A career as a data scientist can put you at the forefront of technological development while providing a job full of intellectual satisfaction. As data continues to become even more integral to business decision-making, the need for qualified data scientists is rising.
At Extra Space Storage, we think a good data scientist needs to have exceptional critical thinking, mathematical, and analytical skills. Beyond the technical skills necessary to do the job, our Data Science team focuses on teamwork and collaboration to keep our work grounded and applicable and drive cutting-edge data-based decision making. If you are considering a career in data science or are already established in your career but looking for a new place to apply your knowledge, here are seven questions and answers that will help you understand what the data science team does at Extra Space Storage.
What does the Data Science team work on?
Data science at Extra Space Storage is divided into the four broad areas of focus listed below. We select the projects based on the business value we believe they add, so there are instances where a single project may fall into multiple categories. That opens the door for collaboration within the Data Science team and other cross-functional groups throughout the company.
Acquisition Analytics: We support our acquisitions organization to understand how accurate we were with underwriting in the past, how can we improve our models, and how to efficiently allocate our investment dollars in various markets.
Digital Analytics & Systems: We work closely with the Marketing team in optimizing our marketing mix and with the product management team to ensure our digital assets are the best in the industry.
Data Science & AI Systems: We work hard at keeping all predictive pipelines and pricing models up to date. We are always exploring state-of-the-art methods to improve what is already in production.
Pricing & Revenue Management: Data Science and Revenue Management at Extra Space Storage work together as one team. While each team member specializes in their respective responsibilities, everyone works together to price storage units at optimal rates, evaluate and test new inventory management strategies, and ensure that the company maximizes revenue.
How does Extra Space Storage use data analytics to make decisions?
At Extra Space Storage there is openness to take well-thought-out risks, and business leaders love to try new strategies. To evaluate new strategies, the Data Science team works closely with leaders to design, test, and evaluate the results of an experiment. We always have a variety of tests running on our website or at our stores. Millions of users interact with various parts of our website every month, which helps us quickly learn what customers like and how we can make renting storage a seamless experience.
How important is the improvement of existing systems at Extra Space Storage?
We believe in continuously improving our systems, models, and pipelines. When taking on new projects, we try to get a minimum viable model (MVM) out to the business quickly and then improve upon that as the model’s adaptability across the business increases. We are also constantly reviewing processes to make sure they are running efficiently. We have regular learning sessions to ensure everyone on the team is up to date with the latest best practices in our field. In addition to regular learning sessions, we share reading materials, video tutorials, and other resources that benefit the team.
What technology does the Data Science team use?
Our team uses Azure Data Lake for cloud storage and Azure Synapse Analytics to build our data pipelines. The team also uses Databricks for computation needs, which provides flexibility to work with SQL, Python, R, and Scala.
Do I need a specific college degree to join the Data Science team at Extra Space Storage?
Our team comprises individuals from various educational backgrounds, and we do not require any specific degree. However, having a degree in a quantitative field is preferred. Something we all have in common, regardless of academic knowledge and work experience, is our love for mathematics and excellent analytical skills.
What does the Data Science team do for fun?
Rounding out our dynamic and fast-paced work duties, we also like to have fun and connect as a team. We have team lunches, occasional movie breaks in the afternoon, and different team-building events that we regularly hold to make sure everyone is taking time to have fun. Our corporate headquarters location in Salt Lake City, UT, gives us the opportunity for outdoor activities like skiing, snowboarding, hikes, camping, golf, and more. Some team members head up for night skiing after work in the winter.
What skills does a data scientist need to be successful at Extra Space Storage?
Data Science at Extra Space Storage is a fast-paced, dynamic environment where we constantly strive for best-in-class analytics to grow the business. If you have strong analytical and critical thinking skills, a basic understanding of statistical analysis, and good communication and collaboration skills, come join us!
Interested in a data science career with Extra Space Storage? Learn more about job opportunities at careers.extraspace.com.