Data Scientist, Prospect Research, Management and Analytics, University Development

North Carolina, United States
15 Oct 2018
End of advertisement period
15 Dec 2018
Contract Type
Full Time

Development Services

Job Description

Data Scientist - Duke University Development

Occupational Summary

The Data Scientist is a senior member of an established Development Analytics team in Prospect Research, Management, and Analytics (PRMA) in the Office of University Development. The Data Scientist is responsible for collaborating with colleagues across Duke to provide timely and accurate business intelligence. PRMA works with almost 50 years of biographical and transactional level data in a highly complex data environment (700,000+ households, millions of transactions). The Data Scientist creates processes, reports, analysis, and tools that allow fundraisers, managers, and leaders to have a thorough understanding of their work. Through analytics, PRMA nurtures partnerships and translates data into actionable business intelligence, using data thoughtfully to achieve ambitious fundraising goals. Thisposition reports to the Director of Prospect Research, Management, and Analytics.

Work Performed

Strategy and Analysis

  • Convert data into actionable business intelligence through a deeply developed understanding of the functional needs of users and program requirements of leaders. Maps user needs to functional system requirements and partners across development to determine appropriate reports and systemization.
  • Develop strategies and programs to grow the size and value of the managed prospect pool university-wide through the aggressive collection, maintenance, and analysis of information including developing predictive models and theuse of APIs or other data collection techniques.
  • Work closely with the Director of PRMA to increase the scope and utility of data intelligence services offered to the development community including devising strategies to drive adoption of existing tools. Think strategically and listen actively while building consensus and advocating effectively in a complex decentralized organization.
  • Engage the community with data, ask questions, tell stories, and find the right sized data solution that answers the end-users programmatic questions in a timely and scalable solution.
  • Collaborate across the organization to identify or anticipate opportunities and implement solutions that create development-wide reporting resources and solutions. Evaluate emergent trends in the broader analytics field for development application.
  • Create materials related to the work of PRMA in an accessible and memorable format for all levels of professional, technical, and administrative staff primarily using interactive web based visualization tools such as Tableau, java, python, R, or other software packages focused on data visualization and analytical storytelling.
  • Identify and recommend opportunities to improve and consolidate reporting with an eye to efficiency and program outcomes. Determine the right data, the right question, the right tool, and the appropriate audience for work.

Reporting and visualization

  • Contribute to the ongoing development of the Tableau dashboard system including updates to existing dashboard suites, creation of new dashboard suites, training and usage within the community, and opportunities for analytics to help drive fundraising success. Create, edit, and format data visualizations for a wide-range of users at all levels of the organization.
  • Identify opportunities to develop or enhance SAS reporting tools for fundraisers, managers, and leaders within all areas of development.
  • Identify and implement best practices for distributing information to a complex decentralized network of interested parties
  • Conduct complex modeling projects within Analytics in R, SAS, or other statistical packages; provide strategic leadership in identifying community needs, appropriate measures, and implementation plans that increase fundraising success and identify opportunities for improvement. Listen, translate, and act on recommendations from leadership.
  •  Cultivate relationships with peer schools to identify best in industry practices that can be applied to or enhance the fundraising progress or culture of Duke.
  • Participate in cross-departmental projects to improve understanding and strategic use of PRMA tools and development data. Optimize existing systems for efficiency and end-user experience.
  • Develop and implement staff training regarding new Analytics tools or initiatives broadly. Collaborate across PRMA to create best practices for the comprehensive monitoring and tracking of managed and engaged prospects through the solicitation cycle.


  • Work in a collaborative team environment, sharing knowledge and newly identified sources with team and leading or participating in team projects.
  • Other related duties incidental to the work described herein.


Bachelor's degree required.


  • A minimum of four years of experience gathering, analyzing, querying, and evaluating complex relational datasets with a preference to institutions of higher education and development.

Departmenal preferences:

  • Significant experience in fundraising
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills with the ability to synthesize and accurately present relevant information.
  • Exceptional skills in translating complex data analytics to diverse audiences.
  • A minimum of two years of experience developing creative data outputs including dashboards and highly visual end- user reports in Tableau, SAS, R, or java.
  • Demonstrated track record of strategic and creative approaches to analytics with collaboration with frontline fundraisers, system administrators, and senior level management.
  • Advanced skills and proficiency with standard analytic tools including Tableau, SAS, SQL, python, java, or R.
  • Prior experience with university constituent database systems preferred.
  • Ability to apply independent judgment and initiative required. Must be able to share success and integrate ideas.
  • Strong commitment to maintaining the integrity andconfidentiality of development data.

Interested Applicants

In addition to your online application, please submit cover letter and resume to Please put "Data Scientist" on the subject line.

  • Behavioral Competencies
  • Self-Management
  • Curiosity and Information Seeking
  • Goal and Task Management
  • Promotes Innovation and Creativity
  • Organizational Awareness
  • Ability to Influence
  • Collaborating with Others
  • Leadership

Requisition Number 401490280
Location Durham
Job Family Level 14
Exempt/Non-Exempt Exempt
Full Time / Part Time FULL TIME
Regular / Temporary Regular
Shift First/Day

Minimum Qualifications

Duke University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer committed to providing employment opportunity without regard to an individual's age, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex,sexual orientation, or veteran status.

Duke aspires to create a community built on collaboration, innovation,creativity, and belonging. Our collective success depends on the robust exchange of ideas—an exchange that is best when the rich diversity of our perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences flourishes. To achieve this exchange, it is essential that all members of the community feel secure and welcome, that the contributions of all individuals are respected, and that all voices are heard. All members of our community have a responsibility to uphold these values.

Essential Physical Job Functions:Certain jobs at Duke University and Duke University Health System may include essential job functions that require specific physical and/or mental abilities. Additional information and provision for requests for reasonable accommodation will be provided by each hiring department.


Work requires communications, analytical and organizational skillsgenerally acquired through completion of a bachelor's degree program.


Four years of related process analysis, activity assessment/redesign.OR AN EQUIVALENT COMBINATION OF RELEVANT EDUCATION AND/OR EXPERIENCE

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