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Chief Data Strategist and Director

Job description

Primary Work Location (City/State/Home): One Beacon Street, Boston Normal Work Schedule: Standard: Monday –Friday 8:30a-5:00p (or alternative schedule approved by supervisor).     Job Summary:

The University of Massachusetts office of Academic Affairs is in search of a Chief Data Strategist and Director, a good team leader, who can organize a new data system across our five campus system and plumb the depths of the enormous and fascinating data we have such as; student characteristics, origins, work experience, family background, academic performance, post graduation earnings and other important internal information. We are also looking for someone capable of linking in data from the Department of Labor, the Census Bureau, etc. The Chief Data Strategist and Director will be responsible for developing a new, system-wide strategic analytics capacity that expands the university’s use of data as a strategic asset.

Reporting to the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, you will both recruit new colleagues and integrate existing staff to form a new unit, responsible for developing a new, system-wide strategic analytics capacity that expands the university’s use of data as a strategic asset.  You will work with the University’s Information Technology Services department (UITS) and Institutional Research (IR) colleagues on our five campuses and in the system office to build this new data architecture, integrating both internal data for student records, finance, space, and alumni as well as external data drawn from the unemployment insurance system (for tracking post-graduation earnings), the federal Census, the American Community Survey, statewide household census data, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and other federal and state survey data.  You will possess experience in predictive modeling and an interest in the improvement of higher education and the ability to communicate your findings to non-technical audiences.  You will work with the UMass community to develop and communicate a clear data management vision and articulate strategic priorities for management and delivery of data throughout the university system. In addition to extensive data management and data architecture experience this role requires excellent leadership skills and demonstrated success in driving transformational change.

Essential Functions:
  • Lead overall Data Management strategy
  • Develop a deep understanding of the needs of the key stakeholders with regard to the use and value of data
  • Catalog and gather consensus around existing shortcomings and challenges of how data is managed across the university system.
  • Develop strategies for increasing data access, sharing and consumption.
  • Design and Implement effective data governance and data standards that achieve effective data stewardship
  • Provide direction on data lifecycle management, data quality strategy, assessment and cleansing, advanced analytics, archiving and retention
  • Recruit, integrate and manage a team of 4-5 data science and institutional researchers in the President’s Office and develop collegial relations with the five campus-based institutional research and IT groups.
  • Develop, execute and evaluate policy experiments designed to improve student success.
  • Create data visualizations to provide insight to complex business problems.
  • Work collaboratively with the Academic Affairs, Economic Development, Communications, Advancement, UMassOnline, and others to plan for new data development and analyses that will answer pressing policy-relevant questions.
  • Work closely with UITS on
  • designing and implementing a platform and architecture approach that complements the data management strategy
  • supporting the move towards data centric architectures that can be flexibly manipulated as opposed to being locked up behind business logic applications.
  • mapping data sources, data movement and interfaces to ensure data quality
  • performing data architecture assessments and application inventories in order to optimize data strategy
  • Develop an integrated data analytics capacity that can enable the President’s Office to mine
  • Internal student record data across the system, to enable A/F to understand student success patterns for first time and transfer students, including the predictive value of courses taken at entry (or in community colleges), the impact of financial aid and work responsibilities on student performance; 
  • Post-graduation employment data, including the unemployment insurance system earnings records within Massachusetts and national data from UI systems across the country (gathered by the Bureau of the Census), geographic residence and long term earnings patterns of our graduates at all levels and across industries.
  • National, state level, and regional data on industrial/occupational growth patterns to help inform the leadership about program development on ground and on line
  • Clearing house data which will enable A/F to get a better sense of competition (where students are accepted go when we don’t yield them), and to compile “graduation rates” of students who start with the University but go elsewhere. 
  • Tracking graduates for the purposes of maintaining valuable data bases for advancement purposes as a service both to the President and the Chancellors. 
  • Tracking drop outs for the purposes of building degree completion programs;
  • Analytic information to assist in planning for admissions campaigns within and outside the Commonwealth;
  • Demographic data that will permit A/F office to understand patterns of growth and decline in the populations served or need to cultivate. 
  • Application and admissions data that will help to inform A/F of the fit between enrollment and budget forecasts.
  • Other Functions:
    • If appropriate publish results in academic journals and policy outlets to enhance the visibility of the President’s Office as a source of innovation.
    • Other duties as assigned
    Minimum Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience):
    • 3+ years of experience developing programs in data analytics
    • Experience supervising teams
    • Experience applying machine learning/predictive analytics techniques and ability to train subordinates in new methods.
    • Bachelor Degree in Computer Science, Labor Economics, Statistics, Sociology, Operations Research or related field.
    • Ability to supervise quantitative and qualitative analyses.
    • Knowledge of R, Python, SAS, SPSS, STATA or similar tool set for data extraction, manipulation, and analysis.
    • Experience developing descriptive and predictive models (both supervised and unsupervised) using a variety of statistical techniques such as linear and logistic regression, multivariate analysis, maximum likelihood estimation techniques, Time Series and Markov Chain Analyses, as well as decision trees, support vector machines, and Naïve Bayes classifier.
    • Familiar with SQL data extraction & manipulation to generate data sets for statistical models.
    • Experience using data visualization tools, such as Tableau, to manipulate, analyze, and present data.
    • Excellent communication skills and experience presenting findings to decision-makers.
    • Ability to collaborate with senior leadership, work effectively and independently on multiple priorities with strict deliverable dates.
    • Experience working with both business users and technical development teams.
    Preferred Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience):
    • Doctoral Degree/Advanced degree in Computer Science, Labor Economics, Sociology, Statistics, Operations Research, or related fields.
    • Prior experience in higher education
    • A strong belief in transparent, explainable models.
    • Strong understanding of data warehouse concepts and experience working with large structured and unstructured data sets.
    • Experience working with one or more ERP systems, such as PeopleSoft or Banner, as well as analytical tools such as Tableau
    • Experience working with unstructured data.
    • Experience implementing predictive models in a production setting.
    Working Conditions: Standard office work place, located in Boston, MA; Must be able to independently travel to University campuses in Amherst, Boston, Dartmouth, Lowell, Worcester and Shrewsbury Additional Details:
  • This is a full time benefited position
  • No relocation assistance provided
  • Any job offer within the President's Office is specifically conditioned upon the potential candidate consenting to and successfully completing a background review.
  • Potential candidates will not be contacted for interviews until after the posting closes.




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    Job No:
    Posted: 4/9/2018
    Application Due: 5/4/2018
    Work Type: