Analyst (Qualitative Focus)

JOB TITLE: Qualitative Analyst
STATUS: Exempt, 40 hours per week
LOCATION: Washington, DC, Madison WI or Tucson AZ.
REPORTS TO: Dr. Liz Kelley, Directing Advisor, Washington D.C.
WORKS UNDER: General Direction

Who we are:

At ILLUME we create actionable insights out of the seemingly unpredictable behavior of people, businesses, and markets using advanced data analytics and tactical consulting. We empower sustainable and resilient communities through illuminating analytics and bold insights.

Job Summary:

ILLUME Advising is seeking a creative and experienced ethnographer or human-centered researcher to join our team. The successful candidate will conduct innovative and rigorous research and analysis to support client deliverables. The candidate will be adept at telling a thoughtful and meaningful story that responds to the client’s research questions and is supported by robust analysis. The analyst will have experience designing and conducting qualitative fieldwork including ethnographic observation; in-depth interviews; groups interviews; message and concept testing; participatory design and co-creative research; and immersions. The analyst will identify and clearly communicate research insights and findings in the data to inform program messaging, processes, behaviors, and improvement opportunities. The candidate will be able to translate complex social science and behavioral research concepts and findings into specific and actionable recommendations on program strategy, design, and communication.

Primary Responsibilities:

The Senior Analyst is responsible for:

  1. Designing, executing, and reporting on qualitative field studies, including ethnographic and in-depth interviews, usability testing, participatory design and co-creative research, and context-based immersions. The candidate will have experience designing discussion guides and screeners, including sampling recommendations; managing recruitment; and conducting research in field.
  2. Designing, executing, and reporting on survey-based and secondary research, including text analysis of survey data, social listening and web scraping, secondary literature reviews and meta-analysis of previous research.
  3. Data analysis including unstructured data from in-depth interviews and groups, immersions, ethnographic observations, along with open-ended survey data.
  4. Having the ability to “tell the story” of research data to effectively interpret and convey the key customer insights and take-aways from various research activities in a way that is actionable and relatable to a general, less technical audience. This includes the ability to contribute to high-quality reports, graphics, and presentations on findings.
  5. Clear written and verbal communication to the project manager while driving work forward independently. Communications include frequent project updates, weekly priorities, identification of items that need deeper discussion, etc.

Required Education:

Masters or doctoral degree in relevant area of study such as anthropology, sociology, political science, environmental science, psychology, or policy.

Required Qualifications:

  • 5 years of interdisciplinary research experience with a focus on qualitative and human-centered techniques (knowledge of which may be gained through academic and/or practical work experience)
  • Demonstrated experience in qualitative research methods including interviewing, ethnographic research, surveys, group interviews, usability testing
  • Superior verbal and written communication skills, demonstrating clarity and conciseness
  • A clear history of working on multiple tasks/ projects within established timelines
  • Tireless attention to detail in all prior experience (academic and professional)
  • A history of successful, creative problem-solving
  • Demonstrated ability to prioritize effectively in the face of multiple and shifting priorities, with the ability to switch between complex analytical thinking and attending to mundane tasks without compromising quality or losing one’s focus
  • Demonstrated independent decision-making experience with solid judgment
  • Presentation skills

Desired qualifications:

  • Prior consulting-type experience working autonomously and driving one’s own success
  • Industry experience in utilities, policy, energy efficiency, and/or energy program design and planning
  • A history of self-education on issues outside the immediate scope of prior work
  • Experience in virtual or online research and platforms for interactive research online.

Preference will be given to candidates who demonstrate:

  • Optimism (ILLUME has zero tolerance for cynicism)
  • Demonstrated ability to thrive in a fast-paced, demanding environment
  • Proactive communication and escalation (i.e., the ability to state clearly, concisely and promptly any concerns with data quality, results, and timelines)
  • The ability to anticipate realistic timelines (without over- or under-estimating); to set one’s own project timelines; and to maintain 100% accountability for working within established timelines, i.e., self-directed
  • The ability to collaborate as part of a team, as well as to work independently in quasi-remote settings
  • Strong self-management with a team perspective in management time
  • Grit (watch this video)

At ILLUME, you can expect to be an important part of building an expanding consultancy that delivers on our core vision. If you’re the kind of person who enjoys working with data and people and maintaining a commitment to personal growth, you’ll be in good company at ILLUME.

Salary Working Conditions:

The Analyst will work in an office setting the majority of the time. This position requires sitting (or standing) for long periods of time at a computer; and communicating by telephone and email. Dress code at ILLUME is business casual (“pulled together”). This position requires regular travel (up to 50% time). Salary will be commensurate with experience.

Culture and Commitment at ILLUME:

ILLUME invests in its staff as a long-term and mutual investment. At ILLUME, we’re committed to building a valued business and rewarding careers while also maintaining healthy personal lives.

Benefits include healthcare, 401k with a 3% contribution, paid holidays and an average of 4 weeks of vacation/personal time per year. As we grow, so will our comprehensive benefits package as a reward to our team for your commitment to ILLUME.

To Apply:

Please submit a cover letter, resume, and writing samples/report samples from past work to

In the subject line of your email, indicate the following:

Last name_First name_Senior_Analyst_Qualitative

Expect that we will carefully review all of your materials. In your cover letter, give us a sense of who you are by being honest, creative, and “yourself”. Please include your desired location and the ending salary in your two most recent paid positions.

ILLUME will accept applications until the position is filled.

ILLUME does not discriminate in its employment practices with regard to age, ancestry, arrest record, color, conviction record, creed, cultural background, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity or expression, marital status, military obligations, national origin, race, sex, or sexual orientation.

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