Data Research Analyst

  • San Diego Association of Governments - SANDAG
  • San Diego, CA, USA
Full Time Information Technology Procurement Research Software Development

Job Description

The SANDAG Data Solutions Program

The Data, Analytics, and Modeling department provides SANDAG member agencies, elected officials, other organizations, and the public with information and technical resources for regional planning, funding, and policymaking efforts. The department represents a broad range of expertise from land use and transportation modeling, programming and website development, applied social research, public safety, demographics, and economics. The information the department gathers, analyzes, produces, delivers, and maintains is essential to the success of SANDAG.

The Data Solutions team administers the data centers that support the agency’s modeling, forecasting, analysis, mapping, and visualization tools. These data centers include a wide range of spatial and non-spatial data acquired and maintained by a team of highly skilled professionals responsible for the development and delivery of the SANDAG activity-based transportation model, economic and demographic estimates and forecasts, geographic information systems, and criminal justice research.

Research Analyst Role

The Research Analyst will coordinate the acquisition and procurement of demographic, economic, and transportation data, as well as geographic information system (GIS) data to support numerous modeling, forecasting, analysis, visualization, and Web applications. The position also will document data standards and processes, develop metadata and data citations, and monitor data and analysis requests.

This is a Limited-Term employment opportunity and is expected to be funded through June 30, 2020. Limited-Term employees are “at-will” and receive many of the benefits of Regular employees.

Job Responsibilities

This opportunity is ideal for an individual who has an interest in furthering their expertise in the acquisition and management of data. We anticipate significant career development will occur while working on the types of duties and responsibilities described below and through mentoring and close collaboration with senior staff. Examples of primary responsibilities include:

  • Support the development and implementation of the Data Acquisition and Management Strategic Plan (DAMSP); participate in the development and implementation of new procedures and process improvements for standards-based documentation and metadata.
  • Collaborate with staff to determine data needs; research and analyze new and existing data sources; coordinate with department teams, technology staff, and external vendors to accurately gather and interpret requirements and specifications to determine appropriate data solutions; coordinate the timely and secure acquisition, integration, and exchange of data.
  • Provide project management support for various DAMSP projects and programs; prepare scopes of work and technical specifications; assist with the development and monitoring of project plans, schedules, and budgets for various projects and programs.
  • Liaise with the agency’s Contracts and Procurement department to monitor contract status and expiration dates; participate in the preparation of contract amendments and task orders; assist with developing and maintaining a procurement plan and schedule for upcoming procurements; review and process consultant and vendor invoices.
  • Monitor and support data requests from employees, various jurisdictions, and other customers; coordinate and ensure accurate data request information recorded; monitor the status of requests.
  • Support quality assurance testing and analysis of regional data; identify and report data anomalies, patterns, relationships, and support the resolution to issues; participate in evaluating data for accuracy and completeness.
  • Support the overall data architecture; monitor the Extract, Transform, and Load (ETL) processes; participate in the development and documentation of best practices for ETL-related activities including data movement, data aggregation, data quality, and data cleansing.
  • Monitor automated and manual data integration and ETL jobs to verify execution and measure performance; develop reports used to audit, monitor, and validate data jobs.
  • Support the development of a department-wide information resource for metadata standards to include identification and retrieval, document data relationships, file and rights management, and preservation.

Experience and Qualifications

Numerous factors contribute to an individual’s ability to be successful in any given role. For this position, we are searching for a candidate with superior organization skills, a technical background, and an aptitude for analytical thinking and problem solving who is responsible and detail-oriented, demonstrates initiative, and is committed to providing professional, prompt, and accurate services while meeting numerous time-sensitive deadlines. Excellent communication skills, flexibility, and the ability to work collaboratively using sound judgment are important attributes for this position.

The minimum education, training, and experience qualifications include a bachelor’s degree with major course work in computer or information science, geography, statistics, engineering, mathematics, or a related field, and one to four years of recent experience coordinating projects with data acquisition, storage, and reporting elements, or contracts and procurement administration.

The following information describes the specific types of career experiences that are most relevant to this position.

  • Knowledge of best practices regarding systems, methodologies, and procedures for acquiring, organizing, maintaining, and archiving data.
  • Experience with information or content management; knowledge of current technologies and standards such as repositories, encoding standards, and metadata standards.
  • Knowledge of basic database theory, design rules, and development practices; experience with data migration, analysis, data architecture, and data integration techniques; ability to accurately compile data for large databases.
  • Knowledge of quality assurance and quality control practices used for validating data and ensuring data integrity, including statistical analysis and sampling techniques.
  • Experience supporting the development, implementation, and maintenance of testing systems, transparent practices, and tools that align with business requirements and audit standards.
  • Experience coordinating, tracking, and monitoring a large volume of data requests; experience ensuring requests are processed in a timely manner; experience providing technical guidance and assistance to customers regarding services and procedures.
  • Experience participating in multi-disciplinary project teams to coordinate tasks and accomplish goals.
  • Experience with project coordination including supporting the preparation of budgets and schedules, resource requirements and timelines, quality control and change control mechanisms, and risk assessments.
  • Ability to research and analyze business issues, evaluate alternative solutions, develop sound conclusions, prepare recommendations, and keep management apprised of issues and concerns.
  • Experience participating in the development of RFPs, scopes of work, project deliverables, budgets, schedules, technical specifications, and contract amendments; experience with contract monitoring, administration, and reviewing and preparing invoices for payment.
  • Excellent customer service skills; demonstrated ability to establish, maintain, and foster cooperative working relationships; ability to maintain composure and a professional attitude when working under tight deadlines and with frequent interruptions.
  • Exceptional time management and organizational skills and the ability to coordinate several concurrent projects at various stages of completion in a fast-paced environment; ability to adapt to changing priorities, exercise good judgment, maintain confidentiality, and work independently.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills, including the ability to identify user needs, respond to requests for information, and effectively communicate technical information to non-technical users.
  • Experience preparing project reports, technical documentation, and written, oral, and visual reports and recommendations.
  • Strong computer skills and proficiency with the Windows operating system and Microsoft Office applications especially Excel; familiarity with SQL Server or other relational database management system.
  • The selected candidate can anticipate a driving record check upon hire, and approximately annually thereafter. The results of the check may determine whether the selected candidate will be permitted to drive for SANDAG business.

Salary and Benefits

SANDAG rewards the efforts of its employees with a comprehensive compensation package. Competitive salaries are supplemented with a flexible offering of health, financial security, and time-off benefits to meet the work and life needs of employees and their families.

The Limited-Term Research Analyst position will be filled at the I, II, or Associate level depending on qualifications and experience of the selected candidate. The annual salary ranges are: Research Analyst I - $48,522 to $77,635 per year; Research Analyst II - $53,496 to $85,593 per year; Associate Research Analyst - $58,979 to $94,366.

The benefits we offer include traditional health, dental, and vision insurance as well as employee assistance, wellness, and work/life balance programs. To support the need to rest and rejuvenate, employees are provided with a bank of paid time off in addition to paid holidays. And contributions to financial security are provided through a pension plan and deferred compensation program.

How to Apply

We encourage all interested candidates to apply for this position by completing a SANDAG Employment Application form. Resumes, cover letters, and work samples may be submitted in addition to the Employment Application but are not a substitute for this document.

The Employment Application can be downloaded in PDF format from the SANDAG website. Alternatively, a copy can be requested by calling (619) 699-1900 or emailing

Completed applications and related materials can be submitted via email, fax, regular mail, courier, or delivered by hand. See our Careers / How to Apply webpage for additional information.

This position is Open until Filled. The first review of applications for this position will begin on Friday, October 19, 2018.

In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), SANDAG will accommodate persons who require assistance in order to apply for a position at SANDAG. Applicants requiring an accommodation due to a disability during any stage of the recruitment and selection process, including requesting this document and related application materials in an alternative format, should make their needs known by contacting Human Resources at (619) 699-1900, (619) 699-1904 (TTY), fax (619) 699-6905, or

Application Supplement

To help us further evaluate the skills and experience of individuals interested in this position, applicants are asked to respond to the two Supplemental Questions below. The information can be up to 500 words per question and should be submitted with the Employment Application. This is considered a required component of the application; applications received without a response will be screened out of the selection process.

Supplemental Questions

  1. Describe why this position is of interest to you.
  2. Describe the techniques you use to maintain high levels of service while responding to multiple, competing priorities.

Candidate Selection and Notification

Following the first review date for applications, candidates will receive written confirmation that their application has been received. The hiring manager will begin reviewing and evaluating applications within a few days of the first review date. Based on this evaluation, the best qualified candidates will be invited to continue in the selection process. All candidates will receive written notification as to the outcome of their application.

Further Information

The SANDAG website contains a wealth of information about our various project and program areas. The Careers section of the site lists all of our current Job Openings as well as information on how to apply for positions and Frequently Asked Questions about our recruitment program.

In compliance with the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, applicants hired by SANDAG must show acceptable proof of identity and evidence of authorization to work in the United States.

SANDAG is an Equal Opportunity Employer


Data Processing, Database Administration, Software Engineering, Mergers and Acquisitions, Statistical Research

Education Requirements

Bachelor's Degree


Research Analyst I - $48,522 to $77,635 per year; Research Analyst II - $53,496 to $85,593 per year; Associate Research Analyst - $58,979 to $94,366