This is a one-year, full-time remote position that can be based anywhere in the U.S. as long as the workday overlaps with most or all of 9am-5pm Eastern Time. (Note that our Brooklyn office is currently closed until at least fall 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.)
DataKind is a global nonprofit dedicated to harnessing the power of data science and artificial intelligence (AI) in the service of humanity. Named one of Fast Company's Top 10 Innovative Nonprofits, DataKind teams talented pro bono experts from academia and industry with visionary changemakers to collaboratively design innovative solutions to tough social challenges. We help social organizations apply their data to predictive analytics, machine learning algorithms, and AI needs in a way that both increases impact and prioritizes ethics.
- We are 20,000 strong: DataKind volunteers hail from almost every country across the world, representing a community of technologists and social change makers who believe in using data science and AI for a stronger planet and a more just and prosperous world.
- We have served 300+ projects around the world: From using satellite imagery to measure crop yields to automating the fight against hate speech online, our volunteer community has shown up to support a range of humanitarian needs around the world. Through this approach, illustrating what we call “the art of the possible,” these projects have resulted in more effective NGOs, more funding for social change organizations, and more awareness of the power (and pitfalls) of data science and AI in the social sector.
- People are at the center of our process: The most advanced machine learning algorithms are useless if they’re not designed for real people’s problems. DataKind celebrates human centered design principles that focus on the “why,” the “for whom,” and the “should we” long before we ever get going on the “what.”
- “AI for Good” will only succeed if it’s “AI for All”: We will continue our work until all people and all communities can use digital technology for the outcomes they want to see. We support not just the tech communities of today, but anyone in any community who wants to lead in how data technologies serve their needs fairly, with an emphasis on including individuals from groups that are historically underrepresented in technology or will be impacted by the intervention.
DataKind has always known that we will not be able to combat all of the world’s looming challenges on the backs of individual, short-term projects alone. We are now focusing on issue-specific Impact Practices, including improving health outcomes and increasing economic resilience for all. You can read more about our Impact Practice strategy here.
About the Opportunity
Reporting to the Portfolio Manager, Economic Resilience, the Data Scientist will be responsible for supporting a portfolio of volunteer-led, U.S.-based projects using cutting-edge technology to help inspiring organizations make greater impact. In this highly visible and high-impact role, you’ll manage a set of long-term projects across a range of themes under the Economic Resilience Impact Practice, staffing teams of talented pro bono data scientists who have the right skills with our nonprofit partners. You will also have the opportunity to direct and contribute to short-term engagements and public-facing community events. In this role, you’ll work closely with other data scientists as well as our Operations, Programs, and Global Volunteers teams.
What You’ll Do
The Data Scientist will be responsible for the following in addition to any other project assigned by the Portfolio Manager:
Technical Project Management
- Ensure the technical quality of cohort of up to seven DataCorps® projects
- Write, oversee, and maintain project briefs for the impact practice portfolio, managing scope creep
- Prepare projects for a seamless launch with volunteers and nonprofit project partners, including but not limited to ensuring data has been collected from our partners and making sure that tech (e.g. cloud infrastructure) and communications systems (e.g. Slack) have been put in place for teams
- Plan and execute project kick-off meetings, overseeing client and volunteer check-ins and end of phase presentations
- Support day-to-day technical project activities while ensuring work is progressing as planned
- Communicate and manage expectations of partner organizations and volunteers throughout the entire project life cycle
- Monitor quality of DataCorps project output, both in terms of algorithmic and statistical output as well as code quality and best practices
- Keep project management tools like Salesforce and Asana up to date with project information and progress
- Meet weekly with the Portfolio Manager and Product team to provide detailed status updates on key projects and workstreams
- Work with staff members on the Programs team to vet and select a diverse group of volunteers for project teams, assessing technical skills and matching them to project needs
- Work with the Global Volunteers team to identify qualified volunteers
- Ensure volunteers have a great experience on our projects, providing support as needed and celebrating their efforts and work throughout the project
- Solicit feedback from partner organizations and volunteers to iterate on and execute action plans
Who You Are
- You are a data scientist. You know how to put technology to task, and you recognize when a solution might be an algorithm, a database, an application, a retrospective analysis, or none of the above. You understand how to work within different stakeholder systems and know how to ensure sustainable integration and use of final deliverables in support of partner objectives. You can understand the language of nonprofits and translate it into technical requirements, and vice versa.
- You are an experienced project manager. You have a proven track record of successfully managing full life-cycle tech projects and can leverage agile or other management styles to execute a project from start to finish. You have experience managing technical teams and outputs and are comfortable breaking complex problems down into bite-sized deliverables. You are exceptional at keeping teams on task to deliver a strong product on time, identifying problems early and proactively creating solutions that leverage your strong relationship management and communication skills.
- You are a self-starter and get stuff done. Whether it’s on your own or through others, your experience, transparency, and organization allow you to get the nuts and bolts in place in record time, always with support and input from the rest of the organization. You are able to work independently with some guidance from your manager.
- You bring people together. You know how to coordinate and build buy-in from a variety of stakeholders, ensuring they have shared ownership over decisions and deliverables. You have time-tested strategies to support effective decision-making processes and have developed management systems that drive consistent results.
- Excellent time management skills. You know how to manage your time wisely and are able to organize and prioritize your work in order to meet important deadlines.
- You are values-aligned and understand the bigger picture. You share DataKind’s values of humility, transparency, DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion), thoughtfulness, excellence, and approachability. You care about more than just completing your projects. and our product.
How You’ll be Measured
At the end of their one-year term, the Data Scientist will have accomplished the following:
- Successfully supported up to seven DataCorps projects from volunteer recruitment to project completion
- Supported at least one Open Call for volunteers, selected volunteers for project teams, and completed all steps according to DataKind’s standards in DataKind’s playbook in support of our volunteer engagement
- Prepared DataKind project outputs for professional presentations and delivered technically sound, community-invigorating presentations at both internal and external venues
- Provided timely and proactive communication regarding volunteers, projects, and opportunities such that the team was able to react and contribute to solutions
- Alignment with DataKind mission and values
- 3-5 years of technical work experience; at least 3 years of experience in complex project management across multiple time zones
- Fluent in data science technology stack including: R/Python, SQL, Postgres, AWS, etc.
- Deep experience in machine learning/AI—confident in applying, tuning, and evaluating a wide variety of AI algorithms from logistic regression and random forests to deep learning
- Proven track record of successfully managing full life-cycle data science projects with multiple stakeholders
- Comfort and skill in communicating highly technical information to semi- and non- technical audiences
- Willing and able to work occasional nights and weekends for meetings or events with our global community of partners and volunteers
- Experience in the nonprofit sector and/or in a small startup organization
- Experience with software development and/or web-dev work (frontends, dashboards, etc.)
- Experience volunteering and/or experience motivating groups of volunteers around large-scale projects or events
- Specific expertise in at least one of the following: machine learning/deep learning, data visualization, geospatial data analysis, natural language processing, optimization, predictive modeling, or causal inference
- Track record of public speaking and/or technical writing for a variety of audiences
Why Work with DataKind
At DataKind, we believe that people are the most important asset to delivering on their mission to collaboratively design data-driven, innovative solutions to tough social challenges. Working with us means that you will have:
- Flexibility in your working schedule. This includes things like working from home, leaving early to care for kids, coming in late to walk your dog, etc. This also means that you have unlimited PTO.
- Access to an outstanding health plan. We pay 100% of medical, vision, and dental benefits for employees and contribute partially for spouse and dependent coverage.
- Support to plan for your future. We offer a 401(k) match up to 5%.
- Opportunities to learn and grow. Each year, we budget for each staff person to have ongoing professional development support.
Interested candidates should submit a resume and cover letter detailing their interest in our mission and qualifications for the position by following the "apply" link below.
DataKind is an Equal Opportunity Employer
Naturally, DataKind is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages candidates from underrepresented groups in tech to apply. DataKind does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, gender, disability, religion, national origin, age, sexual orientation, genetic information, pregnancy, or any other protected category.
Applicants must be currently authorized to work in the United States on a full-time basis.Apply