Lead Data Scientist


We work 4.5 day weeks - every Friday afternoon is off!

Posted 1 month ago

Only considering candidates who are eligible to work in Auckland, New Zealand ⚠️

About Auror

At Auror, we’re empowering the retail industry to tackle theft and Organised Retail Crime, a $150 Billion problem globally. It’s high volume crime that’s increasingly organised in nature and is putting people, retailers, and communities at risk every day.

Founded in New Zealand 11 years ago, we’re working with some of the best and largest retailers in the world across the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the UK.

Auror is connecting people and intelligence to reduce crime. We’re using technology for good.

In partnership with our leading retail partners, we need people with the passion, determination, and innovation required to overcome one of the world's largest problems. If you’re looking to make a difference with and for the people dedicated to stopping crime, for good, then we want you on our team.

About Auror Engineering and Product

Collaboration is at the heart of the Engineering and Product team at Auror. We believe that we can only build the very best software through working with each other, seeking different perspectives to solve problems. We have just started on our journey to unlock the value in the data we collect, helping to connect the dots between incidents and work towards preventing crime in real time. Every day we have tens of thousands of incidents entered into Auror from retailers around the world, including plain text reports, images and CCTV, which need to be matched, aggregated and reported back to our customers and law enforcement.

The Role

We want to arm our retail customers with actionable and unrivaled insight into their business - using real-time data. We currently have 15,000 retail stores using our platform globally with over 50,000 retail users. We are looking for an innovative Lead Data Scientist to help explore the insights present in our data and use machine learning to deliver smart features at scale, as well as lead a team of small but growing data scientists at Auror.  The team is part of the wider Data and AI team, which are based all over the world and includes data engineering, insights, and data science. This role is based in Auckland, New Zealand.

You will work collaboratively with the product squad, the insights team, the wider business, and customers at times. You will have the freedom to design and build ML projects from end to end; this includes solution design, data science, working with engineers and designers to operationalise ML, and constantly improving results as algorithms become part of production systems.  Our data scientists work with a modern data stack (Snowflake, python, Azure), typically prototyping solutions and then helping to operationalise them as they become features in our platform. The immediate goal for this role is to help us move faster with AI: we want to demonstrate value before we integrate our algorithms, and speed up integration into the platform. We also want you and the team to share any new AI developments frequently and proactively - whether it be in your own work at Auror, or generally such as advances in LLMs or computer vision.

Your role would be to lead the data science team as they speed up and scale how data science is delivered, and to ensure that operational needs (such as communicating progress, teaching people about AI, or maintaining algorithm quality) continue to be met in a timely manner. We expect to continue to add people to the team as the company grows, and you’ll lead recruitment for any new people joining the team. The team is small, so we anticipate at least half of your time will be spent on building data science solutions.

Working across multiple jurisdictions and privacy laws, and on sensitive data, we have a focus on being responsible with technology - especially AI. We have created a responsible AI framework and have a core set of guiding principles that help ensure that we - and you - are always thinking about what is the right thing to do.

What you will work on:

  • Leading a small team of data scientists, ensuring their needs are met with regular catch-ups, help with prioritization and organization of work, personal development, and motivating them towards a common goal.
  • Heading up initiatives to improve the way we work as data scientists, working with the team to make our algorithms available faster and across more parts of the platform.
  • Helping to shape new ways of working to support repeatable, trusted and scalable data science. This could include practices such as agile or lean, to tooling such as git, dbt or mlflow. It could also include policies on how we approach data science, such as producing prototypes with human-friendly output, or leveraging open source versus commercially available models.
  • Leading recruitment of any additional people in the data science team.
  • The role is hands-on, and you will be working on a variety of data types - tabular data, free text, images and video. There are a wide variety of AI applications at Auror, such as creating ML models to match people and vehicle profiles, identifying networks of crime, image and video recognition, and outlier detection in retail crime events.
  • Working with engineering and product teams to help drive analytical innovations (ML, insights) for our platform.
  • Working with engineering and data teams to build and integrate pipelines for data and machine learning predictions in real time in Auror.
  • Working with data and platform engineering to ensure the appropriate infrastructure is available to support your algorithms in a multi-tenanted and multi-geography environment.
  • When appropriate, sharing documentation or presenting on your models and designs to engineers and data professionals within Auror, the wider business, and the community.

This role reports to Dr Kat Hempstalk, Director of Data & AI

I joined Auror with one goal in mind: enabling data to delight our customers. I currently sit within engineering and look after our new data warehouse and artificial intelligence systems. I have previously held leadership roles at well known NZ companies such as Trade Me, Xero and Orion Health, and have helped build cutting edge machine learning systems in many different domains. I enjoy working with people who are curious, have a strong desire to learn, like using modern technologies and methodologies, and are keen to use data in interesting (and safe) ways. I’m based in Tauranga with my trouble-maker miniature schnauzer, Rufus.

What you’ll need to know:

  • You may be a new or experienced leader. We expect you to have experience leading data science projects and coaching others around you to do their best work.
  • We expect you’ll be familiar with tools such as SQL, python and pytorch, and cloud environments such as Azure.
  • You will understand the latest ML tools and techniques, across a variety of data types. You might be an expert in one of these (such as LLMs, or computer vision), but you’ll also have a broad understanding of other areas of ML.
  • Experience in designing, building and deploying machine learning models in practice.
  • An understanding of available commoditized AI and state-of-the-art architectures, and being able to trade off between using pre-built solutions versus novel approaches.
  • Strong sense of responsibility around data stewardship, privacy, and ethics with respect to the company, customers, and community.
  • An ability to describe advanced techniques to a non-technical audience, and great at communicating progress - both online & offline, written & verbal.
  • Understanding of Git and CI/CD best practices, and great at ensuring code is easily understood and stored securely.
  • You’ll have an understanding of data warehousing tools such as Snowflake and ELT practices (Extract, Load, Transform) and how these can help you and your team to do your job more effectively.

Nice to have:

  • Experience in using Azure-based ML tools, including the new OpenAI APIs.
  • Published research in leading conferences or journals.
  • A strong opinion on how AI can be used both effectively and ethically, and a drive to ensure we use AI with care.
  • Expertise in computer vision or LLMs beyond leveraging open source or commodity models.
  • Postgraduate degree or greater in statistics, software engineering, computer science, data analysis, or similar relevant subjects.

We are looking for people who demonstrate a strong alignment to our Guiding Principles (you can find these on our Careers page).

With diversity and inclusion at the forefront of Auror’s guiding principles, we promote a culture that celebrates diversity and inclusiveness at Auror, regardless of, but not limited to, race, gender, sexual orientation, family status, religion, ethnicity, national origin, physical disability, veteran status, or age.

  • Competitive salary Range: Depending on level of experience of $135,000-$153,000 (PL3)
  • Employee share scheme: You’ll own part of a company making a real difference!
  • Flexibility: We are hard-working and outcome focused, but recognise there is more to life than work. We promote a healthy work/life blend.
  • Shorter work weeks (at full pay): Everyone gets Friday afternoons off, so you can start your weekend early, and do more of whatever it is that makes you happy.
  • Focus on mental and physical health: We understand how vital our health is and have policies to support your wellness, including: Wellness Days,  and up to three expert sessions paid for every year.
  • NiB Health Care Plan: Auror covers 100% of the cost of your individual health insurance plan.
  • Family-friendly: We offer comprehensive parental leave and benefits for primary and non-primary caregivers, including a baby bonus and meals delivered to your door.
  • Personal growth: We support our team to participate in courses, conferences, or events that will help them develop their skills.
  • Team love: We have regular team lunches and social events where most (if not all) activities are during work hours.

Next steps:

If you’re excited about our mission and you have experience and a passion for this role, please hit “Apply” below.

We’re proud that Auror is a place where everyone can learn and grow. So if you’re not sure that you tick all the boxes but feel you’re close to what we’re looking for, please apply anyway as we’d love to hear from you!

Once you apply, you’ll hear from us to acknowledge your application. If you have questions about any of the above, or if you have any accessibility requirements, we’ll be able to help you from there.


Auror is the platform for retailers focused on preventing crime, reducing loss, and making stores safer.

Working Week

We work 4.5 day weeks - every Friday afternoon is off!

  • Mon
  • Tue
  • Wed
  • Thu
  • 🏖️

Our Vacation Policy

4 weeks PTO plus public holidays

Remote Working Policy

We are flexible with work location. Work from our office in New Zealand or remotely.

  • New Zealand
  • USA
  • Australia
  • UK

Company Benefits

  • Private Health Care (location dependant)
  • Flexible working hours
  • Comprehensive parental leave
  • Employee share scheme
  • Equipment allowance

Our Team

We're a team of 190 across 15 departments:

  • engineering
  • support
  • education
  • operations
  • entrepreneurship
  • product management
  • data science
  • +8 more teams

Desirable Skills and Experience

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