Posted: Nov 9, 2022

2022-46: Data Visualization Associate

MDRC - New York, NY
Salary: $80,000.00 - $125,000.00
Application Deadline: Nov 30, 2022

MDRC is seeking a Data Visualization Associate to support the organization in growing our capacity for creative data visualization and data storytelling. The specialist will work closely with research departments, with research and information technology units, and with external affairs and communications staff. The specialist will synthesize learnings from the pilots to identify ways to educate and train staff on best practices in data visualization; build internal capacity; and contribute to overall organizational strategy for incorporating user-focused data visualizations into tools and dissemination products for wide audiences. Prerequisites for this role include experience in UX/UI design, a strong portfolio of data visualization projects, and familiarity with statistical programming and common data visualization packages.


  • Lead a pilot of testing and integrating enhanced data visualization and design into the typical work for several ongoing projects across MDRC’s research departments.
  • As part of the pilot:
    • Produce engaging and insightful data visualizations to communicate research findings to MDRC audiences (including policymakers, program stakeholders, practitioners, other researchers, the general public, and program participants).
    • Test various ways to collaborate with researchers, technical assistance providers, and communications staff on the development of static and interactive data visualizations—including implementing rapid prototyping as a workflow for interacting with project teams to iteratively engage with each other to collaboratively create an effective visual.
    • Hold drop-in “office hours” or work with MDRC methodological departments to provide spaces where project teams outside the pilot can receive feedback on a figure/graphic and/or have the opportunity to connect.
    • Pilot the creation of several different types of data visualization products, including: (1) dashboards and other user-friendly tools that visually monitor data measures and analytic findings for technical assistance and research partners, (2) static and interactive data visualizations, and (3) full or partial program “data walks” to share with program participants and staff to promote mutual learning, as well as to inform and deepen engagement among those who were consulted at the start of a project.
  • Document and share insights from the pilot to inform the development of a strategic plan for data visualization across MDRC. This plan will be developed in consultation with the communications department and other internal stakeholders. It will consider different technologies, roles and staff training, style guidelines, templates, and processes. The plan will suggest best practices and standards for improving data visualizations, with a focus on: (1) web products, (2) designed print and electronic reports, and (3) social media.


  • A strong portfolio of data visualization projects, from 7+ years of professional experience.
  • Master’s degree preferred in information science/visualization, data science, statistics, computer science, UX/UI, journalism or a related field, or equivalent experience.
  • Familiarity with biases in data visualization and experience building equity awareness and applying an equity lens to data analysis and visualization.
  • Experience processing and analyzing data. Working knowledge of statistical software packages (particularly R, but experience with the possibilities and limitations of graphical output from Python and other tools also helpful).
  • Excellent communication and presentation skills.
  • Experience with agile, iterative development methodologies.

Preferred skills:

  • Demonstrated experience with liaising and facilitating productive cross-collaboration between creative, technical, and research teams.
  • Demonstrated experience promoting a new skillset within a department or across an organization.
  • At least four years of experience in the following skills:
    • Front-end web development scripting languages like HTML, CSS, JavaScript, or jQuery.
    • Cross-browser compatibility issues and familiarity with multi-platform responsive design (for mobile, tablet, and desktop).
    • Scripting libraries and software platforms for data visualization and dashboards (e.g., D3.js, ggplot2, Shiny, Tableau, Power BI, and GIS programs, such as ArcGIS, QGIS).
    • Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop; Figma (high-level wireframes); Miro (flow charts and user flows).
  • Familiarity with the following technologies and systems:
    • A range of media products commonly used to disseminate social science research findings, e.g., longform reports, briefs, practitioner guides, blog posts, infographics, dashboards, and interactive visualizations.
    • Content management systems (e.g., Drupal, WordPress) and project management software (e.g., Git, bug tracking).
    • Mapping software (GIS, Tableau, Google Maps, map visualizations in R)
    • Data science and statistical methods.

This position is part of a collective bargaining unit under Social Policy Worker United (SPWU) – Local 57 of the American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees (AFSCME).

Timing: Applications should be submitted by Wednesday, November 30, 2022. 

Compensation and benefits: Salary range is $80K - $125K and will be commensurate with experience. Comprehensive benefits and relocation assistance offered. Some on-the-job training will be provided.

Location: The position can be based in either of MDRC’s New York City, Oakland, CA, or Los Angeles offices; we are also open to remote work. MDRC does anticipate a hybrid work environment through November 2022, regardless of location.

Instructions: When submitting your application, please include:

  • Resume
  • Cover letter
  • Written research and data visualization sample

Only candidates selected for further consideration will be contacted. Please note that the health and safety of our employees and candidates is very important to us and that interviews (when scheduled) will be conducted via video conferencing. As a Federally Contracted employer, MDRC is in full compliance with all applicable regulations including, but not limited to, recent changes that require vaccination of employees of federal contractors. All employees are required to be fully vaccinated with one of the available COVID-19 vaccinations, unless they have sought and received an exemption from this policy due to a disability or other medical condition, or because of a sincerely held religious belief. Accommodations are granted in accordance with applicable law and regulations. Applicants must submit proof of vaccination or request and submit an applicable request for accommodation during the offer stage.

MDRC is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. No qualified applicant, employee, intern, volunteer, or apprenticeship trainee will be discriminated against on the basis of his, her, or their race (including traits historically associated with race, including but not limited to hair texture and protective hairstyles), color, national origin (including physical, cultural or linguistic characteristics), marriage to or association with persons of a national origin group, tribal affiliation, membership in or association with an organization identified with or seeking to promote the interests of a national origin group, name that is associated with a national origin group, accent, language use, immigration status, citizenship, possession of a driver’s license issued to persons unable to prove their lawful presence in the United States, and other definitions under California or other states’ laws, ancestry, creed, religion, religious creed (including religious dress and grooming practices), age, citizenship, veteran and/or military status, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, or related medical conditions), sexual orientation, gender, gender identity (including transgender status), gender expression, gender transitioning or perceived gender transitioning, marital status or civil partnership/union status, physical or mental disability (actual or perceived), medical condition (including cancer and genetic characteristics), genetic information, protected medical leaves (requesting or being approved for leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act) or similar state family medical leave laws, domestic violence victim status, political affiliation, or any other basis prohibited by applicable federal, state or local law. Legal work authorization is required. To request a reasonable accommodation during any stage of MDRC&’s employment process due to a disability, please contact [email protected]

MDRC’s dedication to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion exceed compliance requirements. We believe that recruiting and retaining a diverse workforce of all backgrounds and perspectives improves the quality and relevance of our research, as well as the daily experiences of our staff. By fostering an equitable culture of inclusivity and belonging, we seek an environment in which staff feel welcomed, valued, and engaged in their work.