At Starling, our data scientists help drive data-based, strategic decisions across the bank. They use their knowledge of mathematics, statistics and programming to uncover insights that can improve our account application process or app features. They also work with our Engineering team to make our internal systems even more efficient and our products even more useful for customers. This sometimes includes the building of artificial intelligence (AI) systems, which is carefully managed by the team.
We have 35 data scientists at Starling and we’re on the lookout for more to join us. They work across all three offices – Cardiff, London and Southampton – in almost all parts of the bank.
Harriet, Chief Information Officer
“When you work in data at Starling, you’re really empowered,” says Harriet Rees, Starling’s Chief Information Officer (pictured above). “We make sure that people from the data team are actively involved in discussions about the problems that need solving. It means that we can understand the nuance of what’s needed.”
Harriet, who was brought up in Wales, joined Starling in 2018 as Head of Data Science, after hearing Starling’s CEO and founder Anne Boden on the radio. “I myself was inspired by the fact that Anne is a Welsh woman in technology who wanted to inspire other women in technology and the FinTech space. I wrote her a letter. And the rest is history.” Harriet, 32, previously worked in the insurance industry.
At Starling, she has helped develop a number of app features, as well as systems that simplify processes for staff. “Some of my favourite implementations have been really customer-focused. I talk often about our in-app cheque deposit feature. I love this product because it has data science at its heart and it’s an example of us delivering something truly innovative that customers need,” she says. “We’re using technology and data for the good of the customer.”
Rakhee, Data Analytics Lead
“It’s an amazing place to work,” says Data Analytics Lead, Rakhee. “There are so many bright people in the team I talk to and learn from and there are opportunities to answer some of the most pressing questions within the bank. No day is the same, which is what makes it fun, and everyone has lots of autonomy.”
Rakhee, 30, joined Starling’s London office in 2021. She previously worked for another bank. “I wanted to work for an organisation that had technology at its core and where I felt like my work had an impact.”
Rakhee was introduced to data science through a placement she did with the Welsh Government as part of her Masters in Statistics. “I love how I can feed my curiosity as to why something happens in a certain way.”
Sebastian, Data Scientist
Before joining Starling in 2021, Sebastian worked as a researcher in astrophysics, focusing on gravitational waves. “Every massive object gives off gravitational waves when it accelerates,” he says.
“When I move my hand, I technically give off gravitational waves, only they’re so tiny, they’re almost impossible to detect. Gravitational waves were theorised by Einstein over 100 years ago but they were only detected from colliding black holes in 2015.”
Sebastian, 32, completed his PhD in Cardiff in 2016, where he later became a researcher. In 2021, he joined Starling’s Cardiff office as a Data Scientist.
“I wanted to see what life was like outside of academia and I knew I wanted to do something in data science because it’s a way that I can use my skills to hopefully make the world a better place,” he says. “Banking is something that everyone interacts with and something where there are lots of interesting problems to solve.”
For Sebastian, the best part of his job is the variety of tasks he’s asked to complete and the trust that’s placed in him. “Starling gives me the freedom to explore ideas.”