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Director of Artificial Intelligence (AI) - Demand Forecasting and Pricing

Apply Now Job ID: R0000130197 job family: Artificial Intelligence schedule: Full time Location: 33 S 6th St, Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States, 55402-3601;


About us:
Target is an iconic brand, a Fortune 50 company and one of America’s leading retailers.

Target as a tech and data company? Absolutely!  We’re the behind-the-scenes powerhouse that fuels Target’s passion and commitment to cutting-edge innovation.  We anchor every facet of one of the world’s best-loved retailers with a strong technology framework that relies on the latest tools and technologies—and the brightest people—to deliver incredible value to guests online and in stores.  Target Tech and Data Sciences teams are on a mission to offer the systems, tools and support that guests and team members need and deserve.  Our high-performing teams balance independence with collaboration and we pride ourselves on being versatile, agile and creative.  We drive industry-leading technologies in support of every angle of the business and help ensure that Target operates smoothly, securely and reliably from the inside out.

About the role:

The Merch and Finance AI team oversees the creation and development of the Demand Forecasting and Pricing quantitative platforms, building the key components which allow us to evaluate the demand and prices of our products/SKUs.  We aim to develop these tools to be more efficient and precise, while also making them directly available to our business team users, allowing us to quickly respond to Guest needs on the largest scale with more accuracy. 

As a Director of AI at Target you will be the technical leader of a team that will design, develop, deploy and maintain artificial intelligence models and algorithms for our retail business.  You’ll work closely with applied data scientists, data analysts and Merchandising business partners to continuously learn more about our business needs.  You’ll also work with AI engineers and AI scientists on peer teams and your own to build and productionize DFE solutions for our business needs. 

The Director in AI will work with Product, Tech and business partners to define product roadmaps that fit in our ecosystem and solve retail challenges at scale.  You will build consensus and communicate with senior level leadership.  You will drive the creation of new standards and best practices with a focus on emerging technologies and author various project related documents, vision statements and roadmap.

You will develop a world-class team providing development, coaching, motivation, support and feedback to team members.  You’ll also create an atmosphere of teamwork and collaboration, inclusion, communicating day-to-day decisions, priorities and relevant project information.  You’ll manage resource allocation as well as define and communicate overall vision and goals for the team.

In this role as Director of AI, you will:

  • Change the way demand forecasting is conducted at Target
  • Architect our next generation demand forecasting platform and its interactions with various planning problems in Merchandising and Supply Chain
  • Manage a team that writes code for mathematical and statistical models to forecast demand for millions of items and compute prices every day including items that are new, in-season, promoted or in clearance
  • Partner with business users and other scientists / engineers to build a framework allowing us to develop a new platform to more efficiently estimate demand and price on the fly
  • Impact our business by improving our ability to serve our Guests and by directly reducing compute cost through more efficient algorithms
  • Coordinate the analysis, troubleshooting and resolution of issues in our software and Infra
  • Coach team members and partners on effective data science modeling and outcomes
  • Partner with internal teams and external technology companies, including start-ups


  • MS/PhD in Mathematics, Statistics, Operations Research, Economics, Physics, Computer Science or related major (or equivalent industry experience)
  • 7+ years of experience in modeling and algorithms
  • 3+ years managing, leading and developing technical teams
  • Experience deploying models with large-scale business impact in commercial setting
  • Significant expertise in linear algebra, statistics, information theory, econometrics, time series modeling, esp. in statistical inference, generalized linear models, Markov decision processes
  • Experience in Logistic Regression, Linear Models (Poisson models, Survival models, Hierarchical models, Naïve-Bayesian estimators), Conjoint Analysis, Spatial models, Timeseries models
  • Demonstrated experience in strategic and cross-functional leadership, planning and execution
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Highly proficient in Python, Scala, Kotlin and/or JVM ecosystem
  • Deep understanding of data structures and algorithms
  • Ability to test and measure algorithms/models

    Bonus Points:

  • Knowledge of pricing systems in retail or in another business domain transferrable to retail
  • Experience in machine learning, artificial intelligence, optimization algorithms
  • Experience working with large event-driven distributed systems and multi-threaded applications
  • Skilled in Bayesian Techniques: Convolution based methods, MCMC-based estimation methods
  • Experience with Machine Learning: Support Vector Machines, Random Forests, Decision Trees
  • Strong understanding of Deep Learning, dynamic programming, Reinforcement Learning or related areas both in theory and practice

    Why work with us at Target? 

  • You will work directly on the AI problems that have the most impact on Target's entire supply chain, forecasting and merchandising teams.
  • We love open source! Many of our team members contribute to open source communities and get to do it during work time. We try to contribute back to our communities where we can and are grateful to be able to open source some of our own projects!  
  • We value diversity. We believe that diversity and inclusion is of core importance when try to create positive in-store experiences for our guests, and we think it is also critically important when building our teams. Read more about our commitment to diversity and inclusion
  • We value our team members for who they are, not just what they can get done. We treat out team members like people, not like cogs in a machine. We are parents, hobbyists, enthusiasts, family members, and community members, and can offer flexibility to our team members' schedules and work arrangements so that they can flourish both inside and outside of work.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

Target will provide reasonable accommodations (such as a qualified sign language interpreter or other personal assistance) with the application process upon your request as required to comply with applicable laws. If you have a disability and require assistance in this application process, please visit your nearest Target store or Distribution Center or reach out to Guest Services at 1-800-440-0680 for additional information.

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  • Technology and Data Sciences, Minneapolis, Minnesota, United StatesRemove


What’s it like to work here? We’re asked that a lot. Target respects and values the individuality of all team members and guests—and we have lots of fun in all that we do.

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