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Director, Data Science Delivery

Sun Life Financial

This is a Contract position in Toronto, ON posted October 8, 2020.

You are as unique as your background, experience and point of view. Here, you’ll be encouraged, empowered and challenged to be your best self. You’ll work with dynamic colleagues – experts in their fields – who are eager to share their knowledge with you. Your leaders will inspire and help you reach your potential and soar to new heights. Every day, you’ll have new and exciting opportunities to make life brighter for our Clients – who are at the heart of everything we do. Discover how you can make a difference in the lives of individuals, families and communities around the world.

Job Description:

Role Summary

Digital, Data and Analytics is one of the key pillars of Sun Life’s Client for Life Strategy. Leveraging innovative digital capabilities powered by data, insights and intelligence, we aim to inspire and energize our clients and sales professionals to believe “Life’s brighter under the Sun”. We are looking for a motivated thought leader who will be responsible for working with business partners to determine how Data Science, Machine Learning and Analytics Technologies can improve decision making and support our digital capabilities. Your team will use data science, machine learning, and other disciplines to create new data-based capabilities for our business and IT partners.

As a Data Science Delivery Director, you will work with Business and Analytics Platform Engineering teams to implement new analytical solutions and capabilities, and innovate in the areas of Machine Learning, AI and Advanced Analytics. In this role you will split your time between development of applications focused around machine learning and predictive analytics, and managerial activities.

The candidate must have combination of – strong client interaction skills; subject matter expertise in data science, AWS platform and data architecture knowledge, and hands on implementation experience.

This role would closely collaborate with senior leaders of numerous functions across SLF Enterprise Services including Enterprise Architecture, Cloud Center of Excellence, Application Services, Security, Risk, etc., as well as our Business partners.

What will you do?

Engagement Management & Delivery:

  • Lead cross-functional agile delivery teams in the development of Reporting, Advanced Analytics solutions and Data Science models

  • Manage a complex portfolio of data science projects, initiatives and POCs across multiple business units

  • Facilitate workshops with stakeholders for developing a hypothesis-driven approach or a MVP based approach to delivering solutions

  • Provide technology leadership to yield innovative and differentiating solutions

  • Establish best practices for data science project delivery, model life-cycle management, model monitoring , and model quality management

  • Assist stakeholders to measure the impact and effectiveness of strategies and initiatives by applying analytical techniques as well as ROI calculations

  • Foster an environment of self-service BI in the business; building analytical solutions to assist the business get to answers faster by leveraging data

  • Manage, mentor and inspire a high performing collaborative team of data analytics professionals

Business Development:

  • Partner with internal customers and executive leaders throughout the organization to identify opportunities for leveraging data and applied analytics to drive business solutions

  • Actively participate in pre-sales and business development efforts

  • Develop executive presentations and present capabilities to prospective customers

  • Ensure excellent customer relations, as well as engage in high-priority interactions with clients

  • Attend customer facing events, identify and participate in internal roadshows and marketing opportunities.

Strategic Planning:

  • Assist with the development and delivery of the overall objectives and key results for the Data and Analytics team, directly correlating with assigned growth goals

  • Support Data & Analytics management team with executive presentations on data science services and deliverables

  • Work with External Vendors and Internal teams across Product and Engineering to define a technology roadmap for Data Science tools and services.

  • Partner and collaborate with Data & Analytics Strategy, Engineering and Cloud Infrastructure teams to help build and define technology roadmaps and strategies for the Enterprise Analytics Platform;

What will you need to succeed?

Technical skills:

  • Strong conceptual and analytical thinking combined with the ability to effectively understand analytics needs and build effective solutions.

  • Expertise in conducting analysis in open source analytical programming languages R and/or Python and in data manipulation using SQL

  • Experience architecting & designing solutions including data ingestion, data integration (API based), predictive analytics, advanced visualization & dashboards.

  • Experience in DevOps framework – Jenkins, ArtiFactory, Ansible etc.

  • Experience on AWS Cloud platform and services such as AWS Sagemaker

  • Experience using data visualization tools such as Tableau, R Shiny, etc.

  • Knowledge of machine learning techniques (clustering, decision trees, Random Forest, Boosting, XGBoost, Tensorflow, PyTorch, etc.), advanced statistical techniques and concepts (regression, statistical tests, hypothesis testing).

  • Thorough understanding of full ML pipeline, starting from data collection to model building to inference

  • Working knowledge of Python data science ecosystem: Pandas, NumPy, SciPy, scikit-learn and building data pipelines and ETL using Python & SQL.

  • Good knowledge on coding standards, design patterns, unit testing frameworks, TDD, CICD practices with tools/technologies like Github, Maven, Jenkins, Docker, etc.

  • Working knowledge or training in Docker-Container architecture


  • Demonstrate independent problem solving skills and ability to develop solutions to complex analytical/data-driven problems.

  • Delivery expertise using Agile practices like Scrum and Kanban

  • Collaboration skills – Works effectively with others on matrixed teams; comfortable working in global environment and across time zones

  • Project Management Skills – Able to effectively manage time and resources for self and a small matrixed team of peers and contractor resources

  • Communication skills – Talented in analytical storytelling with extraordinary ability to convey complex analytical results to the business; skill at building relationships across the organization and becoming a trusted, sought-after partner.

  • Responsive, fast-paced decision-maker who is highly driven to achieve business expectations.

  • A fact-based management style in addressing business and customer’s tactical issues and strategic needs

  • Strong influencing skills to work with IT and Business partners to offer the right resources and solutions to the customer


  • Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in Statistics, Mathematics, Economics, Finance, Computer Science or another quantitative field is required.


  • 5+ years team leadership experience

  • 10+ years of strong multi-disciplinary analytics experience, with a preference for experience in technology or management consulting,

  • Past experience in Life Insurance, Wealth Management, or other Financial services industry

  • Experience mentoring and managing Data Scientists and Data Engineers

Unique Requirements

Candidate must be able to attain Canadian Reliability Security Clearance (administered by submitting fingerprints to the RCMP, who then conduct min. 5 year history checks).

What is in it for you?

  • Competitive salary and bonus structure influenced by market range data

  • Entitlement to flexible benefits, pension, stocks, savings and vacation

  • A friendly, collaborative and inclusive culture

  • Being part of our Analytics community, where we share best practices and broaden skill-sets

The Base Pay range is for the primary location for which the job is posted.  It may vary depending on the work location of the successful candidate or other factors.  In addition to Base Pay, eligible Sun Life employees participate in various incentive plans, payment under which is discretionary and subject to individual and company performance.  Certain sales focused roles have sales incentive plans based on individual or group sales results. 

Diversity and inclusion have always been at the core of our values at Sun Life. A diverse workforce with wide perspectives and creative ideas benefits our clients, the communities where we operate and all of us as colleagues. We welcome applications from qualified individuals from all backgrounds.

Persons with disabilities who need accommodation in the application process or those needing job postings in an alternative format may e-mail a request to

We thank all applicants for showing an interest in this position. Only those selected for an interview will be contacted.

Salary Range:

102,500/102 500 – 169,200/169 200

Job Category:

IT – Technology Services

Posting End Date: