University of Michigan, Office of Development Published: January 9, 2017
Job Type
Years of Experience
2-5 Years
Education Level(s)
N/A For This Job
Salary/Salary Range
$57,000.00 – $60,000.00
Dental Insurance, Health Insurance, Life Insurance, 401K, Tuition Reimbursment
Application Email
Application Web Site


Job Description
We are a small team of data scientists using cutting-edge statistical models and machine learning algorithms to help the University of Michigan raise money. We’re looking to hire someone who can help us transform data into action. Though it would be helpful to know something about statistics and data mining, this position is primarily focused on gaining insight from messy, real-world data by writing understandable and reusable code, and by developing interactive dashboards and web applications.
About the Prospect Development & Analytics Team
The Prospect Development & Analytics (PDA) team comprises qualitative and quantitative analysts who help identify, cultivate, and understand prospects who are interested in making philanthropic contributions to the University of Michigan. The Analytics Team is a subset of PDA, primarily focused on using large quantities of data to inform fundraising strategies. We collaborate extensively with fundraisers at all of UM’s schools, colleges, and units in order to promote data-driven best practices university-wide. We attempt to solve deep and difficult problems, many without easy answers, by investigating them little-by-little over long periods of time, and sharing the results with the community. We value open-source software, scalable and repeatable code, presenting and publishing our findings, and digging for answers rather than speculating. Besides being immensely interesting and challenging, our work has the potential to shape fundraising at UM for many years in the future.

Special Skills


A typical work week will include a large amount of programming and algorithm development (50%); a fair amount of data management, analysis, and visualization (25%); as well as some outreach, usability testing, brainstorming, and other tasks (25%).

Required Qualifications*

* The desire and ability to do serious data munging and data wrangling is essential. At minimum, we expect demonstrated experience with SQL plus knowledge of another data preparation language (preferably R and/or Python). Must be able to use these tools to merge large datasets, locate and clean messy records, recode missing values, convert between data formats, and construct standardized datasets for wider use.

* Because we believe in reusable, self-service analytics, the candidate should be prepared to develop interactive online tools to acquire and deliver data from/to our clients. We use the JavaScript MEAN stack (Mongo, Express, Angular, Node) but will look for those with a demonstrated ability to put data to work online.

* We need the persistence, curiosity, and teamwork skills to collaborate with technical and non-technical peers and to tackle challenging questions head-on. Candidates should be capable of directing their own work and asking (and later answering) questions that lead to effective utilization of our data and the philanthropic behaviors it represents.

*The candidate should be passionate about data and algorithms and should have a nose for finding new and innovative ways to collect, analyze, and visualize data in easy to consume formats. Demands change rapidly, so those who understand the importance of reproducible research and the value of detailed documentation are greatly preferred.

Desired Qualifications*

* We don’t require a specific background, but we look for the types of skills gained with training in computer science, information science, or applied mathematics. Advanced degrees (or similar self-directed research experience) are a plus.

* Experience with, exposure to, or interest in learning machine learning and data mining concepts such as regression analysis, network / graph analysis, text mining, market basket analysis, decision trees, association rules, geographic analysis is important.

* Experience with version control tools like Git is strongly preferred.

* Our work involves using data to tell stories. Therefore, the ability or interest in creating data visualizations in Tableau, ggplot, or similar will be helpful.

Additional Information

For additional information about this position and to review other current openings in Development, please visit our website at:

Mission Statement

The Office of University Development maximizes private support for the University of Michigan through high-quality collaboration with the development programs of schools, colleges, and units. We also provide fundraising leadership through the stimulation and facilitation of healthy, productive and life-long relationships with our colleagues, alumni, friends, foundations and corporations.

Application Deadline

Although the Posting End Date may indicate otherwise, this job may be filled and closed anytime after a posting duration of seven calendar days.

U-M EEO/AA Statement

The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.

Any Special Application Instructions

A cover letter is required for consideration for this position and should be attached as the first page of your resume. The cover letter should address your specific interest in the position and outline skills and experience that directly relate to this position.

For additional information about this position and to apply, please visit:

For other current openings in Development, please visit our website at:

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