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Senior Data Analyst

Job Description

IPUMS is the world's largest collection of individual-level census and survey data, freely available to researchers worldwide at We seek smart, technically-minded people who enjoy working with data to join the IPUMS team.

We are hiring a senior data analyst to join the team of researchers and technical staff developing our full-count historical U.S. census database. With hundreds of millions of records documenting every American from 1850 to 1940, the database is an unprecedented resource for social research, but it poses a host of challenges. The data are beyond the scale social scientists normally encounter, and they require different and sometimes novel approaches to process, diagnose, and edit. These data will support an innovative record linkage project to trace individuals from census to census, illuminating long-term patterns of U.S. geographic and social mobility.

The hallmark of all IPUMS projects is the integration of discrete datasets into a single consistently coded and documented series enabling comparative analyses over time or space. The suite of IPUMS census and survey data projects is publicly available at no cost at The data from the historical census project will be accessed through the IPUMS-USA dissemination system.

IPUMS is part of the Institute for Social Research and Data Innovation, which includes the Minnesota Population Center. The Institute environment is highly collaborative, and you will work closely with research scientists, data analysts, graduate research assistants, and software developers. The Institute supports the worklife balance of our staff with 40 hour work weeks and flexible work hours. The University also offers excellent health insurance, retirement benefit and tuition assistance. IPUMS has a robust professional development fund for staff training and development.

Diversity and inclusion is a core value of our organization. We aspire to create a team that represents the diversity of our city, our region, and our world, and to create a space that encourages and embraces inclusiveness, equal opportunity, and respect. We strongly encourage women and members of underrepresented groups to apply.



For this position, we seek someone with a strong data-driven social science background who enjoys the technical aspects of data work. The census data need to be cleaned, new data merged in, editing routines and techniques developed, and millions of strings of data coded into useful classifications. The data are far too large for manual inspection, requiring efficient data analysis with innovative, scalable approaches including machine learning processing. The senior analyst will work with the project lead and other research staff on the development and implementation of these tasks. Responsibilities will include analyzing the data for errors and inconsistencies and developing and implementing novel routines to manipulate, subset and link the data in a variety of ways. The analyst will work in close collaboration with the lead software developer and interact with other members of the IPUMS IT team.

The candidate should have experience not only with data analysis in a statistical package but also with higher level data manipulation features of R or with Python. Most importantly, they need a willingness to learn new things, stay current with cutting edge data techniques and work as part of a collaborative and diverse team. We are constantly pushing the boundaries of data processing and dissemination methods, and there is considerable opportunity for initiative and creativity for all members of the team.

We have funding for the position until March 2021, but an extension beyond that period may prove possible.



Required Qualifications: A master’s degree in a social science field and one year of relevant experience. Excellent computer skills and experience analyzing census or survey microdata in a statistical package such as SPSS, Stata, SAS, or R. Data manipulation/editing experience with Python or R. Strong written, verbal and interpersonal communication skills with audiences from various disciplines, communities and cultures.

Additional selection criteria include: Familiarity with databases and SQL. Experience analyzing one of the IPUMS databases; demonstrated ability to work independently and as a member of a diverse team; a record of learning new information technology as required.


Application Procedure

Please apply using the University of Minnesota’s online employment system and search job opening ID 332286 or go directly to Application requirements include a resume, and a cover letter describing your interest and qualifications in the position. 

More information
United States
Twin Cities
IPUMS, University of Minnesota

Questions concerning the application process may be addressed to Mia Riza, HR & Operations Manager, at isrdi-jobs [at]