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  Sample job descriptions and job description tips. Employment

 Manager, Strategic Research and Data Analysis

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Under the general direction of the Associate Director, Alumni and Development, the incumbent is responsible for providing strategic direction and technological expertise to the Division of University Advancement in the area of Geodemography and Database Marketing.

The incumbent will be responsible for developing short and long term strategies that will provide managers  with reliable data and analyses that will assist them in making informed decisions and develop robust and effective marketing strategies.

The incumbent is part of a group of professionals who are tasked with managing a university wide program that has direct impact on the overall success of advancement. As a senior internal consultant, the incumbent exhibits a high degree of independence, initiative and responsibility in the execution of all projects and responsibilities.

Duties and Responsibilities:

The incumbent will be responsible for working with Senior Alumni and Development Managers in developing short and long term strategies that will assist in the marketing decision making process.

The incumbent will work with all teams and work as a consultant to each area to design the research plan, select the research instruments, collect and analyze the data, and then interpret and report the results.

Projects require the incumbent to spearhead in-depth market research and analysis to accomplish goals such as the following:

  • Improve the reach and effectiveness of communications
  • Review and make recommendations on solicitation strategies and messages for various annual fundraising programs, including direct mail and telefundraising.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of programming, past and present, and help introduce benchmarking for program success.
  • Offer an “in-house consulting service” and analytical support to the various programs for the Divisions in terms of geodemographic and database marketing analyses.

In fulfilling these responsibilities the Manager of Strategic Research and Data Analysis will:

  • Develop the overall strategy, priorities and goals for the Geodemographic and Database Marketing Program.
  • Provide strategic leadership in their area of expertise to the University community.
  • Manage and allocate project budgets and staff resources.
  • Promote the mission, values and goals or the organization.
  • Ensure the adherence to University policies and collective agreements.
  • Manage all staff involved in projects associated with the Geodemographic and Database Marketing Program.
  • Manage a complex set of often-competing priorities, needs and interests: interests of the University, of constituency offices and those of the centre: projects, policies and services must be determined so as not to alienate any group.
  • Implement and encourage a goal oriented and evaluative approach to all activities.
  • Manage and lead project teams that are multi-departmental and often division wide in scope in order to develop new ventures, which will advance the level of service provided to donors, friends and alumni.

Work Complexities:

Choice of Action:

Must be able to distinguish priority of tasks assigned while adhering to tight and competing project deadlines, and if in doubt, seek clarification from Associate Director, Alumni and Development.

Must have high level of program awareness, keen analytical skills and must show ability to choose selectively to promote and enhance each activity in a synergistic fashion. Must understand and identify opportunities to cross-promote programs, and develop benchmarks for program evaluation. Must show high level of initiative and proactively recommend enhancements and develop new methods for improving performance.

Must deal with both volunteers and staff -- of varying levels of age and seniority -- and be able to work under pressure to meet strict deadlines with modest daily supervision.

Consequence of  Error

Poorly executed programs will reflect badly on the University which can jeopardize the University's fundraising efforts and tarnish the University's image in the community.

Failure to achieve program targets will risk losing donor support, revenue and goodwill and will prevent critical growth of the University's donor base.

Failure to produce accurate information can result in inefficient and possibly ineffective decision-making and can affect the department's credibility/image.

Poor organizational skills and weak performance reflect negatively on the Division and the University.


Pressure of mixed deadlines and attention to multiple ongoing projects makes the incumbent's responsibilities highly challenging, complex, and demanding. Demands by constituency staff are not always easily met.

Daily direction from Associate Director, Alumni and Development is limited. The incumbent must balance activity with productivity, be self-motivated, goal-oriented and focused at all times. An attitude of diplomacy, flexibility and maturity is required at all times.

Written work will be disseminated to a broad audience, and requires that the style is concise, tactful and exacting, with the highest standard of spelling, grammar, accuracy and style be applied.

Needs to be well informed about the University's fundraising requirements in detail and development theory in general.


Regular working relations with internal University advancement development teams.

Regular working relationship with development managers.

Regular contact with outside micromarketing data and software suppliers.

Working Conditions

Hectic, results and service oriented environment.


Advanced degree in mathematical/statistical modeling-oriented social science preferably Geography, Statistics, Economics, or Psychology or B.A./B/Sc/ in these same disciplines.

At least 10 years experience in applied analytical research involving an emphasis on modeling but including database work, statistical analysis, etc. preferably in the Advancement field.

Required Qualifications

  • Must have a comprehensive and global understanding of the University, as well as general knowledge of the post-secondary education system and fund-raising.

  • The fundamentals and principles of marketing.

  • Fundamental and practical knowledge of GIS (Geographic Information Systems).

  • Extensive practical knowledge and experience in the use of 3rd party neighborhood segmentation systems in identifying target groups, specifically PRIZMCE .

  • Detailed knowledge of principles and methods of spatial data analysis.

Computing/Technical Skills

  • Statistical methods including multivariate methods and categorical analysis methods.

  • Principles of database design and methods of database querying, manipulation, restructuring, extraction, etc.

  • High level of proficiency in: fundamentals of operation research and mathematical programming; relational database software including use of SQL; MapInfo Professional GIS software; MS Office including Word, Excel, Access, Powerpoint.
    Excellent analytical and problem solving skills


  • Excellent communication skills both written and verbal

  • Proven project management experience and skills.

  • Proven ability to motivate and manage others, leadership skills essential.

  • Exceptional inter-personal skills.

  • Ability to work in a hectic and results oriented environment.

  • Initiative, tact, diplomacy, and creativity required.

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