As part of its newly formed Advanced Analytics team, the Center for Government Excellence (GovEx) is seeking a Data Scientist. The GovEx Data Scientist will partner with municipal governments to use large and diverse volumes of data to deliver actionable insights on a variety of problems that matter to cities and their residents. In addition, the Data Scientist will help build the capacity of governments to pursue and complete data science projects independently.

The Data Scientist will play a critical role in the scoping, execution, and implementation of data science projects for What Works Cities. GovEx supports the work of nearly 90 cities and growing through this initiative. As such, this position offers a unique opportunity to help many municipal governments leverage information management, statistics, and computer science skills; and maintain an analytical methodology to surface viable opportunities and apply appropriate techniques.

GovEx’s Data Scientist also assists in providing training and other educational supports to select city partners furthering their own analytical capabilities and enhancing their impact. In addition, the Data Scientist contributes to published content about innovative solutions to pressing municipal problems, and creates high-impact resources and training materials to support the adoption of advanced analytical practices in government.

This position reports to the GovEx Chief Data Scientist.

Specific responsibilities for the Data Scientist include:

● Scope advanced analytics projects in municipalities, applying human-centered design thinking to build a thorough understanding of current needs and resources from multiple perspectives
● Design outcome-focused analytical processes to test and apply the best techniques to the problems at hand
● Write, update, and maintain computer programs, algorithms, software packages, and scripts that facilitate routine data hygiene and analytical tasks
● Peer review code developed by other members of the Advanced Analytics team
● Construct and document easy-to-execute analytic pipelines to easily recreate data science projects
● Test and validate analytical products for accuracy and bias, and implement solutions for mitigating issues as necessary
● Assess the impact of improvements delivered by Advanced Analytics projects through field tests conducted by cities and other evaluative methods
● Provide actionable insights into complex urban problems in a fast paced, collaborative and iterative analytical environment while securely and ethically using data to generate those solutions.
● Collaborate with computer science and data science resources at Johns Hopkins University and other key partners
● Contribute to a repository of best practices and identify new trends in the use of data science skills by governments
● Help develop curricula to support GovEx’s academic and training offerings


Bachelor’s degree or relevant work experience required, advanced degree preferred.Seven years related experince required.Advanced education may substitute for experience to the extent permitted by the JHU equivalency formula (18 graduate degree credits may substitute for one year of experience).

GovEx’s Data Scientist is a creative, curious, and collaborative professional proficient in statistics and computer science.

Qualifications include

● Experience using data and statistical concepts in research or applied settings to inform strategic decisions or solve complex problems
● Ability to understand, work with, and adapt to large and imperfect datasets
● Interest and ability to learn from and teach others, both internally and externally
● Proficiency in Python as a statistical package and programming language
● Experience using a SQL database and writing complex queries
● Proficiency in Microsoft Excel and Powerpoint
● Ability to work independently and in a results-oriented workplace

Pluses include

● A solid understanding of the types of challenges municipal governments typically face, either through direct experience working in government or in organizations that collaborate closely with governments
● Experience crafting narratives from analyses and preparing client-ready presentations
● Demonstrated interpersonal and communications skills, including giving presentations at conferences or to clients
● Experience applying human-centered design thinking to analytical processes or products
● Proficiency with data visualization tools, such as D3.js, Tableau, or Shiny
● Proficiency with statistical packages (R, STATA, SPSS, etc)
● Proficiency with PostgreSQL
● Familiarity with Geospatial Information Systems (GIS) tools such as PostGIS, QGIS, or ArcGIS
● Ability to write about technical subjects for a nontechnical audience