Sr. Director, Data Research at Upgrade | Powderkeg

Location: San Francisco

Employment Type: Full-Time

Team: Analytics

Upgrade is a fintech unicorn founded in 2017. We are the fastest-growing company in the Americas (Financial Times). In the last five years, over 15 million people have applied for an Upgrade card or loan, and we have delivered over $10 billion in affordable and responsible credit. Our innovative Upgrade Card is the fastest growing credit card in America (Nilson Report). Combining the flexibility of a credit card with the low cost of an installment loan helps us redefine banking.

Upgrade has been named a “Best Place to Work in the Bay Area” three years in a row, one of the “Top Companies to work for in Arizona”, and we have received awards for being a best company for Diversity, Women, Culture, and Veterans.

We are looking for new team members who get excited about designing and delivering new and better products to join a team of 900 talented and passionate professionals. Come join us if you like to tackle big problems and make a meaningful difference in people's lives.


  • Lead data research for credit risk management
  • Evaluate data assets and vendors that include traditional industry and alternate sources
  • Develop, design, implement & maintain a range of data features for use in front end underwriting, verification strategies or portfolio management for Upgrade Card and Personal Loan products
  • Document the value of data features, clearly presenting the advantages, and disadvantages based on supporting evidence to members of the credit risk management team
  • Collaborate with Engineering and Product to expose data features to the appropriate decisioning or strategy infrastructure
  • Develop and improve risk infrastructure to scale risk management capabilities


  • Advanced Degree (PhD or MS) in Statistics, Mathematics, Operations Research, Data Sciences or a related quantitative discipline
  • Minimum of 8+ years industry or research experience, 3+ years of experience in data science in financial services or similar industry
  • Strong data-manipulation and data visualization skills
  • Knowledge and experience of segmentation, statistical procedures, and financial analytic tools are required
  • Expert knowledge in Python, SQL, R, SAS required
  • Experience exploring new tools, new methodologies to solve real-world problems
  • Detail oriented and strong analytical skills - proficiency in writing technical documents and present analysis
  • Experience exploring new tools, new methodologies to solve real-world problems
  • Experience operating in a fast-paced environment whilst focused on critical issues


- Competitive salary and stock option plan

- 100% paid coverage of medical, dental and vision insurance

- 401K match

- Unlimited vacation

- Hybrid workplace

- Learning stipend for personal growth and development

- Paid parental leave

- Health & wellness initiatives

We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status.

California Employee Privacy Notice

Effective Date: 1/1/2020

Notice to Applicants for Employment, Employees, and Contractors:

This California Employee Privacy Notice is intended to provide California consumers who are employed or apply for employment or a contractor position with Upgrade information about the categories of personal information Upgrade collects and how the company uses this information. For any questions about this notice, please contact

Personal Information Upgrade Collects:

_Identifying information: including name, address, email, telephone number, social security number, driver license number, passport number, and other personal identifying information. Information you provide as a part of a job application or from a background check performed after a job offered is extended, including employment, education, credit, and criminal history. Data on work productivity and performance, including hours worked, electronic network activity, and tasks performed. _

Purposes for Collecting Personal Information:

_To consider applications for employment. To complete payments, including payroll, expense reimbursement, other compensation-related payments, and the administration of stock options. To administer benefits, including medical, dental, vision, commuter, and retirement benefits. To provide human resources services and conduct performance evaluations. To monitor work eligibility including work-related licenses, credentials, training, and eligibility to work in the United States. To ensure a safe and efficient working environment. To comply with applicable legal or regulatory requirements including state and federal company reporting obligations. _

Job Summary
  • Job Title
    Sr. Director, Data Research
  • Company
  • Location
    San Francisco, CA
  • Employment Type
    Full time
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