Senior Data Technologist

The Open Data Institute is looking for a technologist with a keen interest in data to join our data innovation programme and develop tools, demonstrators and prototypes with our teams of developers, designers and researchers.

Senior Data Technologist

Location: Shoreditch, London

Salary: £50,000-£65,000 per annum based on experience.

Fixed-term contract until March 2020 (Secondment opportunity available)

The Open Data Institute is looking for a technologist with a keen interest in data to join our data innovation programme and develop tools, demonstrators and prototypes with our teams of developers, designers and researchers.

About the ODI

Co-founded by the inventor of the web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee and renowned AI expert, Sir Nigel Shadbolt, the ODI works to build a strong, fair and sustainable data economy by helping businesses and governments get data to people who need it, informing decisions, driving efficiencies and creating opportunities using data.

The ODI is embarking in the second year of an exciting programme of research and development. In the first year, work focused on areas such as improving open data publication, the development of open standards, developing new service delivery models and new forms of regulation, and helping businesses understand new developments around data and expand their overseas markets. In the second year, we are now focusing on themes such as anonymisation, trust, data access models and facilitating innovation around geospatial data.

About the role

Reporting to the Head of Technology, the Senior Data Technologist will join a multidisciplinary team as part of the ODI’s data innovation programme. You will use your knowledge of data formats and software engineering to drive and realise the development of tools and prototypes for better data usage and management.

Given the desired versatility of the role, we welcome applications from individuals who may not typically consider themselves developers or technologists but can demonstrate a mix of the experience and skills listed below: if you are a researcher-who-codes, a creative-technologist, a data scientist or a jack-of-all-trades who does not fit easily into a box, so long as you bring in a mix of the desired skills and are excited about the work we are undertaking, we would love to talk to you.


Working in the open and in an agile fashion, you will be a key bridge between disciplines, interacting and collaborating constantly with researchers, UX practitioners, consultants, backend developers, trainers and the many other disciplines in the ODI team.

Your key responsibilities will be to:

  • Develop tools and demonstrators, APIs and parsers with a view to help people understand and succeed in working with data.
  • Bring your expertise of data and proficiency with software to a multi-disciplinary team, sometimes as a leader, sometimes as a practitioner, but always as an exemplary team player.
  • Collaborate with cross-disciplinary teams of researchers and policy experts to investigate and understand issues related to the role of data in society, and explore solutions and hypothesis through rapid, lean prototyping. Be the representative of the “technology” discipline – it’s capabilities and limitations – in project teams.
  • Work closely with the ODI’s network and the open source community to drive the evolution of our tools and services.

Unlike a typical data analyst/data scientist role, you will seldom be analysing data sets or training models. Contrary to a common misconception, the Open Data Institute is not an open data steward: we mostly work with and advise data stewards, data users and others in the ecosystem.

About you – skills, knowledge, and experience

  • You can demonstrate expertise about data formats, standards, and experience building and using APIs, parsers and other tools relevant to working and governing data
  • You can demonstrate significant experience working with and exploring data – ideally open data
  • You are at ease with tools and best practices around version control, documentation, and testing.
  • You know how to prototype in collaboration with others – whether with code, paper or other media – to better understand what people need, explore a complicated concept, or demonstrate what might be.
  • You are comfortable with agile software development – ideally having practiced it enough to have an informed opinion on Scrum and Kanban.
  • You understand the importance of research as a way to explore a problem space, discover the needs of a group of people, or simply to catalogue what others have done before.

You will also have some experience of (or at least enthusiasm for) working in the open: our work at the ODI is open by default and the work you do in our team will be for, and with, the open source community.

Desirable experience

  • Knowledge of and experience working with open data.
  • Experience working on open source projects.
  • Experience participating in, or conducting user research.
  • Experience working with Ruby (Rails, Sinatra).
  • Experience working with Python.
  • Understanding of User Experience concepts and practice.
  • Solid understanding of research methodologies, hypothesis testing and lean practices.
  • Interest or experience with data visualisation techniques and libraries.
  • Ability to communicate complex ideas and explain technology through clear and engaging writing.

About the ODI team


We are good at what we do. We use our expertise to achieve our mission. We are open and generous with our expertise and experience, and share it outside and inside ODI.

We can get better at what we do. We recognise the limits of our expertise and respect that of others. We are open to and seek advice, opinions and support to develop our expertise, within and outside ODI. We reflect on what works and what doesn’t to consciously learn, improve and grow.


We succeed when others flourish. We support and challenge others to do their best work. We open up opportunities for other people and organisations, and empower them to take them. We are as open as possible about what we are doing and what we have learnt. We encourage others to refine and build on our work.

We empathise with others so we can help them. We find out what people and organisations really need. We have empathy with their motivations and the constraints they operate under. We communicate in terms they understand.


We are trusted because we are honest and responsible. We are open with our opinion, open to hearing what others say, open to being wrong and open to changing our mind. We are not afraid to speak our mind when it is useful or important, and take responsibility for the results of doing so. We actively and curiously listen to others, and take responsibility for our responses to them.

We can do more than we might think. We are bold, creative and open to failure. We know what we do won’t be perfect at first but that doesn’t stop us. We start small and quickly, and iterate to improve.


  • 3% contributory pension
  • 30 days’ annual holiday
  • Life Assurance cover
  • Long-term disability cover
  • Critical illness cover
  • Flexible working
  • Coaching and mentoring for skills and personal development
  • £750 annual training budget toward your own professional development
  • Eye care vouchers
  • Cycle to work scheme
  • Season ticket loan

How to apply

Please send a CV and cover letter explaining why you are the right candidate for the role to [email protected].