Director of Advancement Analytics

Southern Methodist University
August 21, 2023
Dallas, TX
Job Type


Salary Range:

Salary commensurate with experience and qualifications

About SMU

SMU’s more than 12,000 diverse, high-achieving students come from all 50 states and 80 countries to take advantage of the University’s small classes, hands-on research opportunities, leadership development, community service, international study and innovative programs. The University offers a strong foundation in the humanities and sciences and undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs through eight schools.

Now in its second century of achievement, SMU is increasingly recognized for the ways it supports students, faculty and alumni as they become ethical leaders in their professions and communities. The University’s entrepreneurial spirit lives in people from every academic discipline who see opportunities to create something new in the world – and work hard to bring their innovations to life. SMU’s relationship with Dallas – the dynamic center of one of the nation’s fastest-growing regions – offers unique learning, research, social and career opportunities that provide a launch pad for our students, faculty and alumni to make a global impact. On the most beautiful college campus in the country, SMU Mustangs are energized by unbridled opportunities – from teaching, learning and research to creativity, performance and athletic endeavor.

About the Department:

Development and External Affairs (DEA) supports SMU by securing funding for University priorities; by promoting meaningful involvement in the life and work of the University; by heightening international, national, state and local awareness of SMU; and by supporting the enrollment of a diverse and able student body.

DEA comprises the offices of Office of the Vice President, Annual Giving and Alumni Relations, Development Services, Program Services and Donor Relations, Marketing and Communications, Principal and Major Gifts, and School and Project Development.

SMU continues to leverage the benefits from the largest fund-raising campaign in its history to achieve dramatic increases in academic quality and impact.

About the Position:

This role is an on-campus, in-person position.

The Director of Advancement Analytics leads a team responsible for the development and maintenance of a suite of reporting and analysis tools that provide ongoing and on-demand insight to improve the efficiency and efficacy of development operations.

Reporting to the Executive Director of Development Services, this position is responsible for the development and refinement of departmental strategy as substantiated by analysis of relevant data.

In partnership with colleagues throughout the Development and External Affairs (DEA) division, the Director of Advancement Analytics identifies information gaps and opportunities to leverage data to improve processes and outcomes.

This position serves as DEA's in-house expert for data analysis and functions as a champion for data-driven culture and consultant to staff seeking to better understand and implement data driven processes.

Essential Functions:

  • Lead the development and maintenance a suite of reports, dashboards and analytics tools in partnership with peers in Development Services proactively and in response to the needs of stakeholders throughout Development and External Affairs (DEA). This includes the timely development and consistent production of monthly financial reports for use by the office of the Vice President of DEA.
  • In partnership with relevant stakeholders, lead analysis projects to assess and optimize the performance of DEA initiatives, campaigns, and programs. Provide data-substantiated insight to inform the planning and design of prospective initiatives, campaigns, and programs. Collaboratively design processes to collect and transform data outputs necessary to perform such analyses
  • Collaboratively develop and propose refinements to departmental strategy in view of analysis and industry best practice. Consult Development Services staff and other DEA leadership as needed in the formulation of roadmaps to strategic goals. Oversee goal tracking relative to approved strategic plans/roadmaps, industry benchmarks, and past performance.
  • Regularly engage stakeholders throughout DEA to identify and address opportunities to improve processes and strategy through the application of reporting and analytics. Provide consultation as needed to promote effective adoption of analytics resources. Partner with Development Services Operations to facilitate communication and delivery of reporting and analytics projects.
  • Lead the data governance process to maximize the availability and utility of high quality data for development purposes. Proactively evaluate DEA processes to identify ineffectual and/or inconsistent data governance. Guide data collection and storage protocols in partnership with the Director of Records and Gift Administration and other stakeholders as needed.
  • Conduct regular market/industry research and distribute information on pertinent trends and innovations that may be applicable at SMU. Regularly share insights and provide recommendations to DEA leadership to promote innovation and inform strategy. Develop and continually adapt analytics resources to promote adoption of industry best practices and innovations. Guide the selection and implementation of innovative analytic solutions that effectively support the advancement of DEA programs.



 Education and Experience:

Bachelor’s degree is required, preferably with a focus on data analytics of statistics. Master's desired.

A minimum of seven years of work experience developing and applying analytics solutions to a variety of business needs is required.

Experience managing multiple direct reports in fast paced, deadline driven environment is also required.

Experience in nonprofit development is preferred, and higher education development experience is strongly desired.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

Candidate must demonstrate strong interpersonal and verbal communication skills, with the ability to communicate broadly across the University and develop and maintain effective relationships with a wide range of constituencies. Must demonstrate strong public speaking/presentation skills to effectively drive adoption of data-driven practices and deliver actionable insights from analytics projects.

Candidate must also demonstrate strong written communication skills. A strong customer service orientation is essential.

Candidate must possess strong problem-solving skills with the ability to identify and analyze problems, as well as devise solutions. Must also have strong organizational, planning and time management skills, with the ability to manage multiple priorities and deadlines. A strong attention to detail and accuracy are essential.

Demonstrated knowledge of data governance standards and relevant regulation, especially in regard to personally identifiable information (PII) is essential. Process improvement and project management certifications are preferred.

Substantial experience in the management of large scale non-profit CRM software, data analysis tools, and automated business intelligence tools is required.

Physical and Environmental Demands:

  • Sit for long periods of time

Deadline to Apply:

The position is open until filled.

EEO Statement:

SMU will not discriminate in any program or activity on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, genetic information, veteran status, sexual orientation, or gender identity and expression. The Executive Director for Access and Equity/Title IX Coordinator is designated to handle inquiries regarding nondiscrimination policies and may be reached at the Perkins Administration Building, Room 204, 6425 Boaz Lane, Dallas, TX 75205, 214-768-3601,


SMU offers staff a broad, competitive array of health and related benefits. In addition to traditional benefits such as health, dental, and vision plans, SMU offers a wide range of wellness programs to help attract, support, and retain our employees whose work continues to make SMU an outstanding education and research institution.

SMU is committed to providing an array of retirement programs that benefit and protect you and your family throughout your working years at SMU and, if you meet SMU's retirement eligibility criteria, during your retirement years after you leave SMU.

The value of learning at SMU isn't just about preparing our students for the future. Employees have access to a wide variety of professional and personal development opportunities, including tuition benefits.

Application Instructions

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