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Kaiser Permanente Data Specialist/SAS Programmer II in Aurora, Colorado

The Data Specialist/SAS Programmer II works in conjunction with the research team to manage all aspects of data manipulation, ensuring data quality and maintaining data integrity for one or more complex studies through the use of high level SAS programming. The Data Specialist/SAS Programmer II is responsible for mentoring inexperienced data specialists or data specialists who are new to the IHR.

Essential Responsibilities:

  • May facilitate the training of new staff. Must have independent thinking and problem-solving skills. Responsible for complying with job-specific guidelines pertaining to functions including data use, transfer, archiving, and access.

  • Maintains knowledge of policies and procedures and performs in accordance with the Principles of Responsibilitiesandapplicable regulatory requirements, external laws and accreditation standards. Appropriately reports observed fraud or abuse.

  • Develops solutions to a variety of problems of moderate scope and complexity, using judgment within defined policies and procedures; assesses information to identify the best solution from existing alternatives; exercises judgment to make decisions for less defined issues and selects methods and techniques for making decisions; works under limited direction and plans own activities to accomplish objectives; may influence others regarding existing concepts, processes and/or methodology; may have formal or informal leadership responsibilities; and provides informal work guidance or training to less-experienced team members.

  • Participates in or leads the data development of multi-site projects by writing/testing/running efficient code for multiple research sites. Independently plans and carries out data management activities (e.g., data cleaning/quality assurance, data documentation, analytic data set creation).

  • Operationalizes research protocols. Participates in multi-site projects by testing/running SAS code distributed by programmers at multiple sites.

  • Identifies and resolves complex problems using interactive problem solving and troubleshooting techniques. Develops QA programs to identify any issues in the data. Partners with members of the team to resolve data issues. Notifies appropriate Kaiser Permanente Colorado (KPCO) departments of issues discovered in the data so that the issues can be resolved in the source data.

  • Extracts data from multiple sources within KP and develops a thorough understanding of the data elements to be used for a study. Communicates issues around the data elements and propose alternatives to make the data as complete and accurate as possible.

  • Independently authors programs to efficiently extract data from source systems using a variety of SAS tools, such as macros, SQL.

  • Develops a structure in the data tables to accommodate the large volume of data used for studies that span multiple years and multiple data source systems within KPCO.

  • Provides data for study development or manuscript preparation.

  • Demonstrated expertise in relational database structures, research methods, sampling techniques, and system testing.

  • Develops or enhances programs to automate recurring tasks, such as VDW data updates, registry updates, and health surveillance studies, employing tools to increase efficiencies.

  • Leads the development of registries/databases, including base definition, structure, documentation, long-range requirements, operational guidelines, and protection. Ensures accuracy and completeness of data in master files and various support tools, such as data dictionaries to be used by the research team, to conduct federally funded research.

  • Coordinates data transfers and data reconciliation. Complies with IRB approved protocols, Business Associate Agreements, and Data Use Agreements to transfer data between agencies.

  • Develops and employs data management best practices in a standardized, transparent, and efficient manner. Assumes responsibility as a partner for the planning, resourcing, and execution of relevant internal and external data management activities to obtain clean databases within a specified timeframe. Openly reviews code with team members to ensure high quality results and share techniques employed.

  • Develops knowledge and professional skills through continuing education, cross training, literature, and attendance at departmental meetings. Takes an active role in the department by contributing content and sharing knowledge in 1:1 and group settings. May serve as a subject matter expert for a data content area. May have limited role with external organizations (e.g., DSUG, VDW Workgroup).

  • Under the scientific direction of a PI, assists with proposal development. Assists with data interpretation, preparation of technical reports, manuscripts, posters, presentations.

  • Adheres to federal and local regulations and KPCO Standard Operating Procedures governing research. Maintains compliance when manipulating large volumes of patient data, both internal to KPCO and from external agencies. Follows the IRB approved protocols on federally funded grants as well as on internally funded projects. Adheres to the research protocols for maintaining HIPAA compliance when accessing, manipulating, storing, and transferring data. Partners with Investigators to adhere to the research requirements outlined in the study protocol and data use agreements report all violation/deviations immediately to the Investigator and IRB.

Basic Qualifications:


  • Minimum five (5) years of SAS programming experience required.


  • Bachelor's degree required.

License, Certification, Registration

  • N/A

Additional Requirements:

  • Demonstrated familiarity with KPCO source data systems.

  • Demonstrated ability to think strategically, contribute to project planning, and complete assigned responsibilities on schedule.

  • Ability to analyze large, complex data sets using SAS.

  • Ability to adapt to constantly changing environments & priorities.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Master's degree preferred.


TITLE: Data Specialist/SAS Programmer II

LOCATION: Aurora, Colorado


External hires must pass a background check/drug screen. Qualified applicants with arrest and/or conviction records will be considered for employment in a manner consistent with Federal, state and local laws, including but not limited to the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, protected veteran, or disability status.