Open Data Services is a growing workers co-operative. We’re an interdisciplinary team, with developers, analysts and researchers working together to create sustainable tools and services that help organisations publish and use open data for social change.
We are looking for an excellent technical communicator able to take complex data standards and policy programmes, and make them accessible through a mix of design, documentation, front-line support, and the delivery of online and offline training. As part of an interdisciplinary team, your role will be shaped around your existing practice and the areas where you access training to extend your skill set.
Our team works on world-changing transparency and accountability projects, helping to build sustainable open data infrastructures that drive social impact.
Our work on The Beneficial Ownership Data Standard with Open Ownership brings transparency to corporate ownership;
The Open Contracting Data Standard enables governments and civil society groups across the world to track government project from planning to delivery;
Our Social Finance Data Specification work is building on the success of 360 Giving to improve access to information on social investment;
To make these projects work requires the combination of an eye for accuracy, with the ability to make technical detail accessible and engaging, and a commitment to building the capacity and confidence of data standard implementers and users.
Over the first six months, this role will involve a number of deep-dive projects to understand particular data standards, to develop improved documentation, and to create training and resources that can accelerate the successful implementation of those standards.
Over the longer-term, you will be working to support a portfolio of open data standards and their users, removing the technical barriers to effective data publication and use.
On a day-to-day basis you will be:
Writing documentation, blog posts and training resources;
Responding to incoming support requests from data publishers and users as part of a ‘helpdesk’ team;
Contributing to core data standard documentation and support tools;
Developing and delivering bespoke online and offline training for policy and technology audiences;
Feeding into standard and software development;
Depending on your skills, experience and interests, you might also get involved in:
Leading translation of standards and supporting resources by a community of translators;
Developing templates for internal and external communication;
Researching and writing assessment reports for data publishers and users;
Skills and experience
We recognise that there are many paths to developing the globally aware and data literate skill set we are after. You might be a graduate from a social research discipline with self-taught data skills; you might have a design and communications background; or you might have years of work experience in a variety of sectors, with technical,policy and communication skills picked up along the way.
You will be joining a team whose backgrounds include history, physics, philosophy, youth work and business analysis qualifications. We recognise the value that diverse backgrounds and experience bring to the co-operative. With that in mind, we’re looking for the following essential skills, knowledge, and experience:
Good communication and written & spoken English skills;
Experience designing and delivering online and/or offline training;
Deep understanding of the policy and technology dimensions of open data;
Ability to write clear, concise reports to a deadline;
Capacity for independent and team working, and prioritising a complex workload;
Strong data manipulation skills, including experience exploring spreadsheets and structured data;
Working knowledge of a range of data formats;
Ability to work internationally;
Ability to work with online collaboration tools;
The following skills and experience are desirable. Tell us about any you can bring to the team in your application:
Foreign language skills - particularly Spanish and French;
Experience of international development work, and work in developing countries;
Understanding of accounting, public procurement, aid and development, and/or social finance sector
An in-depth understanding of data formats and schema languages;
Advanced spreadsheet and data-wrangling skills: from Excel to Open Refine;
Understanding of a wide range of data formats, including XML and JSON.
Programming skills and ability to contribute to code in Python or other languages;
Understanding of revision control systems (e.g. git);
Experience working in a co-operative, NGO or social enterprise;
Project management experience, particularly for IT projects;
We’re also interested in the ‘wildcard’ skills and experience you might bring to the team.
Location: We’re a UK-based distributed team and all work from home, with regular team meetings and co-working, often in Birmingham. Current team members are located in or near Manchester, Bristol, Leeds, London, Stroud, Nottingham, Cambridge, Edinburgh and Belfast.
You must have the right to live and work in the UK.
Remuneration & benefits: As a collectively run and owned co-operative, we operate a flat rate of pay for all staff. This is currently set at £36,000 p.a.
Open Data Services operates an auto enrollment pension scheme with 3% employer contributions. If you have an existing pension scheme, we may be able to make contributions to that. Our policy is to progressively improve employee benefits as the co-operative develops, with all co-operative members having an equal right to vote on benefits, dividends, and bonuses.
All employees, that have passed a successful probationary period, are entitled to become members. Each member is an equal owner of the business, and all members have an equal vote in decision-making.
Members are able to vote on profit distributions at the end of each year, part of which can be as a bonus to members. In the last year, we also voted on making contributions to a number of charities, open source projects, and to the Open Rights Group.
Training and development is encouraged with all employees allocated an equal individual training budget, set by the members.
We operate a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy and provide the online tools and software you need for your job. If you don’t already have a home working set-up, or need to find local co-working space, we’ll help to get that all set-up.
We offer salary sacrifice Childcare scheme vouchers that allow employees to reduce their childcare costs.
Hours and holiday: This post is offered as full-time, though part-time applications will be considered . We welcome opportunities to work out a flexible and family friendly schedule with you. Full time hours are set at 37.5 hours a week with 33 days holiday a year (including bank holidays).
Within reasonable limits we operate a flexi-time policy. We have a short team call each morning to plan work for the day which we expect everyone to try and join - and then each set our schedules accordingly, striving for a good work-life balance. We are also committed to making reasonable adjustments to enable people to do their work