Data Strategy Specialist, Office for Data and Action

By IS Lab May 6, 2021

Office of Data

The Office of Data for Action’s (ODFA) work involves advancing an organization-wide data strategy, which articulates First 5 LA’s data priorities and the efforts to address those priorities, in order to drive system change efforts, measure progress, and optimize effectiveness. Under the direction of the Data Strategy Manager, the Data Strategy Specialist is responsible for the conceptualization, technical oversight, and facilitation of data use from data projects that emanate from and support the Data Strategy. In addition, the Data Strategy Specialist provides consultation and support to teams across the organization on measurement and data issues.

The successful candidate will have technical expertise coupled with the ability to flexibly shift to accommodate real-world circumstances; will be a highly-motivated self-starter; and have the communication and collaborative capabilities to cultivate a culture committed to connecting data with strategy and using data, learnings and insights for action.

Job Responsibilities

Organization-Wide Data Strategy:

  • Supports the development, implementation and refinement of the organization-wide data strategy that articulates First 5 LA’s vision for using data to advance the strategic plan and reflect organizational priorities
  • Provides thought partnership to determine the most appropriate approaches to address data priorities balancing the need for rigor with feasibility in terms of organizational resources and capacities, and the external context
  • Promotes the accessibility and utilization of data and insights from the Data Strategy to drive system change efforts through a data dashboard, stakeholder conversations and other tools and processes
  • Supports efforts to track program/operational indicators and utilize various data sources to monitor progress toward the First 5 LA’s strategic plan progress and operational goals
  • Periodically conducts analysis of existing internal and external secondary datasets that support First 5 LA’s programmatic, systems change and policy efforts

Leadership on Organization-Wide Data Projects:

  • Leads the conceptualization of data-related investments that support the entire organization. Leads the refinement of existing data projects to ensure alignment with the Data Strategy to address prioritized data needs
  • Leads procurement and management of organization-wide data projects, including providing guidance and oversight to consultants
  • Promotes the accessibility and utilization of data and insights from organization-wide data projects
  • Facilitates the convening of internal and external stakeholders to discuss findings, share insights, build common understanding, identify implications and generate recommendations
  • Provides communication, coordination, and collaboration with internal and external stakeholders to achieve organizational goals

Best Practices in Measurement, Evaluation And Research:

  • Applies technical expertise to make recommendations to First 5 LA leadership on indicators, data sources and technical approaches to assess and monitor progress of First 5 LA’s 2020-2028 Strategic Plan
  • Makes recommendations and provides technical assistance, feedback, resources and tools to teams across the organization in support of measurement, evaluation, research and other data-related efforts
  • Promotes policies and practices that facilitate access to high quality data obtained through primary data collection, grantee and contractor reporting, and external entities
  • Proactively identifies opportunities to use lessons from measurement, research and evaluation projects to inform organization-wide learning
  • Remains abreast of current best practices and trends in the field(s) by reviewing professional publications, attending related conferences, meetings and other events, and sharing learnings with the organization broadly
  • Represents First 5 LA in external measurement, evaluation, data development, data sharing, and research efforts as appropriate
  • Mentors student professional workers and/or interns within the Office of Data for Action as appropriate
  • Other duties and responsibilities may be assigned. The duties and responsibilities listed are designed to provide typical examples of the work performed; not all duties and responsibilities assigned are included here, nor is it expected that all similar positions will be assigned every duty and responsibility.

Job Qualification

  • Content Knowledge:  Knowledge of research and evaluation design and implementation with a variety of methodologies; understanding of and commitment to culturally relevant measurement, research and evaluation; knowledge of the scientific method and applied hypothesis writing for research projects; knowledge of research and policy trends and best practices in early learning and care, home visiting, and early identification and intervention; understanding of the evolving role of measurement, research and evaluation in effective grant-making and social change in learning focused organizations; ability to conduct surge research about trends in the evaluation field (theory, practice, best practices, emerging trends)
  • Measurement and Utilization: Demonstrated ability to collaborate with multiple stakeholders to identify learning priorities for an evaluation project that are responsive to stakeholder needs; ability to use learning priorities to select the appropriate research or evaluation framework that will yield timely and actionable information; ability to design research questions, data collection strategy, analytical plans and reporting plans; ability to adapt research or evaluation designs in response to changing context, priorities, and/or stakeholder needs; proficient in qualitative and quantitative data analyses to observe and share trends with stakeholders; demonstrated ability to communicate (both written and verbally) complex information in an accessible and compelling manner to diverse audiences; ability to use visualization tools including dashboards and presentation formats to help others metabolize and use data; ability to consume technical research and translate relevant findings into plain language for a variety of stakeholders
  • Planning and Project Management: Works independently in an organized manner with strong attention to detail; demonstrated ability to set priorities, goals, and objectives; ability to establish clear expectations and execute identified projects; ability to effectively manage overlapping projects and deadlines; ability to work under pressure, meet deadlines and adjust to changing priorities; uses time and resources efficiently, and plans for additional resources as needed; integrates changes smoothly; ability to manage high performance projects; knows how to use technology tools to effectively manage and expedite processes
  • Minimum of five years of related experience conducting evaluation, research, measurement and/or data projects preferred
  • Experience working on research and evaluation projects that focus on one or more of the following areas is highly desired: maternal/child health, early childhood education, systems change evaluation, public health, mental health, child welfare and development, place-based evaluation, and process improvement
  • Experience facilitating stakeholders through a process resulting in prioritized learning topics preferred
  • Experience supporting the development of data sharing and data use agreements preferred
  • Familiarity of the landscape of social, educational, and health services for young children and families in L.A. County preferred
  • Experience in conducting original research using large-scale public-use data files, including playing a primary role in conducting relevant data analyses for such projects preferred
  • Demonstrated skills in writing, facilitating and public speaking
  • Ability to communicate persuasively, both orally and in writing, in varied settings and different audiences
  • Advanced degree from an accredited college or university in psychology, education, human development, sociology, economics or a related field preferred
  • Proficiency in MS Office Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook)
  • Proficiency in data visualization software (such as Tableau), and/or GIS software (ArcView) preferred
  • Proficiency using SPSS, SAS, STATA, or other statistical software
  • Proficiency in web-based collaboration and/or meeting platforms (e.g., Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Sli-do etc.)
  • Ability to use widely supported internet browsers
  • Ability to quickly learn how to operate new systems and applications

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