Job:

Data Analyst

Posted on: December 12, 2018

INCS seeks a Data Analyst to equip the INCS team, INCS’ member schools, and influential stakeholders with data tools and analysis that will boost their efforts to impact education policy and improve school quality for students throughout public schools in Illinois.

BACKGROUND

Twenty 20 years ago, when educators and community members started the charter school movement, people questioned whether students in low income communities could succeed at the highest levels. That debate is now over. They can, and they do, as evidenced by the high school graduation rates and post-secondary success of thousands of Illinois charter school students. The only remaining question is whether we have the will to make this happen for more families. That is the work we are committed to.

The Illinois Network of Charter Schools (INCS) advocates for the improvement of public education by creating the conditions that allow high-quality charter public schools to grow, thrive, and serve students and families well. We believe the key conditions are informed community members supporting elected officials who enact laws providing equitable funding and accountability, and authorizers complying with the law and following transparent policies and practices for school oversight.

INCS’ Data Analyst will be a key asset in this effort, enabling INCS to leverage quantitative and qualitative findings about public schools to create transformative policy conditions. Reporting to the Chief Operating Officer, the Analyst will also oversee, leverage, and expand the organization’s data and information-sharing platforms to enable team members to succeed in more sustainable ways.

INCS advocates with elected officials, local school districts and other charter public school “authorizers,” supports nascent and existing school staff and organizes parents and communities. INCS’ advocacy efforts are supported by our communications, development, and operations teams. The organization is based in Chicago, where most Illinois charter public schools are located.

KEY RESPONSIBILITIES

INCS has a robust SQL database, established Tableau visualizations, and a Data FAQ in Microsoft PowerBI for data sharing with team members and the public through our website. We regularly publish analyses and reports regarding the current state of public education in Illinois and to recommend policy changes to ensure access to high-quality public education is a reality for more students.

We are looking for a Data Analyst who can quickly understand the current needs and data resources of INCS, manage ongoing data requests from internal users, and, eventually develop strategic proposals for future data work in support of our mission. Because this person will be the only data expert on the team, it is critical that the Analyst be able to manage expectations, manage large projects and smaller requests, and patiently teach the team about best practices and future possibilities.

  • Build strategy, oversee, and foster staff adoption of data systems
  • Set strategy for which data INCS collects, stores, analyzes, and leverages for the purposes of achieving and tracking progress toward the organizational goals and project-level goals
  • Oversee the maintenance of our charter school performance SQL database and our CRM system for maximum efficiency, integration, and accuracy
  • Set expectations through service level agreements for different requests
  • Serve as an internal champion for the use of INCS data systems
  • Streamline data systems at INCS to reduce burden of updating, reduce redundancies, and make data about schools more accessible to staff
  • Maintain and update SQL Database of charter school performance data
    • Maintain INCS’ charter performance data SQL server database and adapt its structure to incorporate new data as they become available from public sources such as Chicago Public Schools, the Illinois State Board of Education and other state and local agencies.
    • Seek out new sources of data to leverage as needs and questions occur for staff and INCS’ member schools
    • Support the installation of new functionality on INCS website through Tableau software and connection to SQL server (working with the Communications team and our web developer)
  • Public-Facing School Quality Analysis
    • Analyze public school quality in Illinois using data from disparate sources
    • Develop user-friendly charts, graphs, and displays of information targeting a range of audiences
    • Stay informed of work from other local and national education research groups and communicate key findings to the INCS team
    • Provide up to date information from SQL database and reporting platforms to support the Communications team as it publishes data on INCS’ website, in INCS literature, and other staff resource documents
    • Support team members as they respond to data requests from media, school leaders, legislators, funders, and other key stakeholders
  • Serve as staff support for CRM system
    • Point team members to training resources and train them on how to use the CRM for maximum efficiency and impact, including training them how to measure success in their communications and fundraising efforts
    • Design procedures for systematic updates of stakeholder contact information
    • Liaison with CRM provider (Little Green Light) to meet the CRM needs of each INCS team

EXPERIENCE AND QUALIFICATIONS

First and foremost, candidates must believe that every child, regardless of socioeconomic factors or their academic starting point has the potential to succeed in school, career, and life. In addition, candidates should have an awareness of how public education systems have historically and disproportionately disadvantaged vulnerable communities and must believe that charter schools have the power to transform public education and the lives of students. Ideal candidates will possess the following characteristics:

  • Orientation toward customer service and problem solving
  • Demonstrated ability to learn new technical platforms in self-guided fashion
  • The ability to analyze and interpret data within the nuanced context of public education policy
  • Three or more years of professional experience in database administration, analysis, or similar roles
  • Three or more years of experience working with large, messy datasets, preferably in public education
  • Experience with or aptitude for learning SQL, Tableau and/or similar database and visualization tools
  • Proficiency interpreting data for a variety of audiences, in writing and in person
  • A track-record of supporting non-technical staff on technical content
  • Highly organized project manager with excellent attention to detail
  • Confident, mature outlook and presence, sense of humor, relentless optimism, a spirit of problem-solving, and calm under pressure
  • A commitment to embracing diversity and fostering an environment of inclusion and cultural competency (see our definition below)
  • Undergraduate degree

CULTURAL COMPETENCY AT INCS

Cultural competency is a lifelong process of building the knowledge, mindset, and skills necessary to engage fully and effectively with students, colleagues, and stakeholders of different backgrounds. This process requires us to deeply understand our nation’s history of injustice and its link to the persistent opportunity gaps that INCS and its member schools are focused on closing. It also requires us to strengthen our cultural competency by better understanding our own implicit and explicit biases and by reflecting on our words and actions through open dialogue.

INCS invests in building greater cultural competence and responsiveness across our team by supporting ongoing reflection, learning, skill-building, and positive actions. We know that culturally competent teams, especially when inclusive of individuals who share the racial, socioeconomic, and/or academic backgrounds (e.g., first generation college goers) of member schools’ student populations, are best equipped to take action to ensure fairness inside and outside of INCS. To that end, we believe in building a richly diverse and inclusive organization, including a mission-critical imperative for all staff to both model and contribute to the vision we hope to achieve.

EQUAL OPPORTUNITY

We believe it is critical for leaders to reflect the communities that they serve and that diversity across multiple dimensions enables us to achieve our mission of transforming lives and communities through public education. We don’t just accept difference – we celebrate it, support it, and thrive on it for the benefit of our staff, member schools, and the broader community. INCS is proud to be an equal opportunity workplace and is an affirmative action employer. We seek and welcome a diverse pool of candidates in this search.

COMPENSATION

Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience.  INCS provides a suite of competitive benefits.

APPLICATION PROCEDURE

INCS will review candidates and their qualifications until the position is filled. To apply, submit a current resume to Rich Haglund at rhaglund@incschools.org. The start date is as soon as possible.