Wednesday, October 8, 2008

[Job] Nuance Communication: analytics & BI for voice recognition!

I had a quick email exchange with Jeff Marcus, who has the cool title of "Manager, Applied Data Analysis" at Nuance Communication, a company headquartered in Burlington, MA with offices in Montréal, Québec and throughout the world.

Ever heard of Dragon Naturally Speaking? That's one of Nuance flagship’s products. If you have one of those cool cars with voice recognition, there's a chance there's some Nuance inside. And when you call an airline or phone company and you get to actually say what you want rather then listening to endless prompts such as "Press 1 for sales, 2 for service...", that’s likely Nuance’s too. The job here is to build better models of how callers use those systems so they can be made better and more responsive.

Although we're a lot into web analytics, there are lots of great companies employing data mining for cool and advanced situations. Here's a brief overview of a very cool job.

Job overview

Nuance Communications possesses one of the world's largest sets of data collected from automatic speech recognition applications. We are looking for a research analyst (based in Montréal, Québec, Canada) to mine this data to get more insight into how callers use our systems. We will use the results of this work to drive our application designs and to focus our technology teams on the most critical problems. The results of this work will lead to systems that better adapt to callers and broaden the appeal of this fast-growing technology.

As a research analyst you will work with our application designers and engineers to build models of caller behavior. You will integrate data from various sources and use tools such as Excel and R. Finally, you will communicate your findings to our design, engineering, and marketing teams as well as to selected customers.

A background in statistics, engineering, or linguistics (with emphasis on data-driven methods) could all be suitable for this role.


  • Carry out investigations (a typical example: "What kind of prompt elicits a useful response from the caller?") - this will involve a combination of scripting and manual entry to load data into our analysis tools as well as writing macros and formulas to conduct the analysis
  • Communicate findings clearly and compellingly
  • Be curious - find unexpected patterns and suggest new investigations to the team


  • Advanced degree in Computer Science, Statistics, Linguistics or related field.
  • Curiosity
  • Analytic mindset
  • Quantitative skills
  • Experience using formulas in Microsoft Excel
  • Experience with Perl or Python
  • At least an introductory statistics course
  • Ability to work independently
  • Research methods experience is a plus
  • Experience with SQL a plus
  • Experience using statistical analysis packages like R or S-Plus is a plus
  • Excellent communications skills
View details about this job on Nuance website or apply online.

Note for employers: If you have open positions, I will be happy to forward your job offers, especially if they are in Québec.
Note for job seekers: You have experience in the web analytics field? There are lots of job but you need to know where to hunt. If you are seeking a job and would like to get featured on my blog, drop me an email and I'll see what I can do.