The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) is an independent research center at the University of Washington. Its mission is to monitor global health conditions and health systems, as well as to evaluate interventions, initiatives, and reforms. IHME carries out a range of projects within different research areas including the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors; Future Health Scenarios; Costs and Cost Effectiveness; Geospatial Analysis; Resource Tracking; and Impact Evaluations. The aim is to provide policymakers, donors, and researchers with the highest-quality quantitative evidence base to make decisions that achieve better health.
IHME has an outstanding opportunity for a Data Extraction Specialist. The main purpose of this position is to provide highly specialized oversight and guidance of routine but complex extraction processes for input data used in modeling at IHME, which will serve research areas including Geospatial Analysis; the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors; and others.
This position will work with dynamic teams of researchers and staff at all levels. The Data Extraction Specialist is expected to become specialized in data pertaining to relevant content areas and will consult with researchers as needed to amass data necessary for analysis, presentation, and publication. To create the array of indicators required, this position provides guidance on the extraction of all available relevant quantitative data from surveys, censuses, literature, and administrative records into central databases. Relevant data include those on mortality, causes of death, epidemiology, and a range of determinants and risk factors, such as education, income, or air pollution.
The position must have a strong command of a variety of research needs and analytic functions. The Data Extraction Specialist must be able to anticipate the needs of research teams, as well as other functional teams including the Global Engagement Team, Technology Team, and Research Management as it pertains to the work of data extraction. Frequently the individual will be given assignments where desired end results are identified but there is no preset path for achieving it. The individual must therefore carry out scoping and planning in order to resolve questions and produce results.
This position will work alongside other research staff on complementary projects and will require a foundational knowledge of IHME’s work, as well as core technical skills and collective problem-solving. Overall, the Data Extraction Specialist will be a critical member of an agile, dynamic team. This position is contingent on funding availability.
Data Intake Management and Quality Assessment
- Anticipate potential issues with extractions, research proposed solutions, and work with research managers, researchers, and faculty to determine the best approach, and implement approach in a well-documented and consistent manner across GBD.
- Maintain, update, and carry out routine but complex processes that are central to generating estimates of key indicators.
- Develop and use protocols to identify problems with datasets and routine extraction processes, rectify issues, and systematize processes for future work.
- Assess and contribute to decision-making about the definitions of fields for extraction and the organization and storage of input data.
- Develop and use protocols that dictate the best ways to extract data for use in multiple analyses.
- Conduct extractions using established tools at the highest level of quality.
- Maintain data and extractions in a way that all sources are properly documented and can be appropriately cited in compliance with standards.
- Document extraction processes in order to ensure consistency in extraction across research teams.
- Perform quality checks and audits of extractions from fellow staff in order to ensure extractions are being done according to standards and are well-documented for presentation in publications and for the transition of work to new researchers.
- Explore methods for improving extraction processes and implement them when possible in order to save time or simplify the extraction process and/or improve the quality of extractions.
- Exhibit command of substantive areas of expertise to understand the dimensions and uses of health data in the Geospatial Analysis and Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors teams.
- Work directly with researchers to explain and modify extraction processes and fields in order to extract and support them in the extraction of consistent, high-quality data.
- Design and articulate ways to improve routine extraction processes, including the relevant trade-offs of different approaches, for decision-making purposes.
- Train new staff on processes and guidelines for data management and extractions.
- Give feedback on best practices for data management and extractions.
- Effectively communicate changes to extraction processes throughout the GBD research cycle in written and oral communications.
- Communicate clearly and effectively while contributing as a member of the Institute.
- Work closely with other team members to assist with relevant tasks, facilitate learning new skills, and to help resolve emerging problems on different projects.
- Attend relevant meetings, adhere to deadlines, and participate as a vital member to collectively advance team-level objectives.
- Serve as a resource to others in explaining approaches to data management and extraction.
- Participate in overall community of the Institute, carrying out duties as may be required for team members.
Bachelor’s degree in social sciences or related field and three years’ experience, or equivalent combination of education and experience.
- Must have demonstrated competence with analytic tasks and ability to participate productively in interdisciplinary research teams.
- Strong quantitative aptitude, desire to learn new skills, and ability to interpret complex analytic information.
- Strong sense of focus and attention to detail.
- Demonstrated familiarity and ability to agilely assess, transform, and work with quantitative data from a range of sources.
- Ability to learn new information quickly and apply analytic skills to better understand complex information in a systematic way.
- Interest in global health research.
- Demonstrated organizational skills, self-motivation, flexibility, and the ability to work and thrive in a fast-paced, energetic, highly creative, entrepreneurial environment.
- Strong communication skills necessary to discuss complex databases and computation tasks.
Conditions of employment: Weekend and evening work sometimes required.