At SocialCops, we exist to use data to drive better decision making.
Unlike other research positions, where the impact of your work is confined to the outcome of an individual report or policy brief, the SocialCops platform is deployed to create dynamic and real-time decision-making systems to solve complex real-world problems.
Read more about our platform here: What We Do At SocialCops
As a Research Associate at SocialCops, you are a master at understanding the problem statement at hand as well as the decision making process of our stakeholders, after which you analytically break the problem down and convert it to a solution roadmap. This will involve rigorous research on the sector and problem statement we are solving — such as analyzing how to prioritize investments in agriculture to improve the quality of life for small and marginal farmers
, how to monitor 20+ national government schemes in India at granular levels, or where to open new LPG distribution centers in India based on market potential, social need, and other public and internal data. You will work with various stakeholders to ask the right questions to understand how they make their decisions, supplement your ground knowledge with secondary research, and create a model for data collection (using both primary and secondary sources) to measure the right indicators.
You will play a critical role in ensuring that the decision makers who use our platform are making the right decisions. We work with over 150 organizations in 7 countries, including the Government of India, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Ministry of Rural Development, Gates Foundation, World Bank, Tata Trusts, and Unilever. With great power comes great responsibility :)
THE CHALLENGES YOU WILL FACE EVERY DAY
- Make sense of complex abstract problem statements. Often we work on complex, multi-stakeholder engagements. The problem statements we receive are abstract — “How should I invest in agriculture in India?” or “What can I do to improve the water situation in Delhi?” As a Research Associate, your role is to create meaning from the chaos. This will involve conducting interviews with the decision makers involved (who could range from a national minister to a CEO to a district collector), conducting research on the subject, and meeting experts in the sector to understand what needs to be measured.
- Identify the most critical indicators that will affect decisions. Based on your research, you will identify the most critical indicators to be measured and visualized on the SocialCops platform. This will involve building a data analysis and collection plan, including the internal data from our partner organizations, publicly available secondary data, and primary data collection through our partners' field networks.
- Collect and structure internal data from partners. You will seek out and collect administrative data from partners and government agencies. Often, our partners have not maintained data systems in the past. This means that, as a Research Associate, you need to make sense of unstructured data, work with our partners to build strong metadata structures to give meaning to their data, and catalogue the data on our platform for future use.
- Source and identify public data to add context to internal data. In situations when the problem statement requires using public data to add external context to our partners' internal data, you will research potential public data sources and, depending on the kind of data, acquire the data, clean and structure the data, catalogue it through our system, and make it available for analysis. We deal with vast volumes of messy data, changing district boundaries, and other complexities that naturally come with public data from the developing world.
- Design survey questionnaires and real-time data collection instruments. In situations that demand primary data collection, you will be responsible for designing survey questionnaires or real-time data collection instruments to be implemented via our mobile-based data collection app, Collect. In many of our deployments, the field workers collecting data are not trained surveyors but instead village entrepreneurs, field workers, or volunteers. This means that, as a research associate, you need to work with the ground organization to understand the most feasible and user-friendly ways to collect data.
- Run pilots and refine study design. You will run pilot exercises, and refine study design and survey instruments for large-scale implementation. Our implementations range from dynamic data collection programs for a local NGO in Odisha to a nationwide program involving data collection from 50 million below-poverty-line households.
- Define novel ways to extrapolate data. In situations where we don’t have all the data needed for decision making, our Research Associates devise novel ways to extrapolate and smooth data, estimate or predict parameters, forecast values, etc.
- Clean, analyze, and visualize data. After conducting data cleaning, manipulation, and preliminary data analysis using multiple primary and secondary data sources, you will visualize the data on our dashboards or implement visualizations using SocialCops' internal tools.
- Work with partners. Maintain day-to-day relationships with partner organizations at both headquarters and field levels (as and when required).
- Share your learnings. Contribute to analysis, research briefs, blog posts, and ebooks created by SocialCops.
- Help us make better products. Our Research Associates constantly work with the product and engineering teams to drive platform features that will make their jobs easier! After all, the work our Research Associates do is at the core of our work at SocialCops.
- Master’s or equivalent degree in economics, social sciences, public policy, or related fields
- Strong understanding of basic statistics. Knowledge of econometrics will be preferred.
- Experience in performing primary and secondary data collection and analysis
- Experience in conducting field-based surveys and studies (preferred)
- Proficient in at least one data analytics language, preferably STATA or R
- Excellent management and organizational skills along with strong quantitative skills
- Ability to deal with unstructured and changing environments
- Ability to work independently
IN 1 MONTH, YOU WILL...
- Get onboarded! Understand SocialCops' work, our platform, our data, our projects, our team, and our culture!
- Learn how the data team at SocialCops operates and get onboarded to the nitty gritties of project management.
- Get your hands dirty and started with your first project — an important problem we’re working on — build its solution roadmap, and execute it end to end! This will involve four main things: research on the problem statement, a literature study, sourcing all the data that you will need from multiple different sources, and cataloguing it our data pool... all while learning how we do things at SocialCops!
- Build your analysis plan and validate it by meeting relevant decision makers and experts.
- Work with our partnerships team to execute your solution.
IN 3 MONTHS, YOU WILL...
- Have a good hold of the work we do – project research, data sourcing, transformation and analysis is now a breeze for you!
- You start handling multiple projects at once and prioritizing multiple engagements. You’ve transformed into the go-to person in your domains of expertise.
- Get involved in hiring and growing your team.
- Start participating actively in content creation and resource building to enable data-driven decision making.
- Start working with the engineering team to suggest product improvements.
IN 6 MONTHS (AND BEYOND), YOU WILL...
- Start taking on leadership roles – show us you're ready!
- Get involved in planning for our future strategy and roadmap.
- Work to proactively identify and fix challenges in any project you work on.
SocialCops is a data intelligence company that powers leaders in United Nations, Gates Foundation, Unilever and 150+ organizations. We have been recognized on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list, a Fortune magazine cover, and as one of India's top 10 emerging startups. Our platform is currently used in 17 countries in South Asia and Africa.