Director of Data Community Research
Job Type

Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation (DESC) is a 501(c)(3) serving as the fiscal and administrative agent of the Mayor’s Workforce Development Board (MWDB), which is the local Workforce Investment Board (WIB). DESC is also the MichiganWorks! Agency for Detroit.  In concert with the Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development, DESC is the implementation and operations partner for the City’s workforce strategy.

The CHC focuses on tackling poverty through an intense, restorative case management model. CHC staff connect vulnerable residents to the appropriate services provided by government and nonprofits — everything from food to rental assistance to behavioral health services. As the CHC grows and enhances its data and operational capabilities, the team has a need for expertise and leadership in data engineering, analysis, and visualization to inform program quality management, and outcomes measurement, and ultimately program evaluation. We are looking for an individual passionate about helping the CHC leadership and programmatic team make data-informed decisions to enhance our operations and services and improve outcomes for Detroiters. 

This position reports directly to the Chief Administrative Officer with high levels of collaboration with CHC’s Deputy Director of Administrative Services and the Director of IT. They will also work closely with a dynamic team of CHC employees and partners at the City of Detroit’s Department of Innovation and Technology (DoIT) and Mayor’s Office, and other external partner organizations. 


Examples of Duties

In the early stages of this work, emphasis will be placed on building a foundational data infrastructure for CHC and as well as data analyses and visualizations to answer core operational and programmatic questions. The CHC has procured a new case management system to suit operational needs, and the Director of Data and Community Research will play an integral role to prepare the CHC to transition data infrastructure, processes, and visualizations to this new software environment. Duties in the initial stages of work may include:

Providing thought leadership to DESC leadership, while conducting independent research projects in collaboration with the Chief Strategy Officer, DESC President and other stakeholders to provide in depth research on DESC’s functioning and footprint within the City of Detroit, recognizing the treasure-trove of data DESC currently sits on and all the insights it could provide to guide the organization forward.

· Providing direction to the CHC Data Analyst so that they can assist in pulling together the data needed for strategic reporting and insights.

· Director of Data and their data team will be conducting large-scale in-depth research and analytics projects, connecting data across programs, and performing evaluations.

· Collaboratively designing an organization-wide data catalog, data pipeline infrastructure.

· Identifying user requirements by researching and analyzing user needs, preferences, objectives, and working methods; studying how users consume data content, including data categorization and labeling.

· Developing a format and structure for data documentation for programmatic and operational data, including data dictionaries and data models.

· Coordinating with CHC leadership and programmatic team to define and document measures for operational quality as well as outputs and outcomes for programmatic case management work. 

· Exporting and integrating data from a variety of sources including data warehouses, APIs, static tables, etc. 

· Designing and creating dashboards, visualizations, and reports from data extracts, live data tables, APIs etc. 

· Communicating complex data processes, analyses, models, and stories to colleagues and residents.

· Developing analyses and dashboard visualizations, including documentation and automation. 

· Contributing to a CHC data style guide that reflects best design practices for charts, graphs, networks, and maps. 

· Coordinating with DoIT, the programmatic team, and City of Detroit Mayor’s Office executive leadership for dashboard visualization and review.

· Beyond this initial effort, the Director of Data and Community Research will work closely with the entire DESC IT leadership and the Programmatic teams to have input on a data warehouse that will allow DESC to capture data from several different internal systems and platforms to provide insight and longer-term data analysis on programmatic goals:

· Identifying data patterns to influence program delivery for greater impact.

· Coordinating with communication teams and executive stakeholders on data storytelling and content development, including communicating complex concepts and analyses to DESC executives (including CHC) and other key City of Detroit Mayor’s Office decision makers.

· Informing strategic decision-making for the reallocation of funds, including preparation of data analyses for quarterly or annual reporting.

· Designing a program evaluation approach and, if contracted externally, managing external program evaluator. 

· Developing, maintaining, and documenting optimized data pipeline architecture that improves data quality, and facilitates better links between legacy data silos. 

· Identifying, designing, and implementing internal process improvements: automating manual processes, optimizing data delivery, for greater integration and scalability, etc. 

· Building pipelines that support analysis, reporting, modeling, and visualization to provide actionable insights for improved service delivery, operational efficiency, and other key performance metrics. 

· Developing training materials for programmatic teams and conducting training related to day-to-day data management and best practices that influence data quality for analysis and visualization. 


· Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

· Mastery of the concepts, principles, and practices of information security systems methods sufficient to work independently using conventional procedures and practices to do advanced level work such as:

· Knowledge of national and international metadata standards.

· Familiarity with trends in data visualization, including geospatial data and mapping.

· Experience with agile principles and project management approaches.

· Knowledge of and commitment to open data principles as well as privacy.

· Knowledge of open data approaches and best practices at a variety of government levels and geographies.

· Knowledge of current events within the data community including ethics, privacy and security.

· Knowledge of current events within the data science community including algorithms, predictive modeling, facial recognition, unstructured data storage, master data management etc.

· Familiarity with outcomes measurement and research methodologies.

· Knowledge of data infrastructure including pipelines, catalogs, ETLs, APIs, warehouses etc.

Skill in:

· Querying, exporting, and integrating data from a variety of sources for analysis, visualization, and reporting.

· Manipulating, analyzing, summarizing, and visualizing a variety of common data types including, but not limited to, categorical, ordinal, numeric, string, date/time, network, and geospatial.

· Designing and documenting data infrastructure and schemas

· Visualization of data and report writing using Tableau, Excel and others. 

· Visualization skills in R, Python, ArcGIS, QGIS, D3 or other JavaScript libraries a plus.

· Working knowledge of Word, Excel and PowerPoint

Ability to:

· Play a role in a supportive team by sharing what you know: provide feedback and communicate effectively; participate in an iterative process that improves our products as we learn; help end users understand the data; mentor both within and across teams; and troubleshoot on shared projects.

· Manage a backlog, establish priorities, multi-task and work proactively, independently, and remotely.

· Document your work and build organizational knowledge.

· Research and summarize large amounts of complex information and make strategic recommendations.

· Manage projects and stay organized in a fast-paced environment. Pivot as necessary with changing organizational priorities.

· Apply basic statistical analysis skills to collect and interpret data into meaningful stories for a variety of audiences.

· Design, develop, test, and deploy dashboards, visualizations and reports using Tableau, SQL or ESRI tools.

Minimum Qualifications

· 3 years of experience in project management, data management, or program evaluation for a public/non-profit enterprise

· Degree in data management, social sciences, or related field (Master’s preferred but not required, may be substituted for experience)


· Valid State of Michigan Driver’s License. 


· Background check and drug screen required. 

DESC offers a comprehensive benefits package and ongoing professional development opportunities, and more.

The Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation (DESC) is an Equal Opportunity employer committed to enhancing equity, inclusion, and diversity within our organization. DESC actively seeks applications from women, persons of color, veterans, individuals with disabilities, and other underrepresented groups.