have a user-centric focus, developing and running user workshops and other events.

If you’re an experienced and pragmatic project manager, who loves working in a dynamic environment, find out more about the current roles:

New opportunities

This is an exciting time to join us. We’re a diverse, social team who enjoy working together on a wide variety of projects with technical complexity and seeing how this translates to tangible benefits for people in the UK.

If you have any questions about the teams or roles, feel free to comment below!

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