Open Data Specialist- IS Data Specialist I/II (Open)

County of San Mateo, CA
November 8, 2019
Redwood City, California
Job Type


The County of San Mateo Information Services Department is seeking an Open Data Specialist - IS Data Specialist I/II.

San Mateo County launched its Open Government initiative in January2013, to increase transparency and accountability, encourage civic engagement, create economic opportunity and improve the performance of County programs and services. Initial focus was on the launch of the Open Data Portal with a few datasets. This was closely followed by the Open Checkbook ( and the SMC Performance Dashboards ( Most recently the County has launched a GIS open data portal ( and Datahub, an internal data sharing platform.

The incumbent in this role performs technical tasks related to the configuration, troubleshooting, maintenance, and monitoring of the County's databases, data models, and data platforms such as Geographic Information Systems, Open Data, and Open Government; performs database performance analysis and assists in building interfaces between enterprise databases and end-user query tools; performs analysis, troubleshoots database problems, and ensures data integrity; creates reports; provides recommendations, support, and training to other information services support staff and County users in areas of responsibility; and performs related work as required.

Receives general supervision from assigned IS Data Supervisor. This position exercises no supervision of staff.

IS Data Specialist I: This is the entry-level class in the IS data specialist series. Employees at this level perform routine to moderately complex database support assignments and receive occasional instruction and assistance or create data models or manage data classification structures and/or provide data layers and data sets for County-wide systems such as Geographic Information System, Open Data, and/or Open Government. Positions at this level are not expected to function with the same amount of knowledge or skill level as positions allocated to the II level and exercise less independent discretion and judgment in matters related to work procedures and methods. As experienced is gained, incumbents gain full knowledge of concepts, practices, procedures, and policies of assigned function and assignments become more varied and are performed with greater independence.

IS Data Specialist II: This is the journey-level class in the IS data specialist series responsible for performing complex technical assignments, projects, and analyses in support of County databases, data models or manages complex data classification structures and/or manipulate data layers and data sets for County-wide systems such as Geographic Information System, Open Data, and/or Open Government. Responsibilities require the use of tact, discretion, and independent judgment and to have full and thorough knowledge of the concepts, practices, procedures, and policies of assigned function. This classification is distinguished from the IS Senior Data Specialist by the complexity and size of the applications supported and the amount of discretion exercised over problems and resolutions, as well as the latter serves as a technical leader and subject matter expert in specific area(s) and/or is responsible for the daily technical and functional direction of assigned staff.

Positions in the IS Data Specialist class series are flexibly staffed and positions at the II level are normally filled by advancement from the I level requiring two (2) additional years of experience and after gaining the knowledge, skill, and experience which meet the qualifications for and after demonstrating the ability to perform the work of the higher-level class. When filled from the outside, the employee is required to have three (3) years of prior related experience that allows the employee to meet the qualification standards for the II level.

Positions within the IS Data Specialist I and II classifications may be further distinguished by the area of specialty to which assigned.

The ideal candidate will possess the following:

  • Master's degree in a relevant discipline (e.g. Statistics, Geography, Geographic Information Systems, Computer Science or related subject); or a Bachelor's degree in a relevant discipline and 2 years of work experience.
  • Experience and proficiency working with public statistics and data management. Prior involvement in open data and open government communities is an advantage.
  • Experience with the Socrata open data platform and tools.
  • Experience using Geographic Information Systems, particularly ArcGIS Portal and ArcGIS Online.
  • Experience with data visualization using tools such as Microsoft Power BI.
  • Experience with Microsoft SharePoint, especially for deploying data and dashboards.
  • Experience working with APIs and familiarity with web development standards.
  • Knowledge of technologies used by the County (e.g. ArcGIS, FME, Socrata, and Python) is an advantage.
  • Excellent writing and editing skills, with a strong command of English and an ability to convey complex ideas in a clear, direct, and lively style.
  • Ability to use strong interpersonal and teamwork skills to cultivate effective, productive client relationships and partnerships and generate excitement around the Open Data Initiative.
  • Ability to solve problems, with strong investigative and research skills.
  • Sensitivity to working in a multicultural environment. Spanish language proficiency a plus.

Examples Of Duties
Management reserves the rights to add, modify, change, or rescind the work assignments of different positions and to make reasonable accommodations so that qualified employees can perform the functions of the job.

  • Support the Open Data & GIS programs, in consultation with internal groups and external stakeholders.
  • Develop new ways for users to consume and experience the County's Open data & GIS datasets, act on feedback and analytics.
  • Identify and publish new high-value datasets for inclusion in Socrata & ArcGIS Open Data portals.
  • Participate in deploying internal data sharing and GIS technologies to business lines via GIS and data analysis.
  • Provide maintenance and technical support for allinternaland public facing Socrata, Esri Open Data portalsand collaboration platforms such as ArcGIS Online, and ArcGIS Portal.
  • Configure and maintain County'sArcGIS Online and ArcGIS Portalhome page, users, groups, and provide access to Socrata and Esri Open Data resources.
  • Provide end user support for Socrata, ArcGIS Online, ArcGIS Portal and web applications.
  • Partner with internal teams to develop and deliver ongoing reporting dashboards on by combining data from multiple sources.
  • Analyze data; interpret, package and present results; share key findings and recommendations with elected officials, County executives, managers, internal staff and community partners.
  • Educate and inform internal and external audiences about the various tools and resources related to open data and GIS.
  • Monitor web services inArcGIS Monitorand administerAWS S3 bucketsforGIS datasets.
  • Design, develop and execute extract, translate and load(ETL) workbenches and other compilation/quality assessments processes for enterprise data in FME Desktop/Server.
  • Writes and maintains user and technical operating instructions and documentation; provides training to users and other technical staff and advises on best practices.
  • Provides updates, status, and completion information to staff and/or users via voicemail, email, or in-person communication.
  • May serve as technical lead for assigned projects, including gathering user and systems requirements, working with vendors, contractors, project managers, and other project staff, installing, configuring, testing, and providing general technical support, and developing technical and user documentation.
  • Provides second and third level support to customer service, communications, and applications staff as needed.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.

Knowledge of:

  • Various software packages including word processing, spreadsheet, SQL database and database management, and reporting tools.
  • Principles and practices of configuring and implementing system backup solutions.
  • Principles and practices used in the operations, maintenance, repair, and administration of assigned systems and equipment.
  • Basic data management theory, principles, and practices.
  • Recent and on-going developments, current literature, and sources of information related to the operations of the assigned programs.
  • Principles and procedures of record keeping.
  • Customer service and telephone techniques.
  • Modern office practices, methods, and computer equipment and applications related to the work.
  • English usage, spelling, vocabulary, grammar, and punctuation.
  • Techniques for providing a high level of customer service by effectively dealing with vendors and County staff.

Skill/Ability to:

  • Perform basic technical support functions for assigned responsibilities; troubleshoot problems and take appropriate action or escalate to appropriate staff as needed.
  • Participate in design sessions or process improvement sessions and provide sound recommendations, and technical input.
  • Identify, troubleshoot, and resolve basic database problems and perform minor repairs.
  • Install, configure, test, upgrade, and tune databases.
  • Create and manipulate data layers within GIS.
  • Create and manipulate visualizations of data and load data into the Open Data and Open Government portals
  • Use methods of ETL for data loads between disparate systems.
  • Deal tactfully with the customers and staff in providing information, answering questions, and providing customer service.
  • Respond to and effectively prioritize a high volume of phone calls and other requests for service.
  • Learn and understand the organization, operation, and functions of the department as necessary to assume assigned responsibilities.
  • Learn, interpret, and apply applicable Federal, State, and local laws, regulatory codes, ordinances, and procedures relevant to assigned area of responsibility.
  • Organize, maintain, and update records systems.
  • Operate modern office equipment including computer equipment and specialized software applications programs.
  • Use English effectively to communicate in person, over the telephone, and in writing.
  • Use tact and prudence within general policy, procedural, and legal guidelines.
  • Establish, maintain, and foster positive and effective working relationships with those contacted in the course of work.

Additional Qualifications at the IS Data Specialist II Level:

Knowledge of:

  • Specific (UNIX) procedures/commands related to Relational Database Management System (RDBMS) analysis and programming.
  • Data management theory, principles, and practices and their application to a wide variety of services and programs.
  • Technology, hardware and software, and current applications and practices related to data platforms such as GIS, Open Data, and Open Government.
  • Techniques and methods of database system evaluation, implementation, and documentation.
  • Troubleshooting, configuration, and installation techniques.
  • The organization, operation, and functions of the department as necessary to assume assigned responsibilities and to determine appropriate point of escalation.
  • Applicable regulatory relevant to assigned area of responsibility.

Ability to:

  • Diagnose problems, perform remedial actions to correct problems, and/or recommend and determine solutions.
  • Lead focus groups or working sessions to establish new processes or technical design for improvement
  • Perform routine to complex functions in the installation, implementation, testing, and maintenance of a variety of database systems and other components.
  • Implement a GIS program that includes effective database development, management, accessibility, and systems integration.
  • Implement an Open Data and/or Open Government portal that includes effective data classification, management, accessibility and systems integration.
  • Perform basic analyses of informational requirements and needs, identify problems, provide technical advice and consultation, and ensure efficient computer system utilization.
  • Analyze data and recommend logical solutions to problems.
  • Interpret, apply, explain, and ensure compliance with Federal, State, and local policies, procedures, laws, rules, and regulations.
  • Establish and maintain a variety of filing, record keeping, and tracking systems.
  • Organize own work, set priorities, and meet critical time deadlines.
  • Use tact, initiative, prudence, and independent judgment within general policy, procedural, and legal guidelines.

Education and Experience:
Any combination of training and experience that would provide the required knowledge, skills, and abilities is qualifying. A typical way to obtain the required qualifications would be:

Education: Equivalent to graduation from an accredited four-year college or university with major coursework in management information systems, computer science, or a related field. Additional related experience may substitute for education requirement on a year-for-year basis, up to four (4) years.

Experience: IS Data Specialist I: One (1) year of experience in providing database management technical support specific to the specialty area assigned which includes logical and physical database administration; integration; business intelligence, analytics, and report scripting; and/or data quality and integrity.

IS Data Specialist II: Two (2) years of progressively responsible experience in database management, equivalent to an IS Data Specialist I at the County of San Mateo, and specific to the specialty area assigned which includes logical and physical database administration; integration; business intelligence, analytics, and report scripting; and/or data quality and integrity.


Open. Anyone may apply. Applications for this position will only be accepted online.If you are currently on the County's website, you may click the"Apply"button. If you are not on the County's website, please go tohttps://jobs.smcgov.orgto apply. A supplemental application form must be submitted in addition to the standard County employment application form. A resume will not be accepted as a substitute for the required application materials.

The examination process will consist of an application screening (weight: pass/fail) based on the candidate's application and responses to the supplemental questions.Candidates who pass the application screening will be invited to a panel interview(weight: 100%).Depending on the number of applicants, an application appraisal of education and experience may be used in place of other examinations, or further evaluation of work experience may be conducted to group applicants by level of qualification . All applicants who meet the minimum qualifications are not guaranteed advancement through any subsequent phase of the examination. All examinations will be given in San Mateo County, California, and applicants must participate at their own expense.

IMPORTANT: Applications for this position will only be accepted online.If you are currently on the County's website, you may click the"Apply"button above. If you are not on the County's website, please go tohttps://jobs.smcgov.orgto apply.


Final Filing Date: Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Screening:Thursday, November 21, 2019

Panel Interview:Tuesday, December 17, 2019 and/or Wednesday, December 18, 2019

The County of San Mateo is a diverse, inclusive workplace, where employees are valued and respected for their different perspectives, experiences, backgrounds, and contributions. We are proud to be an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer.

Analyst: Arlene Cahill (110519) (IS Data Specialist II - V272)

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