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Research Associate - Data Analyst

The Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA) is a non-profit which operates a federally funded research and development center supporting the Department of Defense and other federal agencies that require rigorous and objective analysis of national security issues. The Strategy, Forces and Resources Division (SFRD) performs interdisciplinary analyses of plans and policies related to national security strategy; the structure and capabilities of US, allied and adversary forces; chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear defense; organizational efficiency and management issues; and human capital challenges. SFRD has an opening for a Senior Data Engineer to streamline and upgrade the data management process for a large and growing set of data. The Senior Data Engineer will support the research data needs of the IDA Personally Identifiable Information Enclave, including maintaining data access, developing metadata tools, and maintaining relationships with data providers.
  • Design and maintain data warehouse solutions for large sets of continuously updated structured, unstructured, and semi-structured data from multiple sources.
  • Design and implement data warehouse processes including Extract, Transform, and Load (ETL).
  • Establish and maintain documentation of standards and procedures, file design and storage, data dictionaries, and automated processes and assumptions.
  • Develop and maintain a cohesive and efficient data retrieval process that meets the analytic needs of research teams.
  • Build contextual expertise in the data and implement automated processes for anomaly detection and data cleaning and curation.
  • Liaise with data providers in a professional manner.
  • Exercise independent judgment, conscientiousness, and creativity.
  • Develop mastery of new software/hardware/skillsets according to the needs of IDA and its sponsors.
  • Bachelor's degree in computer science, data management, information systems, information science, or a related field with at least 4 years of relevant experience or a Master's degree with at least 2 years of relevant work experience
  • Experience in data warehousing, particularly in a data engineer role
  • Extensive knowledge of SQL
  • Familiarity with programming languages and statistical software used in research (e.g., at least one of Python or R)
  • Ability to work independently and to collaborate as part of a team
  • Candidates will need to be able to obtain and maintain a secret clearance
  • This position is not eligible for remote work
  • Experience designing and implementing a new data warehousing solution preferred
  • Experience with distributed computing (e.g. Apache Spark) preferred
  • Experience with source code management tools (e.g. Git or Bitbucket) preferred
  • Prior work experience in or familiarity with the military, government, or nongovernmental organizations performing national security-related work preferred
  • Successful completion of a criminal background check is required.
Why work at IDA?
  • Competitive salary and benefits, including diverse health insurance options, generous 11% contribution to retirement, 6 weeks 100% paid parental leave, 20 days paid time off, and relocation reimbursement.
  • Mission-oriented work at a non-profit that supports and protects our Nation’s warfighters; as a non-profit, IDA employees are eligible for Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSFL).
  • Organization-wide commitment to diversity in the workplace and providing a working environment free from discrimination, by fostering a culture of active citizenship and implementing data-driven processes of continuous feedback and learning.
  • Professional development including tuition reimbursement, internal and external trainings, and funding for researcher-pitched projects and publications.
  • A strong employee and corporate culture of work-life balance, including commitment to average 40-hour work weeks through flex time, telework options, and expectation of communication only during core business hours.
  • Located in Alexandria's high-tech corridor, IDA's brand new Potomac Yard facility is equipped with state-of-the-art technology, workspaces and amenities, including a cafeteria, grab-n-go cafe and gym.
  • Easy access to local dining and shopping, the Potomac Yard Metro stop (opening Fall 2022), and the Potomac Yard DASH bus stop. Employer contributes $280/month (IRS max) to commuter benefits.

U.S. Citizenship is required

Ability to obtain and maintain a security clearance is required

IDA is an equal opportunity employer committed to providing a fair recruiting process and working environment free from discrimination. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identify, national origin, disability or protected veteran status. Click here to learn more about IDA's commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.