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Senior Research Analyst - Open & Shared Data

About Open North

Founded in 2011, Open North is Canada’s leading not-for-profit organization specialized in open smart cities, open data and open government and data governance. Our mission is to drive research, capacity-building and network collaboration across and within sectors to advance the responsible and effective use of data & technology in order to achieve our vision of data and technology that empower transparent, accountable and inclusive communities. With a multidisciplinary team of 15 staff (+ expert advisors) and an annual budget of $1M+, we work with the most innovative and connected communities and civil society organizations  in Canada and internationally. Through our service offering, we are called upon to support our partners develop and implement data governance models, lead collaborative data sharing initiatives, develop strategic plans and operational roadmaps, and train communities on a range of open smart city topics (eg. data management, open procurement, digital inclusion, and ethical AI). As an established international leader, our research and practitioners networks extend across the country and globally.

The Opportunity

Open North is seeking an exceptional individual, inclined towards both theory and practice, to fill a new Senior Research Analyst position as part of the growing team at the Applied Research Lab.

The Senior Research Analyst will assume a hands-on role and be responsible for supporting and delivering a variety of research projects related to Open North’s key areas of expertise, in particular data governance, open data, open smart cities, open government, and AI ethics. They will also have an opportunity to apply their knowledge in a variety of domains such as organizational management and administration, public policy, citizen engagement and data literacy as well as data standardization. Projects are both local and international. Open North work mainly with governments and civil society organizations.

Since the Applied Research Lab is a multidisciplinary team, analysts are required to be able to interact with and learn from other disciplines and their scholarly output, keep up with the latest developments in a number of domains, and make connections to domains outside of their work at Open North. A strong affinity for reading and critical thinking is a must at the Open North Applied Research Lab.

Responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Track data and technological and innovative trends;

  • Conduct desk research on key domain areas and principles, synthesizing academic and non-academic literature, maintaining and strengthening high-quality research standards;

  • Use quantitative and qualitative research methods to appropriately collect, capture, transform, clean, map, load, analyze data and metadata on cities and organizations;

  • Contribute to the tracking of projects’ progress across a set of KPIs and to program-wide reporting;

  • Analyse technical documentation (software design documents, data models, standards);

  • Map or model complex IT and data environments and ecosystems, using both quantitative and qualitative methods;

  • Conduct IT and data policy analysis at multiple scales;

  • Participate in the project design and management of activities

  • Synthesize academic and non-academic literature on conceptual issues such as: data governance, open data, data policy and data management practices, automated decision-making, etc.;

  • Analyse large datasets and create data visualizations;

  • Synthesize best practices and primary observations to develop policy and process recommendations for clients;

  • Track project progress, measure outcomes, and contribute to program reporting;

  • Lead event preparation and coordination (both content and logistics) such as: conference presentations, speaking engagements and workshops;

  • Participate in regular staff meetings and any other meetings with project partners as required;

  • Perform other duties and responsibilities as assigned.

The most competitive candidates will demonstrate the following skills and experience:

  • A strong foundation in quantitative research methods, systems analysis and data science, demonstrable through work experience, research, or their project portfolio;

  • Some professional experience in areas such as: business information systems, business intelligence or technology analysis, data science, GIS, systems analysis; database management;

  • Demonstrable analytical or research experience in a professional or graduate-level research setting;

  • Ability to work across disciplines within the team, communicate and synthesise their findings both verbally and in writing with non-technical colleagues, and co-develop recommendations for clients;

  • Ability to work in an interdisciplinary team with diverse backgrounds;

  • Problem-solver, oriented towards results and focused on quality;

  • Work both independently and as a strong team player with an aptitude for working in a collaborative environment;

  • Exceptional interpersonal skills;

  • Creative, innovative, values-driven, curious and critical thinker.

The following will be considered additional assets:

  • Knowledge or experience with any of the following

    • Business process analysis

    • Data standards and spatial analysis

    • Systems, data or database modelling

    • Programming (Python) and machine learning

    • Knowledge of ETL procedures

  • A working knowledge of Canadian municipal government structures and operations

  • Experience with civil society and non-profit organizations


  • Professional proficiency in French and English required (spoken and written)

Work conditions

  • Currently, the whole team is working remotely. A co-working space will be available to the team starting in December 2020 for the occasional meeting, or break from your routine;

  • Full-time position (37.5 hours per week), open-ended contract;

  • Group health insurance (medical and dental, after 3 months);

  • Telecommunications allowance (after 3 months);

  • Option to participate in Group RRSP Plan (after 3 months);

  • A great team of smart and dedicated people!

Salary considerations

  • The pay scale for this position is: $60,000 - $65,000

Interviews will begin the first week of December. Projected start date for this position is in early January 2021.

Open North is committed to achieving equitable participation in the workforce. We recruit, employ, compensate and promote regardless of race, religion, colour, national origin, sex, disability, age and all the other fascinating characteristics that make us different.

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