Research Data Manager (Research Data Analyst)

Chicago, IL
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Created: July 12, 2018


Job Opening ID:  33917
Posting Title:  Research Data Analyst

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The Research Data Analyst provides expertise in data management, quality assurance, analysis and reporting.  Establishes data accuracy and validity derived from a variety of systems. This role performs data analysis using statistical techniques. The Research Data Analyst researches and analyzes information using multiple databases and creates reports of data and results. This role assists in the preparation and delivery of decision support reports to both internal and external customers. 

The candidate will play a lead role in developing programmatic approaches to data management for the Developmental Mechanisms Program based in the Department of Medical Social Sciences.  This position will coordinate data operations and activities to ensure the quality and integrity of data collected across multiple, inter-related, studies on early childhood risk factors for adverse outcomes (e.g., psychopathology, language disorder). Currently, the focus is on several NIH-funded studies: the NIMH-funded MAPS study (PI Lauren Wakschlag, and the When to Worry Studies, which include the NIMH-funded When to Worry about Irritability study (W2W-I; PI Lauren Wakschlag) and the NIDCD-funded When to Worry About Language (W2W-L) study (PIs Elizabeth Norton and Lauren Wakschlag). The MAPS study, now in its 9th year, recruits a diverse sample of children from preschool age through preadolescence with assessment of development, behavior, neurocognition and family context. The When to Worry studies advance an earlier science of reliable identification of emergent mental health problems and language delays, assessing the associations among irritability, language development in over 500 infants and toddlers and their families.

This position will create standard operating procedures and systems for monitoring the flow of data, ensuring that data are clean and properly documented.  Prepares data sets for analysis and for archiving in response to internal and external requests, including documentation.  Programs data collection instruments into REDCap databases and monitors adherence of data collection protocols to study goals.  Provides expertise in data management, quality assurance, analysis and reporting. Researches and analyzes information using multiple databases and creates reports of data and results.  Works with project manager and research assistants to ensure data collection tools are working properly.  Assists in the preparation and delivery of decision support reports to investigators. The data manager will assist the program manager in monitoring study performance through routine data monitoring, assist in streamlining of current databases, and ensuring that all data collection processes, protocols and procedures are quality controlled and functioning up to standards.  This is a position with substantial opportunity for growth.

The Research Data Analyst position requires a highly motivated individual with a strong attention to detail. The ideal candidate will have experience with data management for research studies. The ability to work flexibly across multiple projects/disciplines and balance administrative skills with data management is crucial.

We are looking for a team player who is willing to take initiative and learn a variety of responsibilities. The individual will be a member of a multi-disciplinary team and should be comfortable communicating with people from a variety of backgrounds, including internal and external co-investigators and research staff. Ability to think on your feet and a capacity to proactively identify and solve problems are essential traits.  Ability to provide and receive constructive feedback are essential. Strong written and spoken English skills are essential.

Specific Responsibilities:

Strategic Planning

  • Partners with clients to define requirements based on business objectives.                                                                         


  • Develop standardized templates, policies, and procedures for internal and external reporting.
  • Designs and prepares documentation for qualitative and quantitative data analysis.
  • Discuss findings with senior management.                                                                                                                                                      


  • Develop queries and quality metrics.
  • Interprets results using a variety of techniques, ranging from simple data aggregation to more complex statistical analysis.
  • Manages complex databases.


  • Completes data cleaning and organizes data files for analysis.
  • Reviews data and identifies quality issues.
  • Presents findings in an appropriate manner.

Other duties as assigned

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Successful completion of a full 4-year course of study in an accredited college or university leading to a bachelor's or higher degree; OR appropriate combination of education and experience.  
  • 2 years data analysis/report writing or similar experience required.
  • Please see information highlighted below-
    • Infrastructure (extends across applications): SQL/MySQL/Postgres
    • Programming Languages and Frameworks: SAS.
    • Analytical: Critical thinking, data mining, data modeling, database design/data structure, decision making, problem solving.
    • Project: Agile environment, code documentation, collaboration and teamwork, organizational skills.

Minimum Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities.)

  • Knowledge of / experience with collecting and manipulating data in REDCap
  • SQL
  • STATA, SAS, R or similar

Preferred Qualifications: (Education and experience)

  • Master’s degree in social science/public health/statistics (or related field) with emphasis on empirical research.
  • 2 years data management or similar experience preferred.
  • 4 years’ experience in managing large data sets, preferably survey research data or longitudinal data

Preferred Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities)

  • Knowledge of relational database design
  • Strong programming skills
  • Exceptional attention to detail
  • Excellent documentation skills and habits
  • Strong communication skills

Northwestern University is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer of all protected classes, including veterans and individuals with disabilities. Women, racial and ethnic minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply. Hiring is contingent upon eligibility to work in the United States.


Published: Friday, July 13, 2018 21:52 UTC

Last updated: Friday, July 13, 2018 21:52 UTC