Blog Post

Join DataSF as a Data Scientist

DataSF seeks data scientist
DataSF seeks data scientist
Source: "1600 pandas" by DocChewbacca is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Note: this position has been filled and closed

Want to transform City services through the use of data science and analytics? Looking to use your data science skills for impact? Then join the DataSF team to empower and expand use of data in government!

DataSF is a small, agile team working across City and County of San Francisco. The mission of DataSF is to empower use of data, transforming the way the city works through better use of data. We work to streamline data access through light, agile data infrastructure, improve data management and governance, and boost capacity to use data through training and data science.

Our latest project is to demonstrate the value of data science, via our service DataScienceSF. As part of DataScienceSF we solicit data science projects from across the City – ranging from forecasting flights for the Airport to predicting women and children who will drop out of a nutrition program. The range and breadth of data science opportunities is rich and fascinating. Through an established process, we solicit and define projects ripe for data science from across the City. The goal of DataScienceSF is to demonstrate the power of advanced analytics to improve how the City works. Learn more about the service and projects: and

Want to learn even more? Read about how we find good data science projects and our overall approach and 1st hand insights from our Data Scientist on the transition from private to public sector.

The Job

The City has a bunch of data - your mission will be to put that data to work. We work on a range of issues and policy areas and a range of datasets. You will join our team as an analytics ninja and part time data pipeline maker/maintainer to help ensure that data is flowing to the open data portal and for data science deployments. You will help identify opportunities for data modeling and visualization, conduct and communicate the analysis and help deploy the insights into products and operations.

Your Responsibilities

  • Help solicit, define and refine data science projects with clients and manage a portfolio of data science projects from conception to implementation
  • Conduct a range of analyses or experiments using whatever statistical and modeling methods and tools are most appropriate
  • Develop data visualizations and tools to support the analysis
  • Conduct research and analysis as needed to inform the data analysis
  • Develop presentations and communicate the results of your work
  • Help develop and implement products, services, tools, or business process changes resulting from the analysis
  • Create and maintain data pipelines for open data and data science projects as needed
  • Provide technical assistance and guidance to department partners implementing their own analytical work

Skills we expect

We are looking for people with:

  • Substantial experience in Python and R and fluency in SQL
  • Experience with and knowledgeable about a range of statistical methods and tools, including descriptive and inferential statistics as well as experimental design
  • Experience with data cleansing, processing, and wrangling and creating data pipelines using tools such as python, ETL tools or the language of your choice
  • Experience conducting data analysis on a variety of datasets and issue areas and presenting and communicating the results of the analysis to a range of audiences
  • Experience in GIS and mapping concepts and tools or equivalent
  • Experience with data visualization tools
  • Familiar with the concepts of information design and presentation, including principles of visual encoding and communication
  • Experience translating statistical insights into practical tools, recommendations or changes for the client
  • Track record of willingness and ability to learn new tools and languages as needed
  • 3+ years experience in related work
  • BS/BA in GIS, computer science,engineering, statistics, mathematics, economics, engineering, policy analysis, user-centered design or related field

Skills we want

We would love applicants who also have the following:

  • Masters in statistics or data science or other similarly methodologically rigorous program
  • Experience planning and managing multiple analytical projects independently, including working with clients
  • Experience with operations management and analysis
  • Familiarity or experience with advanced methods such as geo analysis, simulation, and a strong understanding of machine learning techniques and their mathematical underpinning, such as classification, recommendation systems, outlier detection, etc.
  • Experience tailoring machine learning solutions to solve problems and/or generate new insights
  • Experience with modern web-based data visualization, e.g. D3, jQuery, Shiny etc
  • Familiar with the concepts of information design and presentation, including principles of visual encoding and communication
  • Experience conducting geospatial analysis
  • Experience with back end development and database management
  • Experience working with unstructured data
  • Passionate about improving government through data
  • Enthusiastic about empowering use of data across the City

How to apply

Submit your application at the City’s Jobs Portal. Include a cover letter and a resume with your application.

And the City’s application is a little clunky - so don’t leave it to the last minute ;-) Or you can send the cover letter to datasf at sfgov dot org. Title your email: “Cover Letter: Name”.

Equal Employment Opportunity

The City and County of San Francisco is committed to equal employment opportunity. Read more about our equal employment opportunity policy.