Senior Data Scientist, NLP at Ascent

| Chicago
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[email protected] with Job Title/Built In in the subject line.
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Who We Are

Ascent is a Chicago-based startup that closed its Series B funding round of $19.3M in Fall 2019. Founded only four years ago, the team has since grown to almost 50 full time employees, led and supported by an executive team and board of directors with extensive experience in technology, regulatory compliance, sales and business operations. Ascent serves global financial institutions such as ING and CommBank, and is also working directly with regulators around the world in order to continually improve and advance our product.

A first mover in building proprietary RegulationAI™, Ascent delivers market leading regulatory knowledge as a groundbreaking new way for financial firms to manage compliance. It is our mission to help our customers protect their business from regulatory and reputational risk while reducing their overall cost to comply. 

We prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion and believe strongly that a team with different backgrounds and perspectives produces better results. Together, we are solving a $64 billion global problem in regulatory compliance. Watch this video to learn more about what we do.

Who You Are

We are building an intelligent compliance platform that enables compliance professionals to easily track and understand their compliance obligations and related regulation. To support that platform, we are also building a full data science platform and team to help improve our efficiency at processing regulations and unlock new features using fundamentally creative approaches.

We are looking for experienced, passionate data scientists to help us build and maintain models that help solve a wide variety of problems.

As a Senior Data Scientist working on NLP at Ascent, your day-to-day work will include working closely with business users, our regulation content team, and the rest of our data scientists and engineers to: a) use state-of-the-art NLP to automate significant sections of the workflow involved in onboarding and managing regulations; b) uncover novel features and information from text to enable new product features (e.g. finding related groups of regulation across regulators); c) deploy, monitor, and maintain models to actually solve problems in production; and d) experiment with creative solutions to problems that use new research and tools and disseminate new knowledge to the team. We primarily use the Python data ecosystem, including both scikit-learn and Keras+Tensorflow, but we are open to all tools. We use all kinds of models, including deep learning and non-deep learning; we prefer to use the simplest tool that accomplishes the goal. 

Responsibilities

  • Work with non-technical colleagues to design and build machine learning models that accomplish specific tasks, with a heavy focus on NLP – splitting, summarization, classification, entity recognition, similarity scoring, recommendation, etc
  • Cross validate and test models prior to deployment, and monitor model accuracy in production
  • Employ production-quality coding standards / best-practices during model training, prototyping, and deployment
  • Help educate others in the company about machine learning and data science so that they can think productively about possible solutions to their business problems
  • Stay current on machine learning research and tools
  • Prioritize minimum viable models / solutions over complicated models / solutions
  • Think about NLP fundamentals and use your intuition to apply cutting-edge NLP research to our most difficult problems
  • Mentor less experienced data scientists

Minimum Skills and Experience

  • 4+ years solving business problems using data science
  • 2+ years building NLP models that were used to transform text in production pipelines
  • 1+ year using sequential deep learning models or similar on text problems
  • Experience with both supervised and unsupervised learning approaches
  • A thorough understanding of the mathematical underpinnings of common models
  • Experience developing creative modeling solutions given a set of business requirements and delivering that value to the business
  • Ability to work productively on small teams and manage workstreams independently if needed
  • Proficient in SQL, *nix CLI tools (grep/sed/awk/BASH, etc), and Python
  • Experience deploying and maintaining code using git-based tools and operating in a continuous deployment/integration environment
  • Experience writing thorough tests and documentation for maintainable code-bases

Preferred Skills and Experience

  • 3+ years building NLP models that were used to transform text in production pipelines
  • 2+ years of experience using NLP to drive process automation
  • Uncommonly strong statistical and mathematical background
  • Educational background in Computational Linguistics or similar

Benefits

Ascent employees enjoy many benefits and perks, including:

  • Competitive compensation
  • Medical, dental, and vision insurance; premiums paid 95% for the individual
  • Medical premiums paid 50% for covered dependents
  • Life insurance
  • 401K
  • Commuter benefits
  • Unlimited PTO
  • Professional development stipend
  • The opportunity to work with smart people on challenging problems!

 

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Technology we use

  • Engineering
    • JavascriptLanguages
    • PythonLanguages
    • RubyLanguages
    • jQueryLibraries
    • ReactLibraries
    • Twitter BootstrapLibraries
    • DjangoFrameworks
    • FlaskFrameworks
    • Ruby on RailsFrameworks
    • MongoDBDatabases
    • Neo4jDatabases
    • PostgreSQLDatabases
    • RedisDatabases

Location

Our office is convenient to all loop trains and many buses, and the Pedway! We have a great selection of healthy lunch options nearby.

An Insider's view of Ascent

What are some social events your company does?

Our leadership really believes in building and strengthening our community here at Ascent. We've had a day-long company outing to a baseball game. We have monthly team lunches, which are a good way to connect with colleagues over food. We also have movie outings and happy hours that we all enjoy together!

Shubhangi

Regulatory Intelligence Analyst

What's the biggest problem your team is solving?

My team coordinates work that needs to be done by both people and machines. We do this by creating delightful interfaces/experiences for our users and by augmenting our workflows with machine learning to produce work that’s intuitive and efficient. This means my team gets to play with fun tech from the frontend all the way to the back.

Conrad

Senior Software Engineer

What makes someone successful on your team?

Prior to joining Ascent, I used to believe "brilliance is evenly distributed but opportunity is not". Here at Ascent, irrespective of your gender, race or color, the opportunity to impact and change the world around you is evenly distributed and all anyone would require to succeed is the passion and desire to solve problems.

Sunkanmi

Software Developer

How do your team's ideas influence the company's direction?

Our job as a leadership team is to provide context, not solutions. The people working directly on a project are in the best position to make decisions, so we hire smart people and then trust them. We're here to support our teams and to make sure efforts are aligned across the company.

Chris

CTO

What are Ascent Perks + Benefits

Ascent Benefits Overview

Everyone brings a unique set of skills and talents, and we want to take advantage of everything you have to offer. We also want to make sure you get as much out of this opportunity as you put in, and we’ll give you the support you need for Ascent to be a transformational period of growth in your career.

Our team enjoys a number of benefits and perks, including:

- Competitive compensation
- Medical, dental, vision, mental health insurance – with individual premiums 95% paid by Ascent
- 401K offered
- Commuter benefits
- Unlimited PTO and Bank Holidays
- Flexible work schedule
- Professional development stipend
- The opportunity to work with smart people on challenging problems!

Culture
Friends outside of work
Eat lunch together
Open door policy
Team owned deliverables
Team based strategic planning
Pair programming
Open office floor plan
Diversity
Highly diverse management team
Mean gender pay gap below 10%
Health Insurance & Wellness Benefits
Dental Benefits
Vision Benefits
Health Insurance Benefits
Multiple plan options with Blue Cross Blue Shield, as well an HSA (Heath Savings Account).
Wellness Programs
Onsite Gym
There is an on-site gym in Prudential Plaza which is free to employees.
Retirement & Stock Options Benefits
401(K)
Company Equity
Child Care & Parental Leave Benefits
Flexible Work Schedule
Ascent offers a completely flexible scheduling and work from home policy.
Remote Work Program
Vacation & Time Off Benefits
Unlimited Vacation Policy
Generous PTO
Sabbatical
Paid Holidays
Paid Sick Days
Perks & Discounts
Casual Dress
Commuter Benefits
Company Outings
Stocked Kitchen
Some Meals Provided
Happy Hours
Professional Development Benefits
Job Training & Conferences
Ascent offers a generous professional development stipend per year.
Promote from within

Additional Perks + Benefits

We want to create an environment where people can do their best work. That means supporting our employees in their careers, in their health, and in their lives. We're always looking for ways to concretely demonstrate these values. For example, we pay 95% of our employees' individual health premiums!

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