Last modified on 5 March 2013, at 00:27

Job openings/Senior Research Analyst - Strategy

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About research in the Wikimedia Foundation

The Wikimedia Foundation consists of three departments advancing the organization's mission: to empower and engage people around the world to collect and develop free educational content, and to disseminate it effectively and globally.

  • The Technology department operates the Wikimedia Foundation websites, including Wikipedia, and it maintains and improves the underlying open source software (for example, by improving usability for entry-level volunteers or simplifying media uploading).
  • The Community department supports and strengthens Wikimedia's community of volunteers and supporters, by developing outreach programs such as university outreach, organizing Wikimedia's fundraising efforts, and working with volunteers to structure existing activities in the projects more effectively.
  • The Global Development department expands Wikimedia's presence and programmatic activities world-wide, with special focus on disadvantaged and underrepresented communities. This includes support for Wikimedia's chapter organizations such as grantmaking, on-the-ground programs in key regions, and development of partnerships to overcome the digital divide.

The work in all three departments is data-driven. In order to ensure that research is conducted effectively to support the specific programmatic work in each department, relevant research resources are hired into the department they are likely to interface with most. For example, analytics, usability and product research sits inside the technology department; community experiments and qualitative community research are organized in the community department; market and mobile research data is managed within the Global Development department.

Role of the Senior Research Analyst, Strategy

The Senior Research Analyst, Strategy holds the primary responsibility to ensure that appropriate forums and spaces are created for cross-departmental research collaboration and coordination to happen, and to organize the development of master reporting and planning systems such as a research and experimentation roadmap, dashboards, and other reporting tools. The Senior Research Analyst, Strategy works as part of a Product Strategy Team led by the Deputy Director, and helps to drive the development of the product agenda for the organization as a whole. The Senior Research Analyst, Strategy does not have direct reports, and facilitates consensus-oriented dialog with senior leadership.

Position responsibilities:

  • Lead coordination of work in research across departments, and with research community
    • Lead development of master roadmap for research and experimentation, in consultation with all stakeholders
    • Sponsor development of master reporting tools such as dashboards to track key performance indicators, and of a volunteer-focused ecosystem for the development of such tools and other reports
  • Work with Deputy Director and Senior Product Manager in maintaining Wikimedia's product development roadmap
    • Develop measures of success and contribute to impact assessments based on existing data
    • Propose hypotheses and experiments to validate impact propositions
    • Help plan and organize these experiments (e.g. an experiment to test how many people would edit Wikipedia if more explicitly invited to do so)
  • Work with Wikimedia volunteers, Wikimedia Foundation research staff, and researcher community in articulating and finding answers to key strategic research questions
  • Help develop the Wikimedia Foundation's research capabilities, policies, and processes
  • Organize research forums and other spaces to discuss research priorities
  • Commission research or deep-dive into specific research questions as required
  • Help to communicate Wikimedia's research agenda and findings to the general public and specialized audiences

Candidate characteristics

  • Self-starter: Able to mobilize the resources you need to get things done, including yourself. :-)
  • Communicator: Knows how to speak about research findings and methodologies to different audiences
  • High energy for, drive and commitment to the mission: Deeply believes in the value of Wikimedia, exudes enthusiasm for the mission and can powerfully embody and communicate the mission
  • Intellectual curiosity and flexibility: Enjoy tackling difficult, ambiguous problems and able to incorporate new knowledge into how one approaches situations and generates solutions; loves learning from others and expanding intellectual horizons
  • Open and transparent: Comfortable working in a highly transparent fashion, open to input and feedback, proactive candid communicator who wants people to know what she/he is doing and isn't afraid to bring others in when things are off-track or when you need help
  • Community builder: Essential that the leader see her/himself as a partner to Wikimedia Foundation colleagues and as a facilitator and builder of a vibrant global research community around Wikimedia
  • Action-oriented: Focused on generating research results that are high quality and support real-world decision-making and action in a timely fashion; able to problem solve around imperfect data and make appropriate methodological judgment
  • Strong cultural competency: Ability to bridge cultures and geographic differences; Able to navigate in a truly global movement
  • Tenacious: Patient with the imperfections of the data and the human beings whose behavior it describes
  • Willing to travel: Periodic travel to attend global Wikimedia events and engage with research community

Candidate background:

  • Ph.D (preferred), Masters or equivalent in field with direct relevance to the requirements of the position. We will consider candidates who do not meet these requirement only if they excel in every other regard.
  • Work or research experience conducting data analysis for Internet organizations (e.g., data mining, web analytics), designing analysis that informs programmatic decision-making (e.g., A/B testing)
  • Experience with open source software; deeper experience the open source / free culture movement is a major plus
  • Experience facilitating, coordinating, or leading the work of large teams is a major plus
  • Experience working in a global, multi-cultural team and experience working outside the United States are a major plus
  • Experience as a leader or organizer in a collaborative community setting, ideally within the Wikimedia community


San Francisco

About the Wikimedia Foundation