Data Scientist

  • LA City Innovation Team
  • Los Angeles, CA, USA
  • Jun 23, 2020
Full time Government

Job Description

OPPORTUNITY TO INNOVATE

The Los Angeles Innovation Team (i-team), is a dedicated team of strategists, designers, and data scientists reporting to the Chief Innovation Officer in Mayor Garcetti’s executive office. We are known for our out-of-the-box thinking, data-driven solutions, and relentless focus on impact. Combining research, prototyping, and testing, the team works collaboratively with partners across City departments to launch initiatives that will positively impact all Angelenos.

Since its inception in 2015 as part of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ i-team network, the Los Angeles i-team has functioned as an in-house consultancy, focused on many of Mayor Garcetti’s key agenda items, including housing and business displacement in gentrifying neighborhoods, workforce development in a changing economy, and improving LAPD recruitment and hiring practices to ensure a diverse workforce.

The i-team approach leverages data-driven research and works closely with internal and external City partners to tackle cities’ biggest, most pressing challenges. The Data Scientist is an integral member of the i-team with high-level exposure to City government leadership, departments, and stakeholders. The role is very collaborative and, along with the i-team as a whole, is expected to support City leaders in making decisions and driving positive change. 

ABOUT THE ROLE

The Los Angeles i-team is recruiting a Data Scientist who will lead all data and technology projects for the Innovation Team. Responsibilities for this role include gathering, cleaning, and understanding relevant structured and unstructured data; developing sophisticated analysis and predictive models; and creating and tracking performance metrics for projects. Additionally, given the City’s commitment to data-driven decision-making, there will be an ongoing need to assess the impact of different policy options in real-time, continually ensuring the Mayor’s Office is responsive to needs on-the-ground, especially during the current COVID-19 pandemic and protests over racial justice.

The Data Scientist will drive the development and implementation of data science and research analysis projects both related to the i-team’s core project work, as well as one-off projects, including data-specific deliverables such as mapping applications. Working closely with the other members of the Innovation Team and the Chief Innovation Officer, the Data Scientist will produce original quantitative insights to drive the work, as well as participate in stakeholder interviews and team insight-generating activities, such as ideation sessions. The ideal candidate will be someone who can both perform in-depth analysis and clearly communicate key insights with internal and external stakeholders, starting with the other members of the i-team.

RESPONSIBILITIES FOR THE POSITION INCLUDE, BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO:

  • Leading the development and timely execution of all data related projects for the i-team
  • Cleaning, analyzing and effectively reporting out insights using a variety of internal and external data sources
  • Creating data visualizations to communicate insights, trends, and other noteworthy findings
  • Creating, modeling, and implementing new data architecture and analytics solutions
  • Creating, tracking, and visualizing performance metrics for past and current projects within the i-team portfolio
  • Establishing data policies, standards, organization and enforcement of data governance 
  • Presenting ideas and solutions at external conferences, speaking engagements, and in presentations and whitepapers

THE CANDIDATE

The ideal candidate possesses a passion for leveraging data for good and for making meaningful, sustainable change in Los Angeles. This individual is someone who proactively seeks out new challenges and is ready to work in a high-energy, openly collaborative work environment. 

The Data Scientist will need to simultaneously balance adherence to an innovative process and protocol, while also thinking creatively about how to turn abstract concepts into practical applications. Additionally, the Data Scientist should have an interest in public sector topics such as public health, homelessness, poverty reduction, and equity. 

IDEAL CHARACTERISTICS

  • Passion for public service and making a difference in the lives of Angelenos
  • Track record of delivering results in a high-pressure environment with multiple workstreams, and less than perfect data 
  • Ability to create comprehensive data plans that identify all tasks, resources, and deliverables required to achieve the desired results
  • Expertise in data analysis and statistical modeling, including both detailed data manipulation and interpretation of broader implications 
  • Problem-solving skills with an ability to anticipate problems and develop solutions on a deadline
  • Understanding of the mechanics of city government and familiarity with public sector innovation (experience with open innovation techniques is a plus) 
  • Ability to thoughtfully communicate with and respectfully engage diverse stakeholders around a shared vision for achieving results
  • Ability to address all ends of the project spectrum, from research to planning, to execution and delivery
  • Strong team player with a proactive, detail-oriented approach who can effectively communicate with others – telling stories through data – and navigate an ambiguous environment with enthusiasm

TECHNICAL SKILLS

  • Fluency in Python (and associated libraries including Pandas, Statsmodel, Matplotlib, and Sci-Kit Learn). Working knowledge of R is encouraged but not required
  • Proficient with geospatial analysis and presentation via ArcGIS (online and ArcGIS Pro)
  • Experience querying databases with SQL
  • Familiarity with data automation best practices and scheduling using workflow management tools such as cron or AirFlow
  • Experience with dashboarding and interactive visualizations using Tableau and/or Power BI
  • Comfortable using GitHub to manage version control and data workflow 
  • Expertise with core tools such as Google Suite, Microsoft Office, and Asana (or other program management software)
  • Experience ingesting data through APIs and setting up new APIs as necessary
  • Technical experience in terms of building, testing, and deploying prototype applications is also preferred

EDUCATION 

Undergraduate degree required, advanced degree preferred, ideally in computer science, statistics, 

math or data science. 

COMPENSATION

Salary will be commensurate with experience, along with additional benefits. 

START DATE

July 2020 

APPLICATION

Qualified candidates should share a cover letter, work sample (see instructions below), and resume by June 26th for consideration, but applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. 

Work Sample Instructions

Please provide a sample of your work that illustrates how you have leveraged data to understand and identify solutions to a problem – preferably related to a civic or social issue but not required. Your work sample should illustrate your proficiency with data transformations, visualization, and a scripted language.

Please include a short write-up (800 - 1,200 words) to accompany the work sample that describes the problem being addressed, insights you uncovered, the approach and tools used, and a description or sample of the data used. Please also include any code that you used.

Please send all application materials to:

Director, Innovation Team 

Office of LA Mayor Eric Garcetti 

Subject line: Data Scientist Application, [Name]

mayor.iteam@lacity.org

This is an exempt, at-will position. The individual appointed to this position will not accrue any civil service tenure, contractual employment rights, or due process rights. The incumbent may be removed, without any finding of cause, by the hiring authority.