The Opportunity Our projects are chosen for their potential to change people's lives. A colleague recently said “I joined for the combination of mad ambition and serious strategy.” Recent examples of projects our data analysts worked on include:
Exclusions Data Analysis – we recently analysed local authority social care and education data (bringing together 700 datasets) and did user research with decision makers to find new ways to help reduce exclusions. We showed that girls were actually being ‘excluded’ at a higher rate than boys and that their exclusions were hidden by official definitions. We’re now working on ways to help all local authorities replicate that analysis and have started to develop a new intervention to address the needs of the high-risk students which the analysis identified.
Edge of Care Commissioning Tool: Our team developed an analytical model to support children’s social care commissioners identify children at risk of entering care and what support to provide. The model identified children most at risk of entering care as well as eligibility for specialist services. The tool helped 15+ local authorities build the case for investing in preventative services which kept 350 children with their parents instead of being removed into local authority care.
Greater Manchester Data Platform – our team are helping Greater Manchester to work out: what use cases exist for a common data platform across a range of public services; what technical, ethical, political, and change management barriers would need to be overcome to realise those; what a roadmap to creating it might entail. Currently in discovery, and we hope to work on the build as well.
The work is extremely broad – ranging across predictive risk modelling; classic business intelligence; developing data standards; data engineering; advice on the ethics of data collaborations; and training partners’ data scientists.
This breadth is intentional. Rather than trying to develop our own leadership in a single area, we are trying to achieve social change and we take on this wide variety of challenges because these challenges are what lie between us and our goals. You will need to be someone who is excited by that breadth – and by the frequent need for teams to blend technical with policy and service delivery expertise to identify the right solution.
Our partners’ data, technology, and in-house capability often constrain what we can do. So, you’ll need to be more energised by that potential for social impact than by getting to use cutting edge data science approaches. You’ll need to think of creative ways to work around those constraints and consider that a part of the fun.
We expect that your skills and experience will make you comfortable in:
· Quantitative analysis, using at least one of Python, R or SQL – working with messy datasets to help solve strategic and operational problems for the public sector, charities, and impact-focussed businesses.
· Communicating insights to non-data people – whether through a conversation, a report, or data visualisation you’ll need to be able to help busy decision makers to act on what you’re finding
· Working as a Consultant – with the ensuing requirement for excellent time management, balancing multi-projects at the same time, and teamwork. Also being comfortable with ambiguity as the team develops over time a better understanding of the problem, and what might solve it.
You’ll also need to be interested in bringing ethics into your work – thinking about how design decisions exacerbate or counter problems such as structural racism and algorithmic bias, or the tendency towards state surveillance of disadvantaged populations.
Experience of data engineering challenges would be a bonus, as would experience of public policy, working in the not-for-profit sector, experience of strategy development, or experience of a consulting environment.
Your peers will be likely to have 1-3 years’ experience.
To view the full job advert please visit: https://www.socialfinance.org.uk/careers/vacancies