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Lead Data Services Specialist

About the role

At the very heart of England, the University of Derby transforms futures via industry-relevant, expert teaching, from foundation and undergraduate degrees through to postgraduate study and research. Effective IT provision is central to our continued success, and our team has already won more than 60 awards. Join us, and you can play a crucial part in delivering a modern and secure IT environment for our students and staff, concentrating on data service provision. In return, you can expect exceptional investment in your future and the chance to take your career anywhere you want to go. 

Delivering data services, which are a leading area of strategic focus and technical development at the University, you will act as a business analyst to identify needs, obtain data from multiple sources and systems, and apply expert data modelling skills to provide bespoke intelligence and insights. At the same time, you will conduct technical and functional analysis of data sources, spanning all university systems from Finance to HR, and build developments and processes for data extraction and transformation, utilising technologies such as MS SQL and Azure. 

Alongside extensive experience of dimension modelling, star schemas, OLAP cubes and ETL/ELT development, you should bring broad knowledge of databases, Integration Services and database interrogation (SQL, PL-SQL, T-SQL). You should also be an excellent relationship builder, with the ability to partner the Data Services Manager in co-ordinating external vendors and suppliers to achieve best value – so you will enjoy having a real impact on our strategic success whilst delivering game changing data solutions. 

In return, you can expect a competitive salary and an excellent package of benefits including generous holiday entitlement and a contributory pension scheme. As for prospects – the only limits will be your ability and ambition. 


Principal accountabilities

Data Services

Deliver data services in accordance with the IT Services strategy, strategic priorities, and business service requirements. Maximize the value, efficiency and quality obtained from each technology area to meet the strategic and operational needs of the University.

Proactively act as a Business Analyst in relation to Business Intelligence / Data Analytics and gather data and reporting requirements from decision makers across the university. Ensure strategic and operational objectives are identified and factored into data and reporting outputs.

Plan work based on strategy and business requirements to maximise benefit of the data services provided.

Obtain data from multiple sources and systems and use data modelling skills to ensure this relates to strategic and business requirements.

Combine data from multiple sources to provide meaningful bespoke intelligence and insights to inform decision making in an agile environment.

Present complex information in a relevant and engaging manner, appropriate to the level of the audience to successfully support decision-making.

Carry out technical and functional analysis of data sources (internal and external) across all university functions and systems. This will include a full range of university systems such as Finance, HR, and Student Systems all with different technical specifications and data sets.

Build developments and processes for optimal extraction, transformation, and loading of data using MS SQL and Azure technologies, from a wide variety of data sources and technologies (both on premise and on cloud).

Create and maintain corporate conformed data sets for analytics and the data scientist team that assist them in building and optimizing our data intelligence and drive forward the university’s data analysis and data visualization, thereby underpinning accurate and timely data driven decision-making.

Maintain a catalogue of data content (structure, level of detail, and amount of history) in alignment with the evolving needs of the business. Maintain and continually develop the enterprise data model based on business requirements which requires scoping needs and planning developments appropriately.

Continually review systems and processes to drive greater efficiencies and improve the service offered to customers and the business. Provide recommendations for improvements.

Support the Data & Integration Services Manager and other teams within Corporate and Academic Systems with ensuring the technical architectures for Analytics solutions are consistent within an overall framework and compliant with that required by the IT services strategy and the industry best of breed standards and attributes (e.g. scalability, resilience, availability, and security).

Information Security

Maintain security of data services systems through implementing secure strategies, policies and controls and automating where possible. Work closely with data owners and Legal, Governance & Assurance Services to ensure continual compliance with all data security and governance requirements.

Incident management

Mentor others on priority and diagnosis of incidents according to agreed procedures. Investigate causes of incidents and seek resolution. Escalate unresolved incidents. Facilitate recovery, following resolution of incidents. Document and close resolved incidents according to agreed procedures and ensure lessons learned.

Problem management

Initiate and monitor actions to investigate and resolve problems in systems, processes, and services. Determine problem fixes/remedies. Assist with the implementation of agreed remedies and preventative measures.

Change management

Evaluate the impact of proposed or required changes that may be highly complex in nature (internally and by vendors) and provide recommendations to management with an impact assessment.


Work with Data Services Manager to manage external vendors and suppliers ensuring vendors are delivering on service and providing best value to the University. Work in a team environment to deliver complex solutions to multiple internal and external business units. Demonstrate and encourage inclusivity, trust and rapport within Data Services and colleagues throughout the university.

Person specification


  • Educated to degree level, preferably qualified in Mathematics, statistics or computer science degree or demonstrable equivalent experience.


  • Significant experience of dimensional modelling, star schemas and OLAP cubes.
  • Significant experience of designing, developing, and deploying SSIS packages.
  • Significant experience of designing, developing, and deploying SSAS models (tabular and dimensional).
  • Significant experience of ETL / ELT development.
  • Demonstrated proficiency with Power Query and Power BI.
  • Proven experience delivering in a high performance multi-disciplinary data team.
  • Understanding of project management lifecycle from conception through implementation.
  • Demonstrated proficiency with relevant programming / scripting and source code management.

Skills, knowledge & abilities

  • Evidenced ability of acting as an exemplar individual in terms of high performance within a multi-disciplinary team and contributing to the overall team’s performance constructively and professionally.
  • Understanding of information security and governance.
  • Broad knowledge of a range of technologies e.g. databases, Integration Services, business intelligence Experience of working with large enterprise databases and applications.
  • Advanced knowledge of database interrogation skills, for example SQL, PL-SQL, T-SQL.
  • Proven ability to translate complex pieces of analysis to non-technical audiences.
  • Excellent communication, presentation, and stakeholder management skills.
  • Strong written communication skills, particularly in terms of writing clear and detailed technical documentation.
  • Creative and Innovative approach to successfully providing a consistent, high quality service, challenging system and process that do not focus on the customer needs.
  • Ability to evidence excellent communication, engagement, persuasion and influencing skills (verbal and written).
  • Strong analytical, conceptual, and problem-solving skills.
  • Ability to be decisive and takes ownership of problems.
  • Responsive to customer needs, consultative and collaborative.
  • Ability to deliver within tight deadlines in a demanding environment.
  • Attention to detail and determination for excellence.
  • Passion, energy, and enthusiasm for continuous improvement and encourages innovation.
  • Develops and utilizes expertise for the benefit of customers and colleagues. Can apply knowledge quickly to new challenges.
  • Able to perform duties with moderate to low supervision.
  • Ability to manage multiple priorities, and assess and adjust quickly to changing priorities.


As well as competitive pay scales, we offer generous holiday entitlement. We also offer opportunities for further salary progression based on performance, and the opportunity to join a contributory pension scheme.


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