Data Scientist

Uncover hidden opportunities to make a global impact

ZOLA Electric
Dec 9, 2015 · 4 min read

Off Grid Electric is a growth-stage startup that’s on track to light a million homes in Africa over the next couple years with clean, affordable solar energy (see the articles at the bottom of this post). At the heart of our business is a mountain of historic and real-time data. We‘re now looking for a skilled data scientist to help us harness this data shape our business, delight our customers and empower staff.

This may be your dream job if you’re someone who combines the pragmatism of a data hacker with the rigor of a researcher. You’ll also need to be passionate about bringing solar energy to off-grid and other underserved markets — billions of people around the world — with the unique social, technical, and business challenges that come along with it. You love those uncrackable problems–the ones that you have a knack for cracking–and are inspired by the opportunity to unleash whole continents of human potential, and motivated to help build a truly epic business.

The role

As our founding data scientist you will establish the patterns and methods of leveraging very large data sets to build better tools, and design analytics to inform how the organization approaches its mission. With your holistic understanding of our customers and business you’ll work to ensure we have clean, meaningful data, and then help us rapidly understand and use the ensuing insights.

Day-to-day you will be occupied with activities such as:

  • Designing data collection methods that minimize bias and increase the scope of our analytics frame
  • Conducting data exploration in a manner that ensures we’re asking the right questions and understanding the context of the answers
  • Developing tools driven by predictive analytics, in forms such as learning algorithms and automated workflows

Though you’ll work as a member of the data practice, you will collaborate regularly with software product managers and developers to leverage your work in user-facing applications. Examples of these include:

  • Identification of emergent patterns in our customers’ evolving needs
  • Demand-based coordination of our distributed workforce of thousands
  • Credit scoring algorithms for “unbanked” consumers
  • Machine-assisted customer selection and market segmentation, including incentive design
  • Product recommendations in the sales process
  • Predictive hardware failure
  • Automated geographic routing of deliveries
  • Optimized inventory allocation
  • Working with innovation team to run experiments around new products and services

This role may be located in San Francisco, Denver or Arusha, Tanzania.

What we’re looking for

  • 3+ years of professional or academic data science experience, with demonstrated expertise in statistics, machine learning, data visualization and other relevant fields
  • Mastery of SQL and R, Python, or equivalent data analysis/coding tools; experience with Hadoop, Hive, Pig, AWS Redshift is also desirable
  • Familiarity with working with unstructured data sources
  • BS or MS in Computer Science, Engineering, Mathematics & Statistics or Advanced Science (or equivalent work background) required
  • Nice to have: Experience with solar/energy solutions and/or African markets
  • Expertise with creating hypotheses, using a methodological approach, quantifying the results, and obtaining actionable insights
  • Ability to work well, and communicate brilliantly, across organizational boundaries


  • Travel to some of the loveliest and most exotic parts of Africa
  • The opportunity to directly improve millions of lives. By bringing sustainable electricity to a part of the world where 90% of people have no grid access. Few other activities can provide as fundamental impact to human lives as this.
  • World-class medical, dental, and vision benefits
  • Some of the smartest, most committed, and hardest working co-workers in a distributed environment

Let’s connect

Send us info about yourself to We’ll get the ball rolling from there!

About Off Grid Electric

Off Grid Electric (OGE) is the world’s first massively scalable off-grid electric company. The company provides clean, affordable and transformative energy directly to households that lack access to reliable electricity. OGE’s solar as a service model removes risk for customers, offering the latest in solar technology for less than or equal to a customer’s average energy spend. The company is headquartered in Arusha, Tanzania.

Off Grid is backed by DBL Partners, Solar City, eBay founder Pierre Omidyar’s fund Omidyar Network, and Vulcan Capital, the private investment firm of Microsoft co-Founder, Paul Allen.

The world is watching

ZOLA Electric

ZOLA Electric delivers clean, affordable, reliable solar + smart storage solutions — designed specifically for energy access in Africa 🌞⚡️We operate in Nigeria 🇳🇬 Tanzania 🇹🇿Rwanda 🇷🇼Ghana 🇬🇭Côte d’Ivoire 🇨🇮 Netherlands 🇳🇱 USA 🇺🇸

ZOLA Electric

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ZOLA Electric is democratising energy with clean, affordable, reliable distributed solar + smart storage solutions — POWER ANYWHERE 🌞⚡️🔋🌍

ZOLA Electric

ZOLA Electric delivers clean, affordable, reliable solar + smart storage solutions — designed specifically for energy access in Africa 🌞⚡️We operate in Nigeria 🇳🇬 Tanzania 🇹🇿Rwanda 🇷🇼Ghana 🇬🇭Côte d’Ivoire 🇨🇮 Netherlands 🇳🇱 USA 🇺🇸

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