Overview of Position
Seattle Public Schools seeks to hire a full-time Senior Data Scientist to work closely with team members in Research & Evaluation Department to conduct rigorous mixed methods research and data analysis to support the implementation of Seattle Excellence, our five year Strategic Plan, which is laser focused on supporting Students of Color who are furthest away from educational justice, beginning with African American boys and teens.
Specific areas of responsibilities may include support for the following:
- Extracting and compiling, cleaning and managing datasets for research and analysis
- Conducting exploratory and descriptive analyses of quantitative data (e.g., student academic, survey data)
- Generating data insights and data visualizations to illuminate meaningful trends and patterns in the data;
- Statistical analysis and data visualizations to identify data trends and patterns;
- Preparing and delivering formal reports and presentations for district leaders and community partners.
Preference will be given to candidates with a background in K-12 educational research, demonstrated experience centering Black boys and teens, and students of color furthest from education justice as well as candidates who have experience developing reporting processes and interest and skills in documentation.
Senior Data Scientist work closely with other senior team members in the Research & Evaluation department to support the department’s annual educational research and evaluation work plan. The department work plan includes mixed methods studies and data projects that support systematic analysis of the effective implementation and efficacy of programs and initiatives aligned to district strategic goals.
Senior Data Scientist primarily support district research projects by: extracting and compiling, cleaning and managing datasets for research and analysis; conducting exploratory and descriptive analyses of quantitative data (e.g., student academic, survey data); generating data insights and data visualizations to illuminate meaningful trends and patterns in the data; research writing and presentation/communication of complex research findings to (mostly) non-technical stakeholders (e.g., district leaders, school principals, community members).
Senior Data Scientists are very experienced using syntax-based statistical analysis software (SQL, R, Python) and other programming skills as they apply to statistical analysis, generating reports or creating graphical representations of data. This can include the development of data dashboards using data visualization tools (e.g., Power BI, Tableau) to support continuous improvement. Analysts must have deep expertise extracting, cleaning, joining and transforming data files (structured and unstructured) from multiple sources for analysis, creating reporting systems with strong skills and interest in documentation, reproducibility and QA. Senior Data Scientists also have familiarity with quantitative research design and experience using applied inferential statistical methods such as significance testing, correlation, and regression.
Provide support for educational research and evaluation projects under the supervision of the Director of Research & Evaluation or senior research staff in the department, including but not limited to the following:
- compiling and managing datasets for research and analysis
- conducting exploratory and descriptive analyses of quantitative data (e.g., student achievement, survey data) and generating data insights and data visualizations to illuminate trends and patterns in the data
- building reporting systems for recurring and new continuous improvement surveys
- synthesizing results and preparing written reports
- presentations of study findings.
- (not required) conducting more advanced statistical analyses using applied quantitative research or data science methods depending on project needs and the individual skills and experience of the employee
Performs other relevant duties as a member of the Research & Evaluation department:
- Provide timely, responsive customer support to district leaders, central office departments, school leaders, external partners; may include:
- Responding to ad hoc requests for data, research or information
- Providing technical assistance and support for central office departments (e.g., survey design, analyzing data)
- Supporting documentation and QAs with the team
- Conducting on-demand research and data analysis services requested by the Superintendent, Deputy Superintendent, or Associate Superintendent for Teaching & Learning
- Provide administrative support for department operations and business processes, including, but not limited to project management, logistical planning, and coordination, and executing select data sharing agreements
- Serves as a member of the Research Review Committee
RELEVANT COMPETENCIES:Functional / Technical Skills
- May perform related duties consistent with the scope and intent of the position.
Possesses required functional and technical knowledge and skills to do his or her job at a high level of accomplishment; demonstrates active interest and ability to enhance and apply new functional skills.
- Understands the technical aspects of the job and keeps up-to-date on key technical or functional aspects of the job.
- Applies appropriate technical/functional knowledge to address situations in a timely manner.
- Thinks of ways to apply new developments to improve organizational performance.
- Shares expertise and skills with others when appropriate
Uses his or her time effectively and efficiently; concentrates his or her efforts on the most important priorities; adeptly handles several tasks at once.
- Focuses his/her efforts on the most important priorities.
- Uses time effectively and efficiently.
- Handles multiple-tasks effectively and efficiently.
- Values other people's time
Is warm and easy to approach; builds constructive and effective relationships; uses diplomacy and tact to diffuse tense situations; has a style and charm that immediately puts others at ease and disarms hostility.
- Relates well with others
- Builds constructive and effective relationships.
- Considers and responds appropriately to the needs and feelings of different situations.
- Is tactful, diplomatic and demonstrates consistency and fairness.
Is able to write clearly and succinctly in a variety of communication settings and styles; can get messages across that instigate appropriate actions.
- Organizes and presents information in writing in a clear and convincing manner.
- Uses appropriate writing style and tailors writing to meet the needs of the audience.
- Uses correct spelling, grammar and punctuation.
Is effective in a variety of formal and informal presentation settings; commands attention and manages group process during the presentation; is cognizant of audience response and able to adapt content and style accordingly.
- Presents clear and convincing presentations that achieve their purpose.
- Tailors presentation to meet the needs of the audience.
- Practices active listening and can quickly change approaches when something isn't working.
- Uses strong listening skills to formulate appropriate responsive answers to questions.
Develops cooperation and teamwork while participating in a group, working toward solutions which generally benefit all involved parties.
Getting Results (Action Oriented)
- Is seen as a team player who encourages efficient and effective collaborations.
- Works skillfully in difficult situations with both internal and external groups.
- Represents his/her own interests while being open-minded to other groups.
- Builds respectful and productive relationships internally and externally.
Performs work with energy and drive; values planning, but will take quick, decisive action when an opportunity presents itself.
Decision Quality & Problem Solving
- Demonstrates a strong sense of urgency about solving problems and getting work done.
- Focuses on achieving the goal even in the face of obstacles.
- Assumes responsibility for starting and finishing work with minimal supervision.
- Strives for new levels of performance.
Uses analysis, wisdom, experience and logical methods to make good decisions and solve difficult problems with effective solutions; appropriately incorporates multiple inputs to establish shared ownership and effective action.
- Weighs the consequences of options before making a decision.
- Applies appropriate criteria to situations for the purpose of making decisions.
- Displays self-confidence in own judgment.
- Focuses in the facts and solutions instead of opinions and problems.
Is widely trusted; is seen as a direct, truthful individual; presents truthful information in an appropriate and helpful manner; keeps confidences; admits mistakes; doesn't misrepresent him/herself for personal gain.
- Deals with people and situations in an honest and forthright manner.
- Represents information and data accurately and completely.
- Represents the confidentiality of information and concerns shared by others.
- Takes ownership if a mistake is their own and does not blame others.
Holds self and others accountable for measurable high-quality, timely and cost-effective results; determines objectives, sets priorities and delegates work; accepts responsibility for mistakes; complies with established control systems and rules.
KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS AND ABILITIES:
- Takes responsibility and action as if the risks (financial or otherwise) are his or her own.
- Holds individuals and team accountable for their actions and results.
- Initiates action even if outcome is uncertain and is willing to accept the consequences of failure.
- Aligns own activities and priorities to meet broader organizational needs.
- Demonstrates courage and confidence in his or her own ability.
- Expertise in quantitative research design in education or social sciences
- Experience in compiling and managing large datasets for research and analysis
- Expertise in conducting exploratory and descriptive analyses of quantitative data (e.g., student achievement, survey data) and generating data insights and data visualizations to illuminate trends and patterns in the data
- Applied experience using basic inferential statistical methods such as significance testing, correlation, and regression.
- Proficient using syntax-based statistical analysis software (R preferred) and other programming skills as they apply to statistical analysis, generating reports or creating graphical representations of data
- Proficient with Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint
- Ability to effectively communicate (orally and in writing) and present research findings to diverse audiences; proven ability to convey complex, technical information and data to layperson (non-technical) audiences
- Proven success in developing and maintaining effective working relationships
- Experience working efficiently and collaboratively in a fast-paced environment
- Ability to be flexible and adjust work priorities as required
- Experience leading, managing or coordinating research projects
- Proficiency in writing SQL database queries
- Applied experience using advanced statistical or data science methods for quantitative research in at least one of the following areas:
- Advanced statistical models (SEM, HLM)
- Quasi-experimental methods (e.g., propensity scores, DID, RDD)
- Data science (e.g., predictive analytics, machine learning)
- Psychometric analysis (e.g., factor analysis) to test the validity and reliability of surveys or assessments.
- Development of data dashboards using data visualization tools (e.g., Power BI, Tableau)
A typical way to obtain the knowledge and abilities would be:
Four (4) years of relevant work experience; experience accumulated in a doctoral program or postdoctoral position may in some cases be considered relevant; experience in K-12 education is desired; and Master's in education, social science, statistics, data science, economics, public policy or related field; Ph.D. desired.
Any equivalent combination of education, experience and training that provides the relevant knowledge, skills and abilities to perform the work will be considered.
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