First 5 LA,

Senior Data Strategist

1 month ago
Employment type
Los Angeles
Closing date

About this organization

First 5 LA, in partnership with others, strengthens families, communities, and systems of services and supports so all children in L.A. County enter kindergarten ready to succeed in school and life.

About this job

First 5 LA is looking for a Senior Data Strategist to lead efforts to develop and implement our approach to measuring operational performance and organizational culture. Tracking and using data on operational performance and organizational culture for continuous improvement is integral to our ability to effectively contribute to transformative systems changes that benefit children and families in L.A. County.

Priorities for this role include thought leadership and consensus building on (a) the approach to measuring critical business processes and organizational characteristics and (b) efforts to establish and maintain an infrastructure that facilitates data collection, analysis, reporting, governance and use. Additional priorities include contributing to the development and improvement of structures, practices, and processes to strengthen the Office of Data for Action and staff coaching and supervision.

To be considered for the role, candidates should have a variety of characteristics and experience to fulfill the duties and responsibilities outlined in the job description. In particular, we are looking to hire someone who:

Has experience developing and tracking key performance indicators and supporting organizational improvement efforts

Is highly organized and able to manage multiple complex data, evaluation, and research projects and priorities simultaneously

Has the ability to cultivate trusting relationships and build consensus with both internal and external stakeholders and partners

Is self-aware, humble, empathetic, and committed to continuous improvement

Mandatory Telework, Travel, and California Residency Requirements

Subject to changing public health conditions, First 5 LA plans to transition to a hybrid work organization beginning in 2022. At that time, this position may require travel locally, statewide, and nationally, as needed.

First 5 LA does not permit employees to work remotely outside of California. Upon acceptance of an offer from First 5 LA, we require proof of California residency. If the residence is located outside of the Greater Los Angeles area, an employee working remotely must provide assurance that they will be able to begin working onsite in the First 5 LA building when we transition to a hybrid work organization. Remote work is subject to the changing needs of the organization and is at the sole discretion of First 5 LA.

Mandatory Vaccination Requirements:

First 5 LA requires all employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, unless they are entitled to a reasonable accommodation under applicable law.

Roles & responsibilities


The Senior Data Strategist is a direct report and key advisor to the Chief Data Officer and a member of the leadership team for the Office of Data for Action (ODFA). Senior Data Strategists are responsible for leading efforts to develop and implement First 5 LA’s approach to systems change measurement and operational performance measurement. Senior Data Strategists provide thought leadership on aspects of the Data Strategy focused on child and family serving systems, the conditions of children and families in L.A. County and First 5 LA’s internal business processes and culture. Senior Data Strategists also supervise and coach direct reports.

The successful candidate will have experience with systems change measurement, evaluation and research, and developing and tracking indicators to evaluate and improve performance. They will demonstrate successful leadership and technical expertise in managing complex data, evaluation, and research projects. This individual will exhibit adaptive leadership, systems thinking, change management, communication, and people management skills. The individual must possess high level of emotional intelligence to cultivate and maintain trusting relationships with both internal and external stakeholders and partners.


The Senior Data Strategist is expected to exemplify the organizational values of collaboration, integrity, learning, and diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in the execution of their key areas of responsibility:

Key Areas of Responsibility

Organization-wide Data Strategy

Best Practices in Measurement, Evaluation and Research

Office Operations and Supervision

Essential Duties:

  • Organization-wide Data Strategy
  • Works in partnership with the Chief Data Officer to develop and refine an organization-wide data strategy and leads the conceptualization, procurement of resources, and management of system change measurement strategies
  • Leads efforts to determine the most appropriate approaches to address data priorities balancing the need for rigor with feasibility in terms of organizational resources and capacities, and the external context
  • Makes recommendations, builds consensus and communicates progress to First 5 LA leadership on indicators, data sources and technical approaches to assess and monitor progress of First 5 LA’s efforts
  • Leads efforts to measure the outcomes and progress of First 5 LA’s system change efforts aimed at child and family-serving systems in L.A. County
  • Leads efforts to establish and maintain an infrastructure that facilitates data governance in alignment with the Data Strategy
  • Promotes the accessibility and utilization of data and insights to drive organizational performance and system change efforts through data visualizations and other tools and processes including a data dashboard
  • Establishes and maintains relationships with external stakeholders including data owners, data partners and systems change partners with mutual data needs, interests and priorities
  • Establishes and maintains relationships with internal stakeholders including business process owners and implementers as well as data producers and data users with mutual data needs, interests and priorities
  • Works in collaboration with the Office of Equity, Strategy, and Learning (OESL) to promote use of First 5 LA’s Impact Framework data to inform strategy design, implementation, and continuous improvement
  • Works in partnership with Human Resource and Talent Management (HRTM) and OESL to identify the staff knowledge and capabilities needed to implement the Data Strategy
  • Best Practices in Measurement, Evaluation, and Research
  • Advises and provides technical assistance, resources and tools on measurement, evaluation, research and data governance to teams across the organization
  • Promotes policies and practices that facilitate access to high quality data
  • Collaborates with colleagues across the organization to amplify the influence and impact of data to promote a culture of strategic learning and knowledge sharing internally and externally
  • Works in collaboration with the Office of Communications to explore and implement ideas for effectively communicating what we are learning internally and externally
  • Keeps abreast of advancements in systems change measurement, operational performance measurement, research, and evaluation
  • Office Operations and Supervision
  • Hires, supervises, and promotes the development of direct reports; works with Human Resources to address and resolve complaints/challenges that arise about direct reports
  • Contributes to the development and improvement of structures, practices, and processes to strengthen operational effectiveness of ODFA
  • Contributes to the preparation of the budget and long-term financial plan for ODFA and assists the Chief Data Officer in the management of resources in accordance with First 5 LA policies and procedures
  • Works with the ODFA Data Strategy Specialists to provide direction on the procurement and management of contracts with consultants as needed and provides strategic direction to hired consultants and contractors
  • Facilitates and supports ODFA staff in effective communication with internal and external audiences, including, but not limited to, presentations, Commission discussions, key partner meetings, etc.
  • Represents First 5 LA on relevant external committees, work groups, and at conferences/meetings.
  • Actively seeks to build own professional skills and competencies to fulfill essential duties and responsibilities and improve performance
  • Adheres to all First 5 LA policies and procedures, ensures behaviors align accordingly, and contributes to learning that supports improvements
  • Keeps apprised of all laws, regulations, statutes, rules and policies that govern and affect First 5 LA
  • Supervises contractors and consultants, as needed
  • Other duties and responsibilities may be assigned. The duties and responsibilities listed are designed to provide typical examples of the work performed; not all duties and responsibilities assigned are included here, nor is it expected that all similar positions will be assigned every duty and responsibility.


Job Specific Competencies

  • Systems Change Measurement: Understanding of systems change measurement, research and evaluation concepts and approaches; understanding of and commitment to culturally relevant and inclusive measurement, research and evaluation approaches; understanding of the evolving role of evaluation and research in effective grant-making and social change organizations committed to learning, continuous improvement and innovation; keeps abreast of relevant developments and cutting-edge methods and innovations for measurement, evaluation and research and relevant early childhood research
  • Operational Performance Measurement: Understanding of organizational performance measurement, concepts and approaches; understanding of and commitment to culturally relevant and inclusive approaches; understanding of the evolving role of evaluation and research in effective grant-making and social change organizations committed to learning, continuous improvement and innovation; keeps abreast of relevant developments and cutting-edge methods and innovations in operational performance measurement, evaluation, and research
  • Data Infrastructure: Understanding of issues related to data governance principles and practices including data ownership, privacy and confidentiality, quality, use, and associated practices, process, and technologies; basic understanding of databases and relational database concepts; understanding of and commitment to culturally relevant and inclusive approaches; understanding of the evolving role of evaluation and research in effective grant-making and social change organizations committed to learning, continuous improvement and innovation; keeps abreast of relevant developments and cutting-edge methods and innovations in data governance
  • Measurement and Utilization: Demonstrated ability to conceptualize, implement and adapt measurement, research and evaluation issues and requirements into actionable plans; proficiency in qualitative and quantitative research design and methods; capable of manipulating, analyzing and interpreting large data sets including administrative data; able to synthesize large volumes of information to distill key findings, insights and implications; adept at communicating (both written and verbally) complex information in an accessible and compelling manner to diverse audiences; skilled at promoting and facilitating data driven planning, decision-making and continuous improvement; able to use visualization tools including dashboards and presentation formats to help others metabolize and use data; experience supporting risk management related to HIPAA, FERPA and other regulatory requirements
  • Adaptive Leadership: Is flexible and accepts change as part of the organization’s evolution; embraces complexity and uncertainty and is nimble enough to shift direction as needed; open to feedback and welcomes a variety of viewpoints; encourages creativity and innovation aligned with the organization’s strategic priorities; able to communicate persuasively, both orally and in writing, in varied settings and different audiences
  • Strategic Management: Able to manage projects of various sizes, complexity, resources, levels of risk, and timelines in a highly organized manner and with attention to detail; able to navigate internal and external constraints and address workload issues within and across teams; demonstrates effective administrative planning and prudent management of resources
  • Emotional Intelligence: Demonstrates self-awareness, humility, empathy, and personal accountability; has a temperament that inspires trust, collaboration, and partnership between individuals, teams, and levels of leadership; ability to navigate divergence, find common ground among team members, and resolve conflict diplomatically
  • Supervision and Talent Development: Skilled at building and guiding a team of content area experts; fosters employee growth through coaching, mentoring, and professional development aligned with the team’s function and focus; supports direct reports including regular check-ins, open communication, and shared leadership
  • Organization-wide Competencies
  • Commitment to organizational mission and values: Mission-driven and self-directed, with a demonstrated passion for First 5 LA’s work to strengthen families and improve child outcomes; strives to model organizational values through daily actions and behaviors
  • Possesses Customer-Focused Mindset: Ability to identify appropriate and relevant stakeholders; identifies internal and external stakeholders needs (customers); is responsive to stakeholder needs, considers impact when making recommendations
  • Collaborative: Collaborates with peers to drive results in alignment with organizational and operational goals in support of the organization’s mission; is able to work in cross-functional teams; is able to establish and maintain effective working relationships with co-workers, public officials and the general public
  • Communicates Effectively: Communicates effectively both written and oral; strong presentation skills; demonstrates ability to develop and deliver relevant and appropriate communications; delivers messages in a direct manner; able to tailor messages appropriately to various audiences
  • Demonstrates Integrity and Judgment: Follows through on commitments letting others know of his/her true intentions; ensures decision-making or recommendations are fact-based and others understand the decision/recommendation before moving forward; considers the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one
  • Demonstrates Critical Thinking: Applies critical thinking, logic and reasoning to analyze complex problems and information; identifies relative strengths and weaknesses of options, solutions or approaches
  • Demonstrates Strategic Thinking: Identifies key issues and relationships relevant to achieving long range goals or vision; develops alternatives based on logical assumptions, facts, available resources, constraints, and organizational values to develop a point of view on a course of action to accomplish goals; develops priorities with the right balance of short and long-term wins
  • Demonstrates Contribution to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Supports equal and active participation of people and groups with diverse identifies, race, ethnicities, abilities, characteristics, cultures, socio-economic status, opinions, and beliefs; continuously challenges assumptions, and is mindful of unconscious bias, and leverages differences; understands historical and current context and root causes of inequities within society, systems and institutions; values a diversity of perspectives and encourages contributions by all team members


  • 7+ years of experience in one or more of the following areas preferred: evaluation, research and analysis in a public agency, health, education, philanthropic foundation, or non-profit organizational environment
  • 4+ years of staff supervision experience preferred
  • Significant experience working in collaboration with colleagues and external partners with diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds, political and religious views, cultural backgrounds, lifestyles, and sexual orientation with demonstrated experience of treating everyone with respect and dignity
  • Education:
  • Advanced degree from an accredited college or university in a social science, public policy or a related field preferred

Direct Reports:

  • Carries out supervisory responsibilities in accordance with the organization's policies and applicable laws. Responsibilities include interviewing, hiring, and training employees; planning, assigning, and directing work; appraising performance; rewarding and disciplining employees; addressing complaints and resolving problems

Computer Skills:

  • Proficiency in MS Office Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook)
  • Extensive experience using SPSS, SAS or other related statistical software package
  • Proficiency in web-based collaboration and/or meeting platforms (e.g., Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Sli-do)
  • Ability to use widely supported internet browsers
  • Certificates, Licenses and Registrations:
  • Valid California Class C Driver License or the ability to utilize an alternative method of transportation when needed to carry out job-related essential functions
  • Valid automobile liability insurance

Travel Requirements:

  • This position requires travel locally, statewide and nationally as needed
  • Vaccination Requirements:
  • First 5 LA requires that all covered employees provide proof that they have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19

To apply

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