Job Description: Data Analyst

As a Data Analyst, you will acquire and analyze global datasets from the United Nations (Comtrade, Food and Agricultural Organization, Fishbase), the International Energy Association, the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, and others. These data will be used to develop an edition of the National Ecological Footprint and Biocapacity Accounts of all nations on the planet from 1961 to the present. These accounts are used by governments, businesses, researchers, and the general public to inform metrics of environmental performance and sustainability.

As a Data Analyst, you will work collaboratively with students and faculty from York University and staff from the Global Footprint Network. Your experience working on the accounts will develop your mastery of 1) specific data sets and data procedures used to generate an edition of the accounts; 2) the application and troubleshooting of computer code and data queries; 3) the application of factors and equations using computational hardware and software including MySQL, R, Workbench, Excel, and the proprietary software INFAMOUS.

Principal Duties

  • Obtaining and transforming data into formats suitable for computational analysis and uploading into a cloud-based database.
  • Using Structured Query Language (SQL) to analyze and transform data and relational data tables and to modify existing scripts.
  • Applying Quality Assurance principles and techniques on data to verify integrity.
  • Using Microsoft Excel functions to generate statistics and investigate outliers, and to effectively communicate data using visualizations.
  • Using scripts within the computer software R and R Studio to analyze data and to generate histograms and time series.
  • Applying scripts written within R to clean data outliers.
  • Executing the proprietary program INFAMOUS to generate batches of Ecological Footprint and Biocapacity data.
  • Contributing to projects by applying the Ecological Footprint by generating graphs and maps, retrieving data and analyzing trends.
  • Revising project documents with updated processes and best practices.
  • Using project management software to plan and assess workflow and progress.

Optionally you may also provide summaries and interpretations of Footprint data for internal use, as well as for clients, partners, and the general public.

Optionally you may also contribute to engaging with the public and mass media about data products and special events.

Required knowledge and skills

  • Understanding of the concept and methodology of Ecological Footprint and Biocapacity accounting and how it can be applied to measure environmental performance at the level of an individual enterprise, or sector, or a national jurisdiction or the world.
  • Experience using MS Excel to engage with data in the XLSX and CSV format and to communicate it using graphs and tables.
  • Experience using mySQL Workbench to understand and develop and troubleshoot mySQL scripts.
  • Experience using mySQL to upload and transform data using various types of queries and associated joins and functions.
  • Experience engaging with the repository BitBucket to store, share and manage versions and histories of scripts.
  • Experience engaging with R scripts running within RStudio to analyze and transform data.
  • Creativity, initiative, strong quantitative skills, patience, and the ability to wrap your head around complicated calculations.
  • Excellent research and time management skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively and in a self-directed way.

These requirements can be demonstrated by satisfactory completion of the courses Ecological Footprint Analytics and Ecological Footprint Accounting.

Employability requirements

To be paid you must have a Social Insurance Number and a Canadian Bank Account in order for your pay to be electronically deposited.

Location and scheduling of work

Work is performed at the headquarters of the Footprint Data Foundation on the Keele campus of York University (or offsite from a home office if the campus is closed, as it is now during the COVID pandemic). The Footprint Data Foundation (FODAFO) is a not for profit corporation with a mandate of informing the world about how to measure Ecological Footprint and Biocapacity and how to use the data to advance sustainability. Work is supervised by York Faculty member Eric Miller in his capacity as FODAFO Executive Officer.

Work days and hours are scheduled in advance, typically about 7 hours per day, at 3-4 days per week, for 3 months over the summer term. Work is scheduled around intensive courses and other academic activities. Pay is handled by York University in accordance with York University policies and procedures.

Successful performance during the summer can result in an offer of a Research Assistantship in the Fall and Winter terms for up to an average of 10 hours of work per week.