Senior Data Specialist

Job ID
Herndon, Virginia, United States
Job Type
Direct Hire

Talascend is currently seeking a Senior Data Specialist for a direct hire opportunity with our client located in Herndon, VA.


The Senior Data Specialist plays a critical role under the Chief Data Office (CDO). This role works with assigned information stewards and business analysts across the organization to drive consistency and standardization in the way the organization defines, analyzes, intakes, and leverages data. The Senior Specialist drives the coordination of data stewardship activities across the enterprise by establishing standards for how data stewards and business analysts execute their activities related to data and how they communicate their actions to their peers and upward to the data governance council.  This role leads and represents teams of business and technical data stewards and business analysts in discussions across teams and with executive data stewards/CDO. The Senior Specialist is the representative for the Data Stewards and Business Analysts on the data governance council. In addition, this role will also foster the strategic partnership between business and technology for external data providers that use the Industry Credential (IC) service.  This position is the subject matter expert and is responsible for developing requirements and related business rules for the IC service.  The incumbent works closely with business partners and other subject matter experts in the definition, development, testing, training, implementation, and support of functional requirements for delivery through our Agile SCRUM process.

Additionally, the Senior Specialist coaches junior team member and provides cross-organizational support to improve data literacy, as needed. This role runs multiple projects at once, and uses creative and innovative methods for analysis, design, documentation, and tool selection. 


  • Help the data stewards and business analyst to interpret policies created by the data governance council with the goal of establishing clarity and quality and in policy enactment.
  • Represent peers on the data governance council and provides communication back to peers on results from those meetings.
  • Facilitate consensus on the definition of data quality and data quality metrics across the organization, and support data quality, data usage, and data security practices across the organization.
  • Facilitate consensus on master data definition, usage, guidelines, policies and for helping the organization maintain the master data standards.
  • Defines and manages the data issue management process. Leads and drives consensus among business and technical data stewards and analysts across the organization to facilitate resolution of enterprise data issues.
  • Serve as subject matter expert for the data domain of industry credentials as it pertains to the learner record.
  • Build subject matter expertise across the learner record domain to facilitate the resolution of cross-functional data issues.
  • Create and maintain a centralized business data glossary.
  • Contribute to the successful on time, on budget and in scope delivery of business initiatives.
  • Accurately represent the needs of the business owner(s) to software IT development teams and vice versa.
  • Lead efforts to solicit, review, document, and refine requirements via interviews, workshops, group meetings, and/or existing systems documentation or procedures.
  • Define user personas and develop user stories, use cases with actors and interactions, and UML models, wireframes, sequence diagrams, and data flow diagrams.
  • Understand and effectively communicate to project teams and business owners all the data elements utilized by the service.
  • Derive business requirements from use cases in an Agile environment.
  • Create, revise, validate, and maintain business flow maps, business requirements, business rules, user stories, user flows, test plans and acceptance tests.
  • Produce “as is” and “to be” process flow diagrams.
  • Define conceptual technical and/or non-functional requirement documents to translate business requirements into technical information that developers can use.
  • Document and maintain traceability of requirements.
  • Work with users and QA, lead the development of test cases based on documented requirements and perform user testing during sprints and as part of formal testing activities.
  • Collaborate with Business Analysts enterprise wide to identify all cross-system interfaces, dependencies and requirements.
  • Analyze the impact of new business requirements/user stories on the current application from both a business and technical perspective.
  • Participate in daily stand-up meetings with both Technology and other business partners to facilitate the understanding, clarification, and implementation of requirements in an Agile development environment.
  • Accountable for presenting timely, accurate project and product information to all levels of stakeholders at the company including but not limited to Executives, Senior Managers, the IT Division, and applicable operational staff.
  • Groom user stories from the product backlog and plan releases with the IT and Business Managers.
  • Working with business owners, drive consensus across multiple stakeholders.

Position may be required to perform other duties as required. These essential functions are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the job. Reasonable accommodations will be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform these essential functions.


  • Bachelor’s degree in IT, Business, or related field, or a combination of education and experience, including through military service will also be considered.
  • 5 – 8 years of experience working with data in support of software product development. This includes defining the data specifications and business rules for intaking, validating, storing, and using data elements in reporting.
  • Experience:
    • Embedding quality controls in work processes to assure uninterrupted operation.
    • In analyzing data for composing targeted and concise reports and translating strategic and tactical goals into assessment measures.
  • Demonstrated proficiency:
    • Working with Agile principles, processes, driving decision making, and aligning the team/organization on goals and objectives.
    • Managing and prioritizing multiple projects to ensure successful, timely completion and issue-resolution.
    • Soliciting, defining and writing business requirements from research, customer, market and internal feedback into user stories that will have to become part of a solution.
    • Working with Microsoft Office Suite, and other collaboration tools.
  • Excellent communication and effective presentation skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively and confidently with internal and external stakeholders from all levels of the organization.
  • Live within a commutable distance of Herndon, VA.


  • Knowledge of client services and applications.
  • Experience with software development management tools (Rally, Jira, Confluence).
  • Experience with CRM and enterprise tools.


  • Use of a computer terminal and/or laptop computer for 8 or more hours a day.
  • Use of a copy machine and telephone.
  • Frequently required to sit for 7 or more hours per day in close proximity to others in an open office environment.
  • Occasionally required to use hands and fingers to operate, handle, and reach.
  • Vision abilities include close vision and the ability to adjust focus.
  • Must have oral communication and hearing abilities. 

We thank all applicants for their interest. However, only those qualified individuals who closely meet the qualifications of the position will be contacted. The details of the position are only a summary, other duties may be assigned as necessary.

Drug Screen may be required for this position.

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Talascend is an EEO Employer – Minorities/Females/Disabled/Veterans/Gender Identity/Sexual Orientation

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