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Lead Data Scientist, Insights and Analytics

  • Requisition no: 525918
  • Work type: Full Time
  • Location: Morningside
  • School/Department: Office of Alumni & Development
  • Grade: Grade 14
  • Categories: Development/Alumni Relations
  • Job Type: Officer of Administration
  • Bargaining Unit:
  • Regular/Temporary: Regular
  • End Date if Temporary:
  • Hours Per Week: 35
  • Salary Range:

Position Summary

Reporting to the Senior Director, the Lead Data Scientist is a senior member of Insights and Analytics (I&A) within Data Strategy and Management (DSM). Data Science provides data/statistical analysis, business intelligence and data visualization products, data assets, ad hoc queries, and training primarily in support of the development strategies of the Office of Alumni and Development (OAD). The Lead Data Scientist oversees the development of Data Science data models, data structures and tools to enable effective analysis, decision making, and process automation across OAD.


Responsibilities include but are not limited to the following:

  • Serve as a member of I&A’s leadership team, making key decisions about projects and priorities within I&A and DSM. In partnership with I&A’s Data Engineer, contribute to the design, enhancement, and maintenance of high-quality data architectures that align with I&A and OAD business requirements and improve data reliability, efficiency, and quality.
  • Direct the development, deployment, and continuous improvement of constituent behavioral models, machine learning, predictive modeling algorithms, and advanced analytics metrics.
  • Create and maintain Data Science applications, tools and resources (web apps, standard and ad hoc reports, database objects, etc.). Maintain proficiency in industry standard and emerging ETL and data acquisition methods, useful data sources, analytical techniques, technology, and software tools through self-guided learning, coursework, conference attendance, etc.
  • Recommend opportunities for data acquisition to develop a more cost-effective and comprehensive understanding of constituents along an array of useful attributes.
  • Co-lead efforts to develop business intelligence assets in support of broader strategic priorities within OAD via available reporting and analytics platforms.
  • Forge partnerships with colleagues and process owners to identify opportunities for process automation using Data Science content. Disseminate use cases of and best practices associated with I&A’s Data Science tools and resources to the University Development and Alumni Relations community.
  • Perform ad hoc project assistance, as required.

Minimum Qualifications

Bachelor’s degree in Statistics, Computer Science, Data Science, Economics, Applied Analytics, or a related discipline, with an advanced degree preferred. Five (5) to seven (7) years of work experience is required, with a minimum of three (3) years in Data Science. Demonstrated proficiency in SQL is required, preferably in an Oracle (PL/SQL) environment. Demonstrated proficiency in Python or R is required. Experience with business intelligence and data visualization platforms (Microsoft Power BI, Tableau, Qlik) strongly preferred. Proficiency with the Microsoft Office Suite (advanced Excel or Google Sheets) and other common computer applications required. This position requires strong attention to detail and the ability to maintain confidentiality and handle sensitive information. Excellent oral and interpersonal skills and strong project management and problem-solving skills. Strong customer service skills and an exemplary attitude are required.

Additional familiarity with fundraising database applications desirable but not required.

Preferred Qualifications

Knowledge of common practices in the fields of alumni relations and development preferred. Ability to conceptualize and develop proactive approaches to support organizational goals, including data mining, sophisticated constituent database queries, etc. preferred.

Other Requirements

  • Ability to work efficiently in a virtual environment with off-site colleagues.
  • The successful candidate must be a strategic thinker, effective in moving strategic agendas, politically savvy, flexible in nature, and have a sound judgment with a collaborative style that fosters teamwork and cooperation beyond the immediate team to the broader organization. Must have a passion for excellent customer service, commitment to exceptional quality, and an ability to inspire colleagues toward accomplishing common objectives and goals.

Subject to business needs, the Office of Alumni and Development supports remote and hybrid work arrangements for this position. Options will be discussed during the interview process.

Equal Opportunity Employer / Disability / Veteran

Columbia University is committed to the hiring of qualified local residents.

Applications open: Eastern Daylight Time
Applications close:

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