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Senior Data Strategist - Operational Performance Measurement

First 5 LA
Los Angeles, California
90,000 to 135,000 Annually
Closing date
Nov 6, 2021

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Focus Areas
Job Function
Program / Project Management, Research
Position Type
Full Time
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The Senior Data Strategist – Operational Performance Measurement 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). The Senior Data Strategist is responsible for leading efforts to develop and implement First 5 LA’s approach to operational performance measurement. The Senior Data Strategist provides thought leadership on aspects of the Data Strategy focused on First 5 LA’s internal business processes and culture. The Senior Data Strategist also supervises and coaches direct reports. 

The successful candidate will have experience developing and tracking indicators to evaluate and improve internal operations within an organization and 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 – Operational Performance Measurement 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 Operational Performance 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 operational performance 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 issues related to key performance indicators (KPIs), data sources and approaches to assess and monitor progress of First 5 LA’s efforts to optimize organizational performance
  • Partners with the Operational Excellence Manager, Office of Equity, Strategy, and Learning (OESL), and Human Resources and Talent Management (HRTM) to identify and track KPIs on internal processes and organizational culture; develops and leads the approach to selection, tracking, and reporting of KPIs 
  • Promotes the accessibility and utilization of data and insights to drive organizational performance through data visualizations and other tools and processes including a data dashboard
  • 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 OESL to promote use of First 5 LA’s Impact Framework data to inform strategy design, implementation, and continuous improvement
  • Works in partnership with HRTM and OESL to identify the staff knowledge and capabilities needed to implement the Data Strategy

Best Practices in Operational Performance Measurement, Evaluation, and Research

  • Advises and provides technical assistance, resources and tools on measurement, evaluation, and research to teams across the organization 
  • Promotes policies and practices that facilitate access to high quality operational performance data 
  • Collaborates with colleagues across the organization to amplify the influence and impact of operational performance data to promote a culture of strategic learning and knowledge sharing 
  • Works in collaboration with the Office of Communications to explore and implement ideas for effectively communicating what we are learning about operational performance measurement internally 
  • Keeps abreast of advancements in operational performance measurement, research, and evaluation to inform the work

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 

  • Operational Performance Measurement: Deep expertise in 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
  • Measurement and Utilization: Demonstrated ability to conceptualize, implement and adapt measurement, research and evaluation efforts in complex settings in the context of systems change, and place-based efforts; 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
  • 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 

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: Abillity 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: business information, organizational performance or operational excellence 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


  • Advanced degree from an accredited college or university in a social science, public administration, organizational development or a related field preferred 

Computer Skills: 

  • Proficiency in MS Office Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook) 
  • Extensive experience using SQL, SAS, Tableau or other analytic technologies preferred 
  • 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


Physical Demands: 

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. 

The employee will sit, talk, hear and use hands up to 2/3 of the time. The employee will stand and walk up to 1/3 of the time. The employee is routinely required to carry and/or lift up to 10 pounds. 

Work Environment: 

The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. 

The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.

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