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American Witness

Data Operations Lead

Washington, DC

September 19

American Witness, the pioneering criminal justice transparency and reporting organization is looking for someone to lead the next evolution of our already unparalleled data operations.

If you are interested in social justice, or just seeing that the criminal justice system is held to account, love data and the idea of helping design and implement something new, we want to speak to you.

After eight years and several iterations, American Witness is in the process of reinventing how we manage our data to be able to increase its social impact, deliver better products and change how criminal justice is reported. 

American Witness is the parent of two data engines currently located in two cities, DC Witness (dcwitness.org) and Baltimore Witness (BaltimoreWitness.org.) In each city, dedicated teams track every homicide and non-fatal shooting from act to resolution, telling every story equally and showing what happens across the entire criminal justice system rather than just its component parts. We track over 100 data points on each case and have amassed thousands of case histories and hundreds of thousands of data points. 

We are currently using Airtable but have reached its limits and are building a new front and backend with increased capabilities. 

We are looking for an early to mid-career data scientist who will be responsible for managing, maintaining, enhancing, and optimizing our data infrastructure and operations. The data operations lead will also be called upon to analyze and interpret data to provide valuable insights that support reporting and data products about the criminal justice systems in our locations. 

So if you are up for becoming our data guru, this is the opportunity for a data scientist looking to make a difference. 

Key Responsibilities for Managing and Maintaining the Data Infrastructure:

  • Monitor and maintain the current Airtable repository
  • Assist in moving from Airtable to MySQL backend database
  • Maintain comprehensive documentation of database configurations, procedures, and best practices
  • Establish and maintain data repository backups
  • Manage data input processes and downstream data interfaces
  • User input interface design
  • Possess programming knowledge (e.g. Develop and maintain automation scripts, data transfer, module, SQL queries, among others)
  • Cloud computing experience a plus

Key Responsibilities for Data Analytics

  • Work with journalists to determine trends and interesting facts
  • Create and maintain routine reports and dashboards to track key performance indicators (KPIs) and share insights with relevant stakeholders.
  • Assist in the development of ad-hoc reports as requested by various teams.
  • Maintain documentation of data sources, data processing steps, and analytical procedures for future reference.
  • Operation of infrastructure
  • Supporting Data Products
  • Data visualization such as Power BI or Tableau experience a plus
  • Recruit and manage a small team of staff and interns


  • Bachelor's or higher degree in a relevant field such as Data Science, Statistics, Mathematics, Computer Science, or related
  • Basic understanding of database management systems and concepts
  • Interest in DevOps practices, tools, and automation
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills with a keen attention to detail
  • Proficiency in data analysis tools and programming languages (e.g., Python, R, SQL)
  • Excellent communication skills to convey complex findings to non-technical stakeholders
  • Ability to work collaboratively in a team environment and adapt to changing priorities
  • Highly motivated with a desire to learn and grow in the field of data analysis

Position is on-site in the DC office with some travel to Baltimore. This is NOT a remote position.

Pay is commensurate with experience.

To apply send a resume and cover letter to info@americanwitness.org.