Principal Data Scientist (data Scientist Iv)

Fairfax, Virginia
$81,571.98 - $135,952.96 Annually
May 28, 2022
Jun 11, 2022
Full Time
Job Announcement

Under the general direction of the department director or deputy director, serves as the principal demographic, economic and statistical research methodologist; manages quantitative, economic, demographic, and statistical research and special analyses that provide data for policy decisions, strategic planning, and decision-making; develops, reviews, and approves statistical processes, project methodologies and final products. Supervises senior-level professional, technical, and contract staff engaged in quantitative research, data analysis, information management and survey research. Takes responsibility of for the unit’s work. Prepares or supervises the preparation of research and analyses to support countywide need for land use, demographic, socio-economic information. Manages and designs all aspects of research and analyses processes to include problem definition; research design; primary and secondary data collection; data analysis; and report writing; including both primary and secondary research studies. Develops, utilizes, updates and documents complex computerized models, databases, methodologies and statistical tools for obtaining, analyzing and creating land use, demographic, socio-economic information and forecasts. Serves as a subject expert for statistical research and data analytics; serves as an advanced technical specialist to generate, collect, analyze, manage, and interpret large amount of data from multiple sources.

Synthesizes data, assesses metrics, and deliver tangible research and analytics products to communicate to various stakeholders and provide recommendations to address business problems; and serves as a mentor to cultivate and sustain the institutional knowledge of the staff in the research unit. Supports Decennial Census local partnership programs such as LUCA, PSAP and redistricting. Utilizes advanced software such as SAS, SQL, Microsoft Power BI and ArcGIS spatial analysis and statistics tools to analyze and summarize information. Works with senior management, county attorneys and elected officials to provide economic, demographic, and statistical information and analyses, and to review and critique assumptions and methodologies in studies developed by state and federal government agencies and other organizations that impact Fairfax County. Assists residents, businesses, county staff, agencies, boards and authorities, multi-agency teams and senior management in the interpretation of quantitative research, analysis, and data. Analyzes the demographic and economic effects and impacts or policy decisions. Represents county at both inter- and intra-jurisdictional meetings, task forces, and hearings, as required. Ensures compliance with federal, state, and local legal requirements relative to research practice and handling confidential data from the U.S. Bureau of the Census, Fairfax County departments, and/ or obtained during research studies. Prepares data infrastructure, governance and techniques that support data-driven and evidence-based approaches. Has project management experience and monitors multiple projects/products and their timelines. Demonstrates interpersonal skills to manage staff and coordinate work with various agencies and colleagues. Employs full spectrum of the data science life cycle and requires a level of flexibility and understanding to perform each phase of the process: identify business needs, capture data, maintain data, process data, analyze data, interpret data and communicate data.

Illustrative Duties

Required Knowledge Skills and Abilities

(The knowledge, skills and abilities listed in this specification are representative of the class but are not an all-inclusive list.)

Considerable knowledge of the principles, theories, and practices of economic, demographic, social science, and statistical analysis and research.
Advanced knowledge of economic, demographic and statistical data and research practices of federal, state and local governments.
Knowledge about data science life cycle and processes.
Knowledge about design data architecture and curate relational databases for data storage, management, and query using Oracle, SQL, or cloud-based platforms.
Knowledge of Fairfax County, and system process of the local government operation.
Knowledge of systems management and process improvement.
Ability to take data to understand it, to process it, to extract value from it, to visualize it, and to communicate it.
Ability to analyze scenarios and solve problems with data-driven approaches.
Ability to comprehend and process data, extract values, visualize, and communicate findings.
Ability to plan and coordinate the work of assigned staff, including making equitable assignments and assuring that deadlines are met.
A bility to evaluate the work performance of the assigned staff.
Ability to provide coaching and guidance, and development planning for employees;
Ability to track and monitor multiple projects;
Ability to present complex information to agency management, senior County management and elected officials in a clear, concise manner
.Ability to perform quantitative and qualitative analysis and economic and demographic forecasting.
Ability to design and conduct complex research project .
Ability to design and perform complex mathematical and statistical analysis and modeling.
Ability to effectively organize, prepare, interpret, and disseminate information through reports, studies, and presentations.
Ability to serve as project leader on large-scale, multi-departmental research projects.
Ability to use computer programs (such as SAS, SQL, ArcGIS, Python, Microsoft Power BI)to analyze data and present results of studies.
Ability to use word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation software to prepare documents.
Ability to conduct research to assess database and technology needs, and evaluate intactness, connectivity, and accuracy of data.
Ability to collaborate and innovate with academics on studies and methodologies to improve analysis procedures and data products.
Skills of data mining and data wrangling, to be able to source data and deal with imperfections in data.
Skills of programming: a statistical programming language such as SAS, R or Python; and a database querying language like SQL.
Skills in data visualization and communication (writing reports, presentations including using BI tools, etc.)Interpersonal skill to manage unit and coordinate the unit's research with other agencies.
Knowledge about outcome measurements and monitoring of indicators and metrics.
Ability to develop policy and standards for consistent data quality and management.
Ability to design and conduct survey; tabulate and assess results; and report findings

Employment Standards


Any combination of education, experience, and training equivalent to the following:
(Click on the aforementioned link to learn how Fairfax County interprets equivalencies for "Any combination, experience, and training equivalent to")

Graduation from an accredited college or university with a bachelor's degree in economics, mathematics, statistics, data science, geo-informatics, applied sciences or a related field; six years of professional work experience in research, quantitative analysis, modeling and forecasting, economics, demographics, statistics, data science or policy analysis.


The appointee to the position must satisfactorily complete a criminal background check.

All newly hired employees are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 (two weeks after the last required dose) as a condition of employment or obtain approval of a medical or religious exemption prior to their start date. Proof of an exemption or vaccination status will be required during the pre-employment onboarding process. New employees who obtain an exemption from the vaccine mandate for medical or sincerely held religious beliefs may be subject to a weekly testing requirement. Vaccinated employees and employees with a medical or religious exemption will complete the attestation online on their first day of employment or shortly thereafter.

Master's degree in a related field. Senior-level knowledge of demographic and economic research techniques and experience working with large, complex relational databases. Knowledge of Census databases, tools and techniques for extracting census data, and the appropriate statistical techniques for compiling and employing these data. Significant demonstrated experience in quantitative research, and demographic and economic analysis involving managing, synthesizing and using information in various formats. Excellent oral and written communication skills. Ability to write clearly, synthesize complex information, and present findings to audiences without technical backgrounds. Significant demonstrated experience using and developing analyses employing SAS, ArcGIS, and Microsoft Power BI or other data visualization products.

Work is generally sedentary. However, the employee may be required to do some walking, bending, and carrying of items less than 25 lbs. in weight. All duties performed with or without reasonable accommodation.

Panel interview, may include practical exercise and provide work samples.

Fairfax County Government prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, age, marital status, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetics, political affiliation, or military status in the recruitment, selection, and hiring of its workforce.

Reasonable accommodations are available to persons with disabilities during application and/or interview processes per the Americans with Disabilities Act. Contact 703-324-4900 for assistance. TTY 703-222-7314. EEO/AA/TTY.

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