Reports To: Director of Data & Performance Management

Schedule: Monday through Friday, occasional evenings and weekends as required by supervisor

Job Summary:

This is an exciting opportunity to join First Place’s growing Evaluation and Learning (E&L) Department as its first Data Scientist. This is a key member of the Department managing and maintaining the data infrastructure in AWS, writing scripts in SQL and R to automate the reporting needs of the organization, and providing data analysis, visualization, and evaluation support to First Place for Youth, its Network Affiliate partners throughout the United States, and its public, foundation, and corporate funders. The Department is focused on strengthening the organization’s reputation as an analytics leader in the child welfare and non-profit spaces, by:

  • making data and reports more accessible and informative to staff, leadership, partner organizations and funders, through the creation of well-designed dashboards and simple-to-interpret metrics
  • Designing experiments for new interventions and testing their impact on key outcomes like living wage attainment
  • Conducting ad hoc analysis and publication-ready research intended to impact and shape public policy around extended foster care nationally

A successful candidate for this position will be exceptionally curious, an effective problem-solver, and eager to train/coach non-technical colleagues about the complexities of data science and experimentation.


Primary responsibilities include (other duties may be assigned):

  • Enhancing and maintaining the reporting infrastructure for the organization, from AWS S3 to MySQL database to Power BI.
  • Troubleshoot, manage and modify MySQL database, stored procedures, user accounts/permissions, and R scripts, thereby maintaining and automating team reports to internal and external partners.
  • Create, modify, and maintain Power BI reports for internal and external users focused on evaluation and impact
  • Produce new tables in the organization’s data warehouse that strengthen the data culture and feed seamlessly into new dashboards in Power BI
  • Developing data pipelines to integrate and analyze the data of external partners or administrative data from public agencies, leveraging our existing data architecture, or partnering with the Director of Data to augment the data stack.
  • Conduct statistical analyses of the impacts of new innovations and interventions on key outcomes, and support the design and creation of rapid-cycle evaluation experiments.
  • Support the development and scaling of the Youth Roadmap Tool, by analyzing its impact, setting it up for new partner organizations, or developing new ways in which we can apply cutting-edge data science techniques to the child welfare space.
  • Collaborate with staff and managers to ensure accuracy and reliability of agency data, and full compliance with internal and external data standards
  • Collaborate with external partners and internal leadership team to share analytic findings and identify evaluation opportunities.
  • Provide consultation and oversight of ongoing Apricot back-end system restructuring and refinement efforts
  • Work collaboratively with other members of the Evaluation and Learning team and provide training/coaching to less technical colleagues

Other duties as assigned


  • Masters’ degree in Computer Science, Statistics, Analytics, or other field with significant emphasis on data science, with minimum 1 year professional experience OR Bachelor’s degree with a minimum of 2 years’ work experience and strong applied knowledge of SQL, ETL, and data science in a social science/public service/social impact setting.
  • Advanced MySQL skills, including complex joins, subqueries, common table expressions, and stored procedures, with experience with:
  • Analytics mastery in R or Python with proficiency connecting to databases, wrangling data with Tidyverse to prepare it for use in Power BI, and conducting statistical analysis
  • Background in applying statistical techniques to derive meaning and insight in the social service/public sector
  • Familiarity with designing, supporting, and evaluating experiments in the social service sector
  • Familiarity with Power BI, including the ability to build reports using Power Query and DAX equations; developing data models that pull from multiple sources; and implementing and maintaining row-level security
  • Comfort with ambiguity and demonstrated ability to create clarity from complexity
  • Experiencing using Git and GitHub, administering GitHub organizations, using GitHub-flavored Markdown, and using Git commands on the command line interface.
  • Experience with ETL development and management, data migration as well as knowledge of relational databases and dimensional models
  • Background using Microsoft Office (particularly Excel) and text editors (e.g. Atom)
  • Astute problem-solver with strong organizational and customer service skills
  • Strong attention to detail with the ability to generate data reports and QA the work ensuring accurate, timely submission
  • Ability to work well under pressure, multi-task, and handle complex situations in a fast-paced environment while maintaining a positive attitude, patience, and tact.

Core Competencies

Required of all staff for successful performance at First Place


  • Intentional use of data to improve performance
  • Possesses strong drive, initiative and motivation
  • Detail and Results orientation
  • Demonstrates good work habits
  • Resiliency in persisting through setbacks
  • Demonstrated success, with the ability to think strategically while executing tactically within a resource-constrained environment.


  • Seeks and utilizes resources to inform and contextualize own work
  • Thinks interdependently, framing the goals of one department/project within the entire vision
  • Synthesizes information to make astute recommendations and/or decisions
  • Prioritizes goals for success.


  • Creates an environment that maximizes the return on investment in others
  • Collaborates to set and achieve goals that comport with First Place’s mission, strategic plan and desired measurable outcomes
  • Creates and utilizes development opportunities to address individual needs and capacity to accomplish performance objectives
  • Creates and identifies opportunities for recognition of success
  • Provides supportive environment to learn from mistakes.


  • Courageous, strategic, clear and direct communication that resolves discrepancies and overcomes challenges and obstacles to organizational success
  • Ability to respectfully ask questions, challenge, and communicate both positive and difficult messages to subordinates, superiors, peers and youth
  • Sound judgment regarding the appropriateness of guarding confidentiality to protect the privacy rights of colleagues or youth
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills.


  • Asks questions in order to learn and encourage dialogue
  • Willing to make mistakes and to be accountable for own work
  • Speaks about issues truthfully and without blame
  • Leads by example, displaying behavior that respects the mission, youth and First Place
  • Holds high expectations for self, one another and for our youth.

To apply for this position, please submit your cover letter and resume in ONE document to: