Data Architect

Location: London or Remote (currently home-based due to coronavirus restrictions)

Salary: starting from £50,000 per annum plus benefits

Fixed-term contract until 31 March 2021

The Open Data Institute (ODI) is looking to appoint a Data Architect. As part of the ODI’s multi-year Research and Development programme, the ODI is exploring what kind of infrastructure can be put in place to help set up and grow future data institutions and support data sharing initiatives. We are looking to recruit a Data Architect to provide architectural direction on the technical aspects of this exploration.

Read more about the ODI’s work on data institutions

Reporting to the Head of Research and Development, this is a role suited for candidates with a strong technical and analytical background, who is comfortable working as part of a multidisciplinary team to provide practical insights and experience on the application of technology and data.

The work of the ODI has the potential for global impact, and is more crucial than ever. This is an exciting opportunity to join the team that is responsible for engaging the outside world with our important work to achieve that impact.


Working in the open and in an agile fashion, you will be exploring, defining and helping shape data architecture best practices, principles and standards for data. Your key responsibilities will be to:

  • Explore and clarify architectural requirements for a number of ODI internal and partner projects, mainly around the collection, pooling, sharing and use of data for large-scale sector challenges

  • Assess the fit of a number of technical solutions - commercial, open source or hybrid, as building blocks of a technical infrastructure for data sharing initiatives

  • Research and synthesise best practices in viable, sustainable and trustworthy data architectures

  • Design the architecture of a typical toolbox of technology for data institutions, and communicate this design to a broad audience.

You will also, in collaboration with a small multidisciplinary team:

  • Bring your expertise of data and proficiency with data architecture, sometimes as a leader, sometimes as a practitioner, but always as an exemplary team player

  • Explore solutions and hypotheses through rapid, lean prototyping

  • Conduct our desk research and interviews on areas related to data and technology architecture and infrastructure. This may involve synthesising the state of the art in academic research, and engagement with academia.

About you

You bring to the role substantial knowledge of architectural patterns, principles and styles. You understand the challenges not only of using data, but also what it takes to collect and share with others.

You will have:

  • Knowledge and hands-on experience of data, databases, and data technologies including AI, ML, ETL, BI

  • Knowledge of how much it costs to store and maintain data and train, apply, and maintain models

  • An understanding of the nuances of data governance, quality, security and ethics and can translate those considerations into your architectural work

  • Hands-on experience with data platforms, portals, databases, large-scale data processing technologies

  • Strong stakeholder management and communications skills, both written and verbal

  • An ability to communicate complex ideas and explain technology and systems architecture through clear and engaging writing

  • An understanding of the notions of bias in data and discrimination in data-informed systems, in the context of a broader understanding of diversity and inclusion.

  • Experience of (or at least enthusiasm for) working in the open: our work at the ODI is open by default and the work you do in our team will be for, and with, the open source community.

Desirable experience

  • Knowledge of and experience working with open data.

  • Experience working on open source projects.

  • Knowledge of technology specific to data collection and access - from append-only ledgers to PETs.

  • Experience participating in, or conducting user research.

  • You know how to prototype in collaboration with others - whether with code, paper or other media - to better understand what people need, explore a complicated concept, or demonstrate what might be.

  • Knowledge of regulations on data collection, use, storage (e.g. infosec) and sharing (e.g GDPR) - in the UK and internationally – and how they affect technical requirements.

  • You are comfortable with agile software development - ideally having practiced it enough to have an informed opinion on Scrum and Kanban.

  • You understand the importance of research as a way to explore a problem space, discover the needs of a group of people, or simply to catalogue what others have done before.

About the ODI team Expert

We are good at what we do. We use our expertise to achieve our mission. We are open and generous with our expertise and experience, and share it outside and inside the ODI.

We can get better at what we do. We recognise the limits of our expertise and respect that of others. We are open to and seek advice, opinions and support to develop our expertise, within and outside ODI. We reflect on what works and what doesn't to consciously learn, improve and grow.


We succeed when others flourish. We support and challenge others to do their best work. We open up opportunities for other people and organisations, and empower them to take them. We are as open as possible about what we are doing and what we have learnt. We encourage others to refine and build on our work.

We empathise with others so we can help them. We find out what people and organisations really need. We have empathy with their motivations and the constraints they operate under. We communicate in terms they understand.


We are trusted because we are honest and responsible. We are open with our opinion, open to hearing what others say, open to being wrong and open to changing our mind. We are not afraid to speak our mind when it is useful or important, and take responsibility for the results of doing so. We actively and curiously listen to others, and take responsibility for our responses to them.

We can do more than we might think. We are bold, creative and open to failure. We know what we do won't be perfect at first but that doesn't stop us. We start small and quickly, and iterate to improve.

  • 5% contributory pension

  • 30 days’ annual holiday plus bank holidays

  • Life assurance cover

  • Long-term disability cover

  • Critical illness cover

  • Flexible working

  • Coaching and mentoring for skills and personal development

  • £750 annual professional development budget

How to Apply

Please upload a CV and Cover Letter here, explaining why you are the right candidate for the role by 17:00 on Tuesday 22 September 2020.

Applying to work with us

The ODI would welcome and encourage job applications from a diverse range of backgrounds to promote an inclusive culture and a diverse working environment.

If you’ve got any queries, please email [email protected]

Please read: Your privacy: ODI recruitment process.

Salary £50,000