Skip to main content

Lead Data Architect (Hybrid)

The Lead Data Architect is responsible for the strategic design and development of data architecture that shapes how the university’s data is collected, stored, processed, integrated, and used. This role is the principal driver for the creation of data modeling standards, guidelines, and techniques. Additionally, this role translates business needs into technical requirements and functional designs, and creates strategies for prototyping, testing, and training. This position also contributes to the creation and maintenance of a data catalog, designs data models to empower analytics, evaluates various internal and external sources, engages on data quality initiatives, and advises on performance optimization of data-driven applications.

About the Work Unit:

Vanderbilt University Information Technology is a human-centric organization that advances our university by delivering innovative solutions and frictionless experiences through collaboration.

Duties and Responsibilities:

+ Design scalable, robust, and maintainable data architecture solutions to support the university’s data needs and enterprise data strategy.

+ Provide expertise and guidance on data-related issues, including data modeling, data warehousing, data lake design, data integration, and data management.

+ Oversee data architecture designs, translate business requirements, and develop prototypes, testing, and training.

+ Advises for optimizing data architecture for performance, scalability, and security, adhering to best practices and industry standards.

+ Assess and design data integration, migration, and transformation processes to assure the seamless flow of data across various systems and platforms.

+ Collaborate with cross-functional teams, including data engineers, data scientists, and business analysts, to gather requirements, define data models, and translate business needs into technical specifications.

+ Through collaboration with our partners, gains insight into customer challenges and data requirements and seeks to deliver quality solutions, collaborating with system and business owners to create problem-prevention strategies.

+ Designs conceptual, logical, and physical data models, and supports the creation of data strategies by building roadmaps and creating processes to meet current and future needs.

+ Monitor, troubleshoot, and resolve data-related issues in collaboration with other IT teams, campus partners, and the broader community.

+ Support the establishment and enforcement of data governance policies, procedures, and standards to assure data quality, accuracy, and consistency across the organization.

+ Manage a repository of documentation related to data architecture standards, protocols, and frameworks, and regularly evaluate for improvement opportunities.

+ Create and maintain documentation, including data models, data dictionaries, architecture diagrams, and process flows, to assure effective communication and understanding of data architecture throughout the organization.

+ Maintain currency with emerging technologies, leveraging industry knowledge and expertise to drive continuous improvement and innovation efforts in data architecture and related areas (e.g., application programming interfaces).

+ Stay current on industry trends and emerging technologies, proactively identifying opportunities to enhance the organization’s data capabilities.

+ Provide informed recommendations on innovative data tools and services and align decision-making with the university’s enterprise data strategy.

+ Lead and mentor junior data architects and data analysts, fostering a culture of continuous learning and improvement.

Expected Performance:

+ Successfully design data architecture solutions that meet or exceed the university’s data needs and strategic objectives.

+ Drive innovation by staying current with industry trends and emerging technologies, proactively identifying opportunities to enhance the university’s data capabilities.

+ Continuously improve data quality, accuracy, and consistency by enforcing data governance policies and best practices.

+ Effectively lead, mentor, and develop junior team members, fostering a culture of continuous learning and improvement.

+ Demonstrate effective communication and collaboration skills, contributing to a positive and inclusive work environment.

Supervisory Relationships:

The Senior Data Architect functions in a ‘player-coach’ role and will be responsible for supervising one or more individual contributors in addition to engaging as an individual contributor. To be successful, the Senior Data Architect must balance leadership and technical skills, as well as the ability to prioritize and delegate tasks effectively. The Senior Data Architect will be expected to lead by example and work collaboratively with their team members to achieve shared goals. This position reports to the IT Executive Director of Data Operations and Engineering.

Education and Certifications:

+ Bachelor’s or master’s degree in computer science, Data Science, Information Systems, or a related technical field necessary

+ Relevant data architecture certifications (e.g., Certified Data Management Professional) preferred


+ 8+ years of progressive experience in data architecture, with a strong focus on Snowflake and Oracle platforms.

+ 5+ years of transferrable experience with data & analytics, cloud computing, cloud data, and data management solutions (e.g., Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, Informatica), and system engineering.

+ 5+ years of experience with one or more database technologies (Snowflake, Oracle, MSSQL, MySQL, PostgreSQL).

+ 5+ years of experience designing complex integration data flow architectures.

+ Extensive knowledge of and experience in database development, developing and delivering data architecture solutions and strategies.

+ Demonstrated experience in designing and implementing large-scale data solutions, including data warehouses, data lakes, and real-time data pipelines.

+ Firm understanding of data modeling, master data management, data quality, enterprise data warehousing, ETL, reporting, querying, requirements analysis, and data integration techniques and associated tools.

+ Experience working on project solutions for large-scale data architecture for real-time and batch data processing, application enablement, business intelligence, operationalizing and modernizing data warehouses, data lakes, and analytics platforms, and introducing new capabilities and services.

+ Strong knowledge of data warehousing concepts, including star schema, snowflake schema, and dimensional modeling.

+ Proven experience configuring and tuning, reporting, and analytics applications, to optimize end-user experiences.

+ Extensive experience with data management and data processing on multiple platforms.

+ Familiarity with big data technologies (e.g., Hadoop, Spark) and cloud platforms (e.g., AWS, Azure, Snowflake).

+ Familiarity with AWS services such as Athena, Lambda, S3, DynamoDB NoSQL, Relational Database Service (RDS), SageMaker, QuickSight, Kinesis, OpenSearch, Deep Learning AMIs, Lake Formation.

+ Extensive and demonstratable hands-on expertise with SQL, reporting, and data modeling tools.

+ Familiarity with software code in one or more programming languages (Python, Java, etc.).

+ Experience in DevOps (CI/CD) pipeline facilitating automated deployment and testing.

+ Experience with agile development methodologies.

+ Experience with Data Governance and Data Cataloging planning and implementation.

+ Exemplary communication and interpersonal skills, with the ability to present the business side of technical topics to non-technical audiences, and persuasively and effectively interact with various stakeholders and diverse individuals and groups.

+ Excellent analytical, problem-solving, and decision-making skills, with the ability to translate complex data requirements into actionable solutions.

+ Ability to work independently, manage multiple priorities, and meet deadlines in a fast-paced, dynamic environment.

Commitment to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

At Vanderbilt University, we are intentional about and assume accountability for fostering advancement and respect for equity, diversity, and inclusion for all students, faculty, and staff. Our commitment to diversity makes us who we are. We have created a community that celebrates differences and lets individuality thrive. As part of this commitment, we actively value diversity in our workplace and learning environments as we seek to take advantage of the rich backgrounds and abilities of everyone. The diverse voices of Vanderbilt represent an invaluable resource for the University in its efforts to fulfill its mission and strive to be an example of excellence in higher education.

Vanderbilt University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer. Women, minorities, people with disabilities, and protected veterans are encouraged to apply.

Please note, all candidates selected for an offer of employment are subject to pre-employment background checks, which may include but are not limited to, based on the role for which they have been selected: criminal history, education verification, social media review, motor vehicle records, credit history, and professional license verification.