Data Analyst for Homelessness Research

About the California Policy Lab

The California Policy Lab generates research insights for government impact. Through hands-on partnerships with government agencies, CPL performs rigorous research across issue silos and builds the data infrastructure necessary to improve programs and policies that millions of Californians rely on every day. CPL’s UCLA site is a dynamic and growing organization with nearly 20 full-time employees, half a dozen graduate student researchers, and numerous faculty affiliates.

CPL recognizes the value of having a diverse staff at all levels of the organization. We are looking for equity-minded applicants who represent and understand the diverse racial and ethnic, gender identity, sexual orientation, educational, socioeconomic, cultural, and disability backgrounds present in California. When you join our team, you can expect to be part of an inclusive and equity-focused community.

The Role

The California Policy Lab is seeking an experienced Data Analyst to contribute to our organization’s proven track record bridging the gap between academic researchers and government policymakers. The Data Analyst will have the opportunity to apply methodologies from econometrics, statistics, and data science to original research projects primarily focused on homelessness, mental health, and the social safety net. The Data Analyst may embed with public agencies in Los Angeles to support collaborative research partnerships.

The successful candidate will be well versed in data manipulation, wrangling, and cleaning, with experience running, testing, and interpreting a variety of statistical models. They will be passionate about using data to find innovative solutions to the problems facing California policymakers and citizens. This position requires an individual who is able to work as a part of small research teams running multiple projects concurrently. We seek highly organized individuals with superior written and verbal skills and excellent time management. The Data Analyst will also be required to follow coding guidelines established by CPL and to contribute to the organization’s efforts to build richly detailed documentation of the data we use.

The Data Analyst will report to CPL’s senior research staff and will work collaboratively with CPL’s Executive Director, other CPL staff, and our partner agencies. We prefer applicants who are willing to work from the Los Angeles area.

Education and experience required

Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree in public policy, economics, statistics, or other relevant field or equivalent experience/training; master’s degree preferred. Applicants must also have at least one year of relevant research experience; experience gained in school counts toward this requirement. Two to three years of professional post-baccalaureate experience is preferred.

Core Functions

A. Data Analysis (40%)
• Work with CPL partners to gather requirements for analyses that impact policy decisions.
• Clean, merge, and match data from large and complex administrative datasets.
• Perform exploratory analysis on new datasets and identify potential research questions or projects the data could support.
• Create or add to existing data documentation that supports CPL’s research projects.
• Write replicable code adhering to CPL’s coding guidelines.

B. Data Modeling (30%)
• Work with CPL’s Research Director and research managers to write and implement detailed analysis plans that answer high-priority policy questions.
• Fit and test a variety of statistical models that draw policy-relevant insights.

Presentation of Results (30%)
• Provide in-person progress reports to CPL Directors, research team members, and policymakers.
• Summarize the results of analyses with data visualizations, presentations, and written reports accessible technical and non-technical audiences.

Required Skills:

• Strong interest in applied policy questions in homelessness, mental health, poverty, or social services
• Mastery of data analysis and data visualization in Python, R, or Stata
• Superior verbal and written communication skills
• Attention to detail and ability to organize and document workflow
• Strong initiative and a resourceful approach to problem-solving
• Ability to work independently and as part of a team
• Ability to multi-task with demanding timeframes
• Ability to work discreetly with sensitive and confidential data

Preferred Skills:

• Substantive knowledge or experience in at least one of our core research areas – homelessness, health, criminal justice, poverty, education, or labor
• Understanding of relational databases and mastery of data analysis and data management in SQL
• Substantive knowledge of quantitative research methods and causal inference
• Experience working in an academic or think-tank environment
• Project management experience
• Experience with business intelligence tools such as Tableau or PowerBI
• Experience with predictive modeling, machine learning, or artificial intelligence

To apply:

All applicants must apply online at UCLA Career Opportunities using requisition number 40859. Candidates who pass an initial resume review will be contacted for additional pre-interview screening. Note: CPL anticipates hiring two Data Analysts so there are two identical openings listed on the UCLA Career site. All individuals should apply using the 40859 requisition number.

Salary & Benefits:

This is a full-time position. The hiring range for this position is $72,000 to $90,000 annually, depending on experience. For information on the comprehensive benefits package offered by the University visit:

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or protected veteran status. For more information about your rights as an applicant see the U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission poster.

For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy see:


Data Analyst PDF

Hiring process

These are the typical steps of our hiring process:

  • Candidates under consideration will be asked to complete a skills assessment and/or a short screening interview via
  • Candidates who advance will be invited for Zoom
  • At the end of the process, finalists will be asked to provide a list of at least two references we will contact for a phone

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