11 Best Companies to Work for as a Data Scientist
This list of best data science companies aims to go beyond the usual and expected. Some great and perhaps underrated options to get a job as a data scientist.
Since the 1960s, Big Data has taken root and expanded in the world. According to Oracle, big data is data that “contains greater variety, arriving in increasing volumes, and with more velocity.” With the advent of big data, we now have giant, complex data sets that can provide insights to more business problems than ever before. Data science companies have been cropping up in every industry to analyze this data for business insights.
All of this business opportunity translates directly into job opportunities. Although few universities have data science programs, the industry is growing with a voracious appetite. There are tons of data science companies out there, and almost every significant company out there will have a few data scientists working for them. Bernhardt Schroeder reports in Forbes that according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the data science industry in the U.S. will grow by 28% by 2026. There are tons of open positions in data science, so if you have the skills and interest, you can practically take your pick. What are the best data science companies to work for? And how do you figure out which one is the best for you?
When you want to become a data scientist, most people first think of Google’s data science jobs, or want to get a job at Facebook. We have the Ultimate Guide to the Top 5 Data Science Companies, where we discussed the data science roles at these big tech companies. Of course, these are classic data science employers, but this list aims to go beyond the usual and expected. I want to provide you with some great and perhaps underrated options to get a job as a data scientist.
What Makes a Data Science Company the Best?
When it comes to finding the best data scientist company to work for, there are a lot of factors to consider. You may prefer smaller data science companies, data science work in a certain industry, or you might have geographic restrictions. I personally prefer customer-centric companies with a lot of scope to explore my own data science interests, but everyone is different! I will walk you through what I consider to be the best companies to work for as a data scientist. I’ve considered a combination of compensation, work/life balance, and significance in the industry - how cool the work is. Finally, I’ve broken them down into categories based on size.
Let’s dig into the best data science companies to work for.
Best Companies to Work for as a Data Scientist: Large Companies
Microsoft has a lot of cool data-science focused projects and products. Although they are known as an enterprise and consumer software company, Microsoft is a tech giant and is still a formidable data science company. Just as an example, they have one project called AI for Earth, which puts their Cloud and AI tools in the hands of people working to improve the environment. They develop open source tools, data, APIs, and models to support technology development for sustainability efforts. They also have the AI for Accessibility program that aims to shrink the “data desert” and fill the gaps of AI data sets for those with disabilities.
On top of their admirable research and open source projects, Microsoft has a wide range of products for consumers, enterprises, and developers. You can work on products from Microsoft Word to Xbox. With such a wide variety of end users and products, you can likely find an area that fits your interests, or try out several different product areas by moving around internally.
They have a bunch of data, analytics, and AI positions open around the world. You can choose to focus on a pure data science role, optimize sales strategies, or work as a software engineer with a focus in data science. This variety of projects is part of what makes Microsoft one of the best data science companies to work for. There are a lot of teams with diverse needs and work opportunities, so take a look for yourself to see if there’s a product area or team that interests you. Check out a comprehensive guide on getting a job with Microsoft as a data scientist if that career path interests you.
Amazon has long since left behind the days of being just an online bookseller and is one of the best places to work as a data scientist. (We have a guide on how to become a data scientist at Amazon.) Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the largest individual market share holder in the cloud services industry. As far as data science companies go, Amazon is a powerhouse that employs data scientists in order to provide machine learning and data science solutions along with their AWS cloud services.
On top of their AWS-centered data science services, Amazon offers anti-fraud products for their online retail customers that use machine learning to detect fraud among their plethora of transactions.
Given all of the data Amazon alone generates and gathers through their eCommerce business, there’s a lot of very interesting and informative data under Amazon’s control. Wouldn’t you love to get your hands on it? Amazon has loads of open data science positions that range from optimizing supply chains to forecasting demand. There are tons of fascinating problems to solve for data scientists at Amazon.
Airbnb put in a lot of hard work to revolutionize the travel industry. Airbnb has made great use of data scientists. Their previous head of data science stated that Airbnb “looks at data as the voice of the customer, and data science as the interpretation of that voice.” I find customer-centric companies great to work for. There’s a purpose and logic to the decisions that are made, and they are meant to benefit both the customer and the business.
Airbnb has used data science to improve their services and search, but also their hiring practices. They’ve used data science to analyze and drive out bias in their own hiring behavior. Data science companies have the option to use a lot of their knowledge on internal processes, and Airbnb is a great example of this. Their culture of self-reflection and critique is why I think Airbnb is one of the best data science companies to work for.
Another cool thing about data science at Airbnb is that they have open data science positions in finance, trust, and guest experiences. With such a wide array of focus areas, a data scientist could move around within Airbnb and gain exposure to a lot of different industries. I always think it’s a good idea to plan ahead and think about your next three moves. Working at Airbnb as a data scientist could lead to work with a fintech company, security, or a more customer-facing role, so if that’s something you’re interested in, check out Airbnbs list of open data science positions to find one that fits your interests.
There are data science companies, and then there is Nvidia. Nvidia defined “accelerated analytics” that processes data up to 20x faster and requires no refactoring by using GPUs, like their NVIDIA DGX A100s. Time is money in the world of business, and these optimizations have led to a lot of success for Nvidia’s graphic cards. They have their data scientists work with cutting-edge chips and graphic cards to optimize them for working with massive amounts of data.
At Nvidia you get the opportunity to improve the work of data scientists around the world. You can have a multiplicative effect on the efficiency of data science work, which is why Nvidia is one of the best data science companies to work for - you have such a high opportunity for impact and fulfillment.
Nvidia also provides data science consulting to customers and uses data science internally to optimize the popularity of developed products. As a large company, they have hundreds of open data science positions ranging from data architects to data generation engineers.
Oracle has a really cool cloud platform that enables their customers to utilize their data via machine learning models, visualizations, and predictive analytics. As a data scientist working to develop this platform, you get to develop all of these fantastic models and tools for end users to apply to their data.
The analytics platform has “embedded machine learning and natural language processing technologies [that] help increase productivity.” This kind of work gives you a big opportunity to improve the quality of (work) life of your customers. You can work on advertising, designing data-science-focused products, find new ways to organize and analyze unstructured data, or search to uncover meaning amidst the noise.
Oracle has thousands of open data science positions, ranging all over their internal departments for practically every experience level. Given the sheer number of open data science positions, Oracle is one of the best data science companies to work for if you’re looking to gain reputation and experience in a lot of different areas.
You might not immediately think of the Atlanta-based airline, but Delta should be considered to be among data science companies. Delta applies machine learning to decision science “on a scale that’s never been done before by an airline”. With access to Delta’s historical data, data scientists at Delta simulate operating challenges to come up with solutions that minimize customer impact. As someone who has been frustrated by many airlines’ incompetencies, it’s refreshing to find one that’s turning to the power of data to optimize their customer experience.
As the main airline at Hartsfield Jackson International Airport, the busiest airport in the world, efficiency and optimization are key goals for Delta. Delta has plenty of open data science roles, but the vast majority of them are in Atlanta, Georgia. Delta is definitely among the best data science companies to work for in the Southeast. Your work could range from health analytics to operations decision science to a data strategist. Talk about variety!
Best Companies to Work for as a Data Scientist: Medium & Small Companies
Splunk’s main product is a central data platform that allows users to monitor, investigate, analyze and act on their data in a secure way to operate more efficiently. Their machine learning built-ins include outlier detection, forecasting, event clustering, and predictive analytics. As far as data science companies go, if you’ve got a passion for hard-core machine learning models, Splunk will be a great fit for you.
Their central data platform allows for data streaming across multi-cloud environments. Splunk’s platform also has the ability to perform real-time searches on data, for both structured and unstructured data. Check out Splunk’s open data science positions here.
As the self-proclaimed “hybrid cloud company,” Cloudera allows customers to combine private and public clouds. This means you can mix internal and external data to drive more powerful insights for the customer. Cloudera is unique in the world of data science companies due to their powerful and scalable cloud data platform. Their Cloudera data platform (CDP) hybrid cloud runs where the client’s data is, allowing it to work faster and be more secure.
Cloudera’s data scientists tend to focus more on data management and their machine learning platform, so look here if you’re interested in these focus areas.
Numerator is one of the data science companies focused on customer insights for eCommerce. They aim to provide insights “to help you market to consumers - not demographics.” Numerator focuses on their product being easy to implement and claims it can be published 72 hours from when it’s purchased.
Numerator is the largest, most diverse consumer purchase panel. They provide a lot of data and go the extra mile to provide analysis. Data scientists work to gather data directly from consumers and analyze it to provide insights to Numerator’s customers. Numerator likes to let their data scientists work as autonomously as possible, so you can drive projects from inception through to production. If you like unstructured work with open ended questions, Numerator is among the best data science companies to work for. Look at Numerator’s career portal for opportunities where you can work to provide clients with valuable market analytics.
Similar to Cloudera, Teradata is a hybrid cloud platform that allows you to mix public clouds (like Azure and AWS) with on-premise solutions. Like many data science companies, Teradata also provides consulting teams to enterprise customers to help maximize the benefits of using their solutions.
Their main product, Vantage, is software that includes integrated analytics functions that can be executed across multiple and hybrid platforms to deliver insights at scale.
You can work to expand the analytics functions provided (ML, statistical, text, etc) in a highly parallel and efficient distribution. Teradata takes an academic approach to their work and validation, so they encourage filing for patents, publishing in journals, and attending conferences. If you like to boogie down as a data brainiac, Teradata could provide you with an excellent professional community and connections to advance as a data scientist.
Teradata has positions available all over the world, and they even have the really cool role of “data scientist algorithmic development engineer.” If you want to combine your passion for data with your in-depth knowledge of algorithms and optimization, Teradata is one of the best data science companies to work for.
Databricks’ Lakehouse platform is a combination of data lakes and data warehouses. They aim to be cost-effective like data lakes while offering the high-end data management and performance often associated with data warehouses.
They want to eliminate data silos to combine analytics, data science, and machine learning all in one. The Lakehouse is built on top of open source platforms to maximize its usability and flexibility. Data science companies can be quite protective of their proprietary systems and software, so I think it’s pretty cool that Databricks chooses to build their main product on top of open source platforms.
Their open data scientist job postings have large opportunities for impact, as their responsibilities include shaping the direction of their data science solutions, including “forecasting, product analysis, churn prediction and insights, segmentations and recommendations”. You also get to represent data science at a company-wide level and promote the data-driven mentality.
They’ve got data solutions architects, machine learning platform engineers, distributed data systems engineers, and a whole lot more having to do with data science.
Final Thoughts on Best Companies to Work for as a Data Scientist
There are lots of companies that employ data scientists. Data science jobs entail either a proprietary platform for machine learning or data science, or the use of data science in another industry. The best company and position for you depend on what your interests are.
If you are super passionate about the environment, you might want to work on a project like AI for Earth from Microsoft as a data scientist. However, if you’ve got a deep passion for pure data and an interest in eCommerce, Numerator might be a better fit.
The good news is that you are spoiled for choice. If you haven’t formally studied computer science or data science, I think it’s a good idea to remain in the industry you are in and look for a data science position there. Your existing context knowledge will give you an advantage over other data scientists who do not know that industry.