Title: Senior Data Specialist
Reporting Unit/Supervisor: Impact Team
Location: South Africa
FLSA Classification: Exempt
Travel: International: 5-10%
TechnoServe works with enterprising people in the developing world to build competitive farms, businesses and industries. We are a nonprofit organization that develops business solutions to poverty by linking people to information, capital and markets. Our work is rooted in the idea that given the opportunity, hardworking men and women in even the poorest places can generate income, jobs and wealth for their families and communities. With more than four decades of proven results, we believe in the power of private enterprise to transform lives.
TechnoServe relies on high-quality data gathered from multiple sources to inform decision-making and report our impact. Data is frequently collected and reported in near real time through the use of mobile-based data collection apps, remote sensing, and other technology-based mechanisms. It is then stored and managed to ensure data integrity, privacy, and ease of analysis. A strong handshake between the IT and Impact teams is required to ensure these critical functions are maintained and in a constant state of improvement.
The Senior Data Specialist is responsible for the configuration, operation, maintenance, and customization needed to manage TechnoServe’s M&E data. This includes oversight of technology that permits mobile data collection, data integration/migration, data management, and data reporting, including data visualization. S/he will ensure that the system can satisfactorily respond to the data needs of both individual programs and regional/country management. The Senior Data Specialist will work with teams to provide recommendations for creatively and cost-effectively responding to the data management needs and when appropriate will design and execute software builds under the guidance of the Director of IT. With their contributions, the system will be able to:
- Improve data quality
- Improve data analysis and visualization
- Improve data management and security
The position will report to the Zimele Program Director with a dotted line relationship to the Regional MEL Advisor, who will collaborate with the Senior Data Specialist on the design and development of the overarching M&E system, of which the data management approach is a critical part. Primary clients for the position will be the Zimele Program staff and the Regional Program Staff. The role receives advisory support and technical oversight from the Global IT Department.
Duties and Responsibilities
Configuration & Operation
- Support onboarding of new projects by providing technical input on the establishment of the proper data structure, IT tools, and reports needed to respond to projects’ M&E needs.
- Support the Zimele program to institute improvements to its Beneficiary Management System by providing Technical input, ensuring that proper data architecture and structure is put in place to respond to the project’s M&E and donor reporting requirements.
- Verify key performance results and institute data quality checks, provide feedback to Hubs and the PMO.
- Manage the Zimele program’s data security protocols; ensure project teams know and implement data management standards in the pursuit of data integrity.
- Maintain the primary dataset of all raw data and metadata sent from the field teams.
- Generate and manage electronic surveys that are used to collect the data.
- Create reports and dashboards based on the Zimele program team specifications.
- Train project teams on basic structure and use of the system.
- Perform regular file archiving and manage the Zimele shared drive in collaboration with the MEL Manager and Program Director.
- Manage a support system/helpdesk to track and respond to user requests in a timely and effective manner.
- Serve as liaison between the MEL teams in the region and the Global IT Department to procure and renew software/host licenses, troubleshoot technical issues with vendors, among others.
- Perform daily system monitoring, in close collaboration with the local MEL Teams, verifying the integrity and availability of server resources, systems and key processes, reviewing system and application logs, and verifying completion of scheduled jobs. Perform weekly data backups of M&E data.
- Perform regular security monitoring.
- Perform regular file archiving and purges as necessary. Maintain documentation and training materials on the system that are up-to-date and accurate.
- Implement app and other software upgrades as needed.
- Actively participate in Global M&E tech huddle, contributing input on feature requests, bottlenecks, software alternatives, and other system upgrades and ensure the implementation of the GDPR protocols and ensure compliance with the GDPR.
- Serve as the primary contributor to on-going builds, providing input on task allocation, data modeling and system structure.
- Bachelor’s degree with a technical major, such as engineering or computer science, Information Technology and/or Software Engineering. Master’s degree is a plus.
- Five or more years’ experience in systems administration, with particular emphasis on data management for business analytics, monitoring & evaluation, or other business need that requires close to real-time data use.
- Technical skills:
- Experience configuring and maintaining databases. This ideal candidate would have experience working with MongoDB
- Demonstrated interest in learning the platforms required.
- Experience using Commcare or other ODK-based data collection tools is a plus.
- Strong proficiency in BI/visualization tools (e.g. Power BI, Tableau) is required. Experience in creating visualizations with Python is a plus.
- Strong proficiency in SQL or AWS would be a strong plus.
- Expertise with Google Suite preferred.
- Strong attention to detail; specifically, with data quality/cleaning techniques
- Knowledge of appropriate data structures that facilitate the management of large datasets
- Ability to manage multiple projects at once and work independently and remotely to prioritize requests from project teams.
- Ability to proactively identify and address complex problems in a way that responds to end user needs.
- Ability to explain complex technology to users of all ability levels in a way that is respectful and engaging.
- Strong cross-cultural skills; deep respect for and collaborative spirit working with people of all educational, socio-economic, demographic backgrounds, and lifestyles.
- Fluency in business English
- Willingness to travel regionally 5-10% of the time. Willingness to work evenings and weekends, often with little advance notice. Collaboration with staff based in other countries will require flexible work schedules.
- Job City Johannesburg, South Africa