Marketing & Advertising

11-50 Employees

5.0 (Glassdoor)

Manages Culture Code and Employee Benefits

About Synthesis

Synthesis unlocks the power of open data. We build original datasets that can detect shifts in consumer preferences and identify growth audiences for our partners.

The era of big data promised with algorithmic certainty that we would reach new depths of understanding and predictive power over human decisions. Yet time and again we see that this results in reductive logic—the echo chamber of a news feed algorithm or the GPS which only offer the most direct route, not the scenic one.

What if, rather than unrelentingly collecting more data, we ask sharper questions of the numbers and celebrate the individuals behind them, not the most obvious commonalities?

What we search, what we watch, what we publicly share, what products and services we value—every data source reflects a different aspect of behaviour. We emphasise layering relevant datasets rather than relying on one source and scale. And we have learnt, through this approach, that the magic often comes from the contradictions between datasets.

Our goal is to detect and model shifting patterns in language and behaviour, then bring to life the people whose actions create these shifts. We go deep into the context in which patterns are created, interrogating data sources (platform mechanics, incentives, biases) and culture (norms, flux) in order to shed light on why shifts are happening and lay out the future directions of change.

We call this Human Centred Data Science.

Synthesis Culture Code


Data is at the core of what we do. Every insight and deliverable going out is based on data, which we extract from any type of publicly available resource.

To deliver on this, our team consists of ~50% of Data Scientists; who work directly with the rest of the business (across product and infrastructure engineering and strategy)

End-to-End Ownership

Our Data Scientists and Engineers are in control of the end-to-end process and encouraged to ask questions and change the direction of the projects as they see fit. That includes working on: 
  • Ideation / client briefs / proposals
  • Methodology development and data source selection
  • Data extraction, cleaning and preparation
  • Model development, analysis frameworks
  • Data visualisation

Move Fast

We don't do the process for process' sake. Everyone, at every level, is encouraged and expected to contribute and build. That means we won't stand in your way when you're trying something new. 

We love getting this done and improving iteratively rather than waiting a long time to get the first version out. We build quickly, and new joiners are encouraged to run and lead their projects as soon as they feel comfortable. 

Open Communication

We have a very transparent company culture, which is "open-by-default". Anyone can ask questions, raise concerns or share criticism with leadership (and anyone else), both directly as well as in all-hands and company-wide meetings.

We have a flat hierarchy and like to communicate directly, regardless of years of experience or "level".

Innovation At Every Level

Solving new challenges is at the core of what we do. We love using data creatively, and implementing concepts from other domains in our own context. 

We believe that we're always better off for having tried. Anyone can make changes and just decide to try something in a new way. We welcome and celebrate trials, innovation and changes, even if the outcome isn't positive or useable.

Synthesis Culture Code QnA

<div>We start the week with a Weekly Brief that comprises everyone from the company. This brief goes through the week's focus and shares the various project milestones.&nbsp;<br><br>This is followed by a daily 15 mins stand-up to share updates of tasks as the week progresses. We usually share what we've done, what we are doing, and what requires help. We use different tools to share the statuses of our tasks, ranging from Jira to Notion.</div>
<div>Time is dedicated to DS/SWE to conduct their research as to how much time is needed to complete a task. We trust that they will come out with an accurate estimation and use it to plan projects. This is especially the case for projects that do not have a hard deadline.</div>
<div>After the end of each project or the delivery of a milestone, we often conduct retrospective sessions. During the sessions, we ask ourselves the following questions: What went well? What didn't go well? Lessons learnt? This gives us a clearer picture of what needs to be done in the future.</div>
<div>We view tech debt very seriously as our projects are often recurring. This means that not clearing our tech debt during the "off-season" will only cause us greater hindrance in the future. We usually list down our tech debt during the retrospective sessions at the end of a milestone and take the "off-season" to start clearing them.&nbsp;<br><br>However, we do try to strive for a balance between "what is needed?" and "what is something that we can live with?" as clearing all our tech debts isn't feasible.</div>
<div>We have our customised onboarding schedule for each newcomer, depending on the role that they will be doing.&nbsp;<br><br>These onboarding sessions cover a wide range of topics from technical infrastructure to the business and usually last a week.&nbsp;<br><br>After which, new DS will be allocated to the projects they will be supporting, while new SWE will be given smaller features to work with.&nbsp;<br><br>Along the way, there will be weekly check-ins from someone senior to catch up on how you are doing and if there is any help required. The weekly check-ins will last for 3 months.</div>
<div>We conduct pair programming quite frequently, especially for new developers on the team. This usually happens when new developers are working on a delivery of a new feature.&nbsp;<br><br>Apart from that, there isn't a special occasion that calls for pair programming. As long as there's something that you are unsure of or require some technical guidance, everybody here is happy to help! This can be done remotely over a video call where one developer shares their screen or a working session in the office.</div>
<div>Our weekly planning session ensures that no one is overflowing with work. Everyone will be in that session, and it is a good platform for us to check if someone is/might be struggling with the workload.<br><br>&nbsp;Also, we define projects per person and have planning sessions or tickets that help to scope the work and guard our time. We also feel that knowledge should be imparted to everyone rather than just one person keeping it. This means frequent knowledge transfer sessions so that everyone on the team is up to speed with what's happening, allowing them to get on board with certain tasks of that individual if that individual is busy.</div>
<div>We have a "Wellness Fund" that could be used to purchase online courses, books, etc. That said, to encourage everyone to learn new things, we have a "Reading Week" at the end of the year, which is solely dedicated everyone to learning new things.&nbsp;<br><br>For technical people, we conduct fortnightly "Dev Forum" sessions. These sessions are self-conducted where someone in the team might want to share a new technology that they've learnt with the wider team or a technical problem that they've been working on and require some fresh eyes to have a different view.&nbsp;</div>
<div>Developers are encouraged to take long breaks during their leave so that they are well-rested. These breaks are usually week-long or even more. Our quarterly reviews are platforms where developers can raise their concerns regarding burnout.&nbsp;</div>
<div>As a consultancy business, DS is given the chance to work on different projects since multiple projects are happening. Since the company is structured into different pods, we also allow everyone to rotate to other pods so that they can learn what is happening in each pod.&nbsp;<br><br>For SWE, most of our projects are internal facing. These projects have quick iterations and require rapid prototyping. Therefore, given the nature of the project, SWE will have to work on different projects.</div>
<div>To open up possibilities for others and spread the practice of Human Centred Data Science, we created an experimental data science community named XDS. XDS brings together people interested in creatively applying their data skills to open sources and real-world challenges.&nbsp;<br><br>We run regular events, including Hackathons and Meetups, in Singapore to discuss emerging data science techniques, find novel applications for well-known principles and share ideas with peers and industry leaders.</div>