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Data Platform Architect

Budapest

  • Organization: IFRC - International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
  • Location: Budapest
  • Grade: Mid level - D2, International Professional - Internationally recruited position
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Statistics
    • Communication and Public Information
    • Information Technology and Computer Science
  • Closing Date: 2024-04-22

Organizational Context

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is the world’s largest humanitarian organization, with a network of 191-member National Societies (NSs).

The overall aim of the IFRC is “to inspire, encourage, facilitate, and promote at all times all forms of humanitarian activities by NSs with a view to preventing and alleviating human suffering and thereby contributing to the maintenance and promotion of human dignity and peace in the world.”

IFRC works to meet the needs and improve the lives of vulnerable people before, during and after disasters, health emergencies and other crises. IFRC is part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement (Movement), together with its member NSs and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). The work of IFRC is guided by the following fundamental principles: humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity, and universality.

IFRC is led by its Secretary General, and has its Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. The Headquarters are organized into three main Divisions: (i) National Society Development and Operations Coordination; (ii) Global Relations, Humanitarian Diplomacy and Digitalization; and (iii) Management Policy, Strategy and Corporate Services.

IFRC has five regional offices in Africa, Asia Pacific, Middle East and North Africa, Europe, and the Americas. IFRC also has country cluster delegation and country delegations throughout the world. Together, the Geneva Headquarters and the field structure (regional, cluster and country) comprise the IFRC Secretariat.

Background to the position

Background to the position In virtually all countries, people increasingly rely on and expect a diverse range of digital services (e.g., through their mobile devices) to interact with local governments, companies, and community organizations and services. This disruption is already happening to humanitarian assistance. Yet, the Digital Divide remains a persistent and significant challenge at both national and local levels. The need for a successful and large-scale digital transformation is urgent. Furthermore, digitally Transforming the IFRC and its 191 members is a complex process which requires collaborative action and support across the membership. Therefore, IFRC recently developed a Digital Transformation Strategy which was approved by the IFRC Governing Board in May 2021.

The Digital Transformation Department (DTD) has full leadership responsibility for the implementation of the digital transformation strategy and the positive impact it will have on the 191 National Society members of the IFRC. The DTD provides strategic leadership and guides the IFRC Secretariat as well as the members network to adapt and innovate humanitarian services, drawing on digital services, data-enabled decision-making, and other opportunities for digital transformation in support of the IFRC’s Strategy 2030. In addition, the DTD is responsible for the development and implementation of business transformation, information technology and digitalization services throughout the IFRC Secretariat, thereby supporting the same transformation in 191 NSs, setting the vision, and drawing stakeholders together on this digital journey. Given the strategic choice by the organisation to deliver more value from the organization’s data, the incumbent is the organisation’s lead in data platform architecture and accountable to the organisation’s Data manager that reports to the DT Director. The other units reporting to the DT Director include the Enterprise Architecture, Strategy & Planning unit, the Digital development and management unit and the Service Delivery & Support unit.

Job Purpose

The Data Platform Architect is responsible for designing, building, and maintaining the data platform infrastructure and architecture within an organization. This role involves understanding business requirements, selecting appropriate technologies, and developing scalable and reliable data platforms to enable data ingestion, storage, processing, and analysis. The Data Platform Architect collaborates with cross-functional teams to ensure the availability, performance, and security of the data platform while adhering to best practices and industry standards.

Job Duties and Responsibilities

1. Data Platform Strategy and Architecture:

o Develop and maintain the organization's data platform strategy and roadmap.

o Define the overall architecture, components, and technologies required for the data platform. o Identify and evaluate emerging data technologies and trends to inform architectural decisions.

2. Data Ingestion and Integration:

o Design and implement robust data ingestion processes to acquire data from various sources (internal and external).

o Define data integration patterns and technologies to ensure smooth data flow into the platform.

o Establish data quality checks and validation mechanisms during the ingestion process.

3. Data Storage and Management:

o Determine appropriate data storage technologies and structures (e.g., databases, data lakes, object storage) based on the organization's needs.

o Design and implement scalable and reliable data storage solutions.

o Develop data management strategies, including data partitioning, indexing, and archiving, to optimize performance and storage efficiency.

4. Data Processing and Analytics:

o Design and implement data processing frameworks and pipelines to transform and analyze data at scale.

o Select and configure appropriate processing technologies, such as distributed computing platforms, data processing frameworks, and streaming systems.

o Collaborate with data analysts and data scientists to ensure the platform supports advanced analytics and machine learning workloads.

5. Data Security and Governance:

o Define and implement data security measures, including data access controls, encryption, and data masking.

o Establish data governance frameworks and policies to ensure compliance with data regulations and privacy requirements. o Monitor and optimize data platform performance and availability, including disaster recovery and backup strategies.

6. Collaboration and Stakeholder Management:

o Collaborate with cross-functional teams, including data engineers, data scientists, and business stakeholders, to understand their requirements and align the data platform architecture accordingly.

o Act as a subject matter expert on data platform architecture and provide guidance and support to the development team.

o Facilitate communication and knowledge sharing among technical and non-technical stakeholders.

Job Duties and Responsibilities (continued)

7. Contribute to the building of an effective, high-quality, fit-for-purpose Digital Transformation Department

o Managing consultants or specific suppliers attracted to deliver on above responsibilities.

o Collaborate with other DT teams to ensure the successful delivery of key projects (including the data strategy, adoption of data products, project management standards, data catalogue, the development of appropriate roadmaps, business value formulation, and feasibility analysis of product formulation).

o Cultivate an innovative working environment by supporting creativity, continuous improvements, and high-performance teamwork.

o Create a working environment that strengthens team empowerment, increases staff growth, motivation and job-satisfaction. Provide regular constructive feedback and support professional development.

o Develop and promote effective working relationships within the Department, and within the IFRC in both Geneva and the field. Drive collaboration within the IFRC in order to ensure use of data supports mission delivery.

o Act as the lead expert on data to ensure the effective delivery of objectives pertaining to the Agenda for Renewal and Strategy 2030.

o Partner with other colleagues with data roles across the Secretariat, and in particular the IFRC’s Data Protection Office.

o Partner with Enterprise architecture, Service management, IFRC’s Data protection Office and CISO on data foundations (architecture, security, technology) to deliver self-service data analysis and culture of data sharing.

o Consult and advise stakeholders, including regional and divisional leaders; share expertise and knowledge freely as and where required. Provide training, documentation, etc., when required.

o Be a pro-active advisor and dynamic member of the DT department management team, supporting strategic content areas and/or organizational change.

o IFRC (quality) standards and operating procedures: Ensure that ITIL and IFRC quality standards are applied across all responsibility areas as relevant and perform duties in standard IFRC tools.

o Ensure availability and development of standard operating procedures and/or guidelines and required documentation is delivered and where relevant available into the Service Management Tool.

Education

Bachelor's or Master's degree in Computer Science, Information Systems, or a related field.

Experience

Required experience:

  • A minimum of 5 years of progressively responsible postgraduate experience in data platforms management and architecture
  • Proven experience as a Data Platform Architect. 
  • Strong knowledge of data platform technologies, including data ingestion, storage, processing, and analytics. 
  • Proficiency in database design, data warehousing, and data integration concepts. 
  • Proficiency in cloud platforms and technologies, such as AWS, Azure, or Google Cloud. 
  • Experience with big data technologies, such as Hadoop, Spark, and distributed storage systems. 
  • Familiarity with data governance, data security, and data privacy regulations (e.g., GDPR, CCPA)

Preferred experience:

  • Experience within the RC/RC Movement and/ or international humanitarian or development organisations.

Knowledge, Skills and Languages

Required experience:

  • Strong strategic and conceptual thinking; setting meaningful, long-term vision and strategy, consider long-term potential, propose challenging strategic goals. 
  • Propensity for embracing change and ambiguity: anticipate emerging conditions and demands, embrace widespread organisational change, navigate complex.
  • dynamics, view uncertainty and disruption as an opportunity. 
  • Ability to drive results, and create culture that fosters proactive action, actively prioritize, set high standards. 
  • Developing others: Push autonomy and empowerment, view people development as imperative, create culture of accountability.
  • Data products development, business value development, data product deployment, and resource mobilisation.
  • Strong presentation, written and oral communication skills.
  • Able to network effectively and influence and inspire others including peers, the membership and other stakeholders. 
  • Focused on quality and standards, results, and accountability.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills; proven people’s management skills (staff and consultants), including conflict resolution.
  • Proven training, knowledge transfer and supervisory skills as part of the people’s management.
  • Proven teamwork and trust-building skills, including development of effective and efficient networks and partnerships within and outside of the organisation.
  • Proactive approach to finding creative and constructive solutions to difficult issues.
  • Fluent spoken and written English

Preferred

  • Data modelling, statistics.
  • Knowledge on applying artificial intelligence techniques, such as machine learning.
  • Good command of another IFRC official language (French, Spanish or Arabic).

Competencies, Values and Comments

Values: Respect for diversity; Integrity; Professionalism; Accountability  
Core competencies: Communication; Collaboration and teamwork; Judgement and decision making; National society and customer relations; Creativity and innovation; Building trust  
Functional competencies: Strategic orientation, Building alliances, Leadership, Empowering others

Comments: This is a national staff position open to Hungarian nationals and others who are legally eligible to work in Hungary. Candidates must be able to provide proof of their eligibility to work in Hungary.

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