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A cover letter and resume are required for consideration for this position.  The cover letter should be included in the same document as your resume and should specifically address your interest in this position and highlight related skills and experience.

Job Summary

The University of Michigan seeks a Data Architect and Manager to become an active member of the Education Policy Initiative and Youth Policy Lab. This position will be located at the Ford School of Public Policy. The Data Architect and Manager will have operational responsibility for managing the large-scale administrative data infrastructure that is central to all of our work. 

The Education Policy Initiative at the Ford School of Public Policy brings together nationally-recognized scholars focused on the generation and dissemination of policy-relevant education research. We work in partnership with schools, districts, and state agencies to conduct cutting-edge research that inform both policy and practice. The Youth Policy Lab helps non-profits, agencies, policymakers and philanthropists make decisions based on best practices, applied research and real-time feedback on program impact. We do this by conducting rigorous quantitative research to inform policy focused on youth in the areas of education, health, juvenile justice and workforce development.

Large-scale administrative data from multiple government agencies, nonprofits and other sources is the basis of all of our analysis and research. Managing the acquisition, organization, warehousing, documentation, security, and dissemination of this data is the central task of the Data Architect and Manager. We seek applicants who are excited to work in an innovative and fast-paced environment.

Please note: we have posted this position at the senior level, however we will consider more junior candidates as well, so we encourage all interested applicants to apply.


  • Manage and oversee all aspects of administrative data collection from various sources and the production, curation, archiving, and distribution of restricted- and public-use data resources from them.
  • Oversee and design comprehensive data structure and management infrastructure. 
  • Build and refine internal practices for data intake, cleaning, coding, and codebook construction.
  • Oversee data intake from data providers, management and security protocols.
  • Develop and implement data archiving and backup procedures.
  • Work with data providers to identify and rectify data quality problems.
  • Work with research assistants to standardize procedures for merging files, restructuring and recoding variables, labeling values, and error checking.
  • Oversee the production and updating of codebooks and other technical documentation of data.
  • Perform high-level systems analysis and database design; recommend data development strategies; select and recommend tools and languages for development of new systems. Interpret trends and make recommendations for strategies to ensure long-term competitiveness of EPI/YPL data resources. Implement system to monitor usage. Ensure data model facilitates ease of use by data contributors, project participants, and end users.
  • System administration, including managing user access and compliance with confidentiality practices. Train data users and staff on best practices with regards to data processes and security. 
  • Manage and oversee web developer efforts to design and implement user-friendly, web interface that will expand data access to a variety of audiences. Design, implement, and maintain mechanisms to security collect data from partner organization and distribute public data products over the web.
  • In consultation with University computing staff, oversee data security and confidentiality issues related to restricted and public use data products in accordance with relevant data management agreements. Research and evaluate threats, encryption methods, secure communication methods and relevant regulations and security standards. Monitor and evaluate systems and procedures to ensure compliance with relevant security standards and regulations.
  • Act as liaison to technical and non-technical users and external project team members. Present complex ideas and designs clearly to non-technical users; manage and address complaints and concerns; gather and interpret relevant intelligence from users and partners. 

Required Qualifications*

  • A master’s degree in data/information science, statistics, information, computer science or relevant social science field and a minimum of two to four year’s experience in a data architect or comparable role, or a bachelor’s degree and at least four to six years’ experience in a comparable role, including:
  • Database administration and application development
  • Demonstrated knowledge of current methods of data modeling and database design work
  • Experience in the design, development, and operation of database systems
  • Project and process management
  • Experience with modern programming languages
  • Comfort in both Windows and Unix operating environmentsExperience with statistical analysis tools (e.g. STATA, SAS) 
  • Demonstrated ability to be self-directed and work independently as well as part of a collaborative team
  • Interest or experience in youth-focused policy areas, such as education, health, criminal justice, social welfare
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, strong attention to detail

Desired Qualifications*

  • Experience supporting end users
  • Experience with user and application programming interfaces
  • Familiarity with Federal IT and data security standards (e.g. FERPA)
  • Network/IT infrastructure administration experience
  • Data and network security responsibilities
  • Experience with data visualizations for a non-statistical audience
  • Interest or experience with machine learning
  • Knowledge of, and experience with, various statistical analysis techniques, such as analyses of variance, regression analysis, hierarchical modeling, probabilistic matc

U-M EEO/AA Statement

The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.