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Staff Data Scientist

Staff Data Scientist

San Francisco, CA or Remote (in the U.S.)

Code for America believes government can work for the people, by the people, in the new digital age, and that government at all levels can and should work well for all people. For more than a decade, we’ve worked to show that with the mindful use of technology, we can break down barriers, meet community needs, and find real solutions.

Our employees build and transform government and community tools and services, making them so good they inspire change. We merge the best parts of technology, nonprofit, and government to help support the people who need it most. With a focus on diversity, equity, inclusion, and deep empathy for partners in government and community organizations and the people that our partners serve, we’re building a movement of motivated change agents driven by meaningful results and lasting impact. At Code for America, you contribute to exciting work while learning and developing in a supportive and flexible environment. Our compensation and benefits are holistic and thoughtfully curated to represent our employees and our mission. Help us drive real generational change that lasts.

Code for America is looking for a talented Staff Data Scientist who will help rigorously measure our impact, manage and analyze the data our products collect, and answer complex quantitative questions clearly and intuitively for internal and external audiences.

As of October 27, 2023, Code for America has reached a CBA (collective bargaining agreement) with Code for America Workers United, affiliated with OPEIU (Office Professional Employees International Union, Local 1010). This position is designated as being part of Code for America Workers United. There will be union dues or fees associated with this position and the union will provide that information to you.

About the Role: 

Code for America’s Data Scientists use a wide range of statistical and analytical methods to improve user experiences and outcomes across the tax, criminal justice, and safety net services that Code for America delivers. In this role you will lead testing and develop analytics for a portfolio of Code for America products; use diverse data sources to identify and evaluate opportunities for new services; define opportunities to improve existing services; acquire deep domain knowledge to build and communicate our product analytics and estimated impact to the relevant stakeholders; and test hypotheses for improving user experiences or outcomes. To do so, you will work closely with cross-functional teams including qualitative user researchers, designers, software engineers, product managers, program managers, and client success staff.

The Staff Data Scientist will report to a Data Science Manager and there may be up to 10% of travel for this role.

In this Position You Will:

  • Understand needs from internal & external stakeholders; translate those needs into testing & learning opportunities:
    • Build, maintain, monitor, and analyze product analytics pipelines and dashboards;
    • Analyze administrative and public data to estimate the impact of proposed changes;
    • Build models to sharpen our understanding of where clients are having trouble;
    • Design, administer, and analyze surveys;
    • Take the lead in designing randomized experiments to evaluate product improvements, support their implementation, as well as analyze and interpret results;
    • Conduct equity analyses of our potential or actual work, along racial and demographic dimensions;
    • Clean, combine, and make sense of diverse administrative data.
  • Communicate testing outcomes and impact metrics:
    • Explain results and their implications for our services to product managers, program managers, engineers, designers, qualitative researchers and management, as well as government partners;
    • Write findings for our internal knowledge base, presentations, blog posts, best practice guides, and other artifacts that either support our future product work or communicate our impact to current or potential stakeholders and funders.
  • Contribute to org-level impact tracking, such as defining how we’ll assess various types of impact for product(s), and how those metrics are rolled up to org-level dashboards;
  • Coach and mentor other members of the data science team.

About You:

  • Technical experience:
    • Fluency with R, python (pandas, scipy, numpy), or another statistics suite;
    • Fluency using SQL to query relational databases;
    • Fluency with product analytics – defining, implementing, analyzing and communicating software product metrics;
    • Experience with collaborative coding tools such as Github or notebooks (RMarkdown, Hex, Google Collab, Jupyter);
    • Deep, varied experience with data wrangling and data management;
    • Solid understanding of a wide range of statistical concepts and methods;
    • Ability to clearly communicate findings to experts or a general audience;
    • Extensive experience with field experiments, surveys, simulations, or data engineering.
  • An intellectually curious, analytical data scientist:
    • Conscientious, detail-oriented, and a critical thinker;
    • Can point to work illustrating a range of statistical techniques across domains;
    • Interested in a wide range of policy issues and social problems.
  • An independent collaborator:
    • 2+ years of experience as a self-directed data science practitioner working in multidisciplinary teams;
    • Comfortable sharing early work to refine analytical ideas and approaches; comfortable seeking out help when in doubt;
    • Enjoys collaborating – including with product managers, engineers, qualitative researchers, designers, and client success staff;
    • Enjoys learning from and teaching others;
    • Communicates proactively with internal and external stakeholders, including technical, operations, and policy audiences.
  • Practical and focused on maximizing how much your work helps our users:
    • Manages time well; prefers getting to “good enough” on a few projects rather than “perfect” on a single project;
    • Doesn’t hesitate to seek out new data or methods, which might ultimately improve user experiences or outcomes;
    • Experience with and comfortable managing a portfolio of projects;
    • Capable of quickly scoping and designing new research projects;
    • Able to surface findings to internal and external audiences using data visualizations, dashboards, or other appropriate tools.

It’s a Bonus if You Have: 

  • Personal experience with the justice system, social safety net, workforce training, or other mission-relevant government services;
  • Fluency in languages other than English;
  • Experience with Natural Language Processing or other methods of analyzing text with machine learning methods;
  • Experience working with complex administrative datasets;
  • Has helped draft, review, and shepherd data sharing agreements through government approval processes.

What You’ll Get


Code for America’s salary bands are transparent as a part of our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. We are happy to extend this transparency in the recruitment process. As part of our equitable hiring practices, we target the 2nd quartile midpoint number of each salary band, for all new hires.

Offer targets vary based on market / geographic location. The target offer numbers for this role range from $128,945 to $157,850, annually.

Benefits and Perks: 

  • Values:
    • Leadership and teammates who value Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity (DE&I)
    • A collaborative, cross-functional, hardworking, and fun environment
  • Medical:
    • Full benefits package with options up to 100% coverage towards select medical, dental and vision plans
    • Employer contributes up to 80% of the cost towards dependent and family coverage
  • Retirement & 401k Plans:
    • Employees under 3 years eligible for a 100% employer match of up to 3% of employee contribution
    • Employees with 3+ years eligible for an additional 50% employer contribution over 3%, to a maximum of 5%
  • Professional Development:
    • $1000 annual (per calendar year) stipend towards professional development; prorated at time of hire
    • Up to $1000 of professional development funds can be rolled over each year, up to a maximum of $2000
  • Time Off: 
    • Open personal time off, a minimum of 16 paid holidays, and an org-wide closure Christmas Day through New Years Day
    • Paid sick time; up to 96 hours annually
    • Competitive paid parental and family leave
    • 4 weeks of paid sabbatical after 4 years of service, with an option of up to 4 additional weeks of unpaid time away
  • Remote Work:
    • Code for America employees may work remotely across the US
    • Code for America employees main residence must be within the US
    • Full-time employees work 40 hours per week, Monday – Friday
    • Collaborative working hours: we aim to hold all internal meetings between 10 AM – 3 PM PT. We expect all Code for America staff to be available during these set working hours
  • Employee Enablement Support: 
    • Laptop provided
    • $700 remote environment setup; $200 stipend and up to $500 reimbursement, in accordance with our equipment policy
    • Cell phone and/or internet reimbursement of $50 per month

Equal Employment Opportunity: 

Code for America values a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace and strongly encourages women, people of color, LGBTQ+ folks, people with disabilities, members of ethnic minorities, foreign-born residents, and veterans to apply. Code for America is an equal opportunity employer. Applicants will not be discriminated against because of race, color, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, religion, national origin, citizenship status, disability, ancestry, marital status, veteran status, medical condition or any protected category prohibited by local, state or federal laws.