Nyiragongo Volcano, Congo

Director of Data

Build a data team to help Africa leapfrog into a clean energy future

ZOLA Electric
Dec 8, 2015 · 4 min read

Off Grid Electric is a growth-stage startup aiming to light a million homes in Africa over the next couple years with clean, affordable solar energy (see the articles at the bottom of this post). At the heart of our business is a mountain of historic and real-time data. We need an experienced hands-on data leader to help us turn this raw asset into action.

This may be your dream job if you’re a data wonk who can get passionate about bringing solar energy to off-grid and weak-grid markets — billions of people around the world — with the unique social, technical, and business challenges that come along with it. Naturally, you’ll be hungry for adventure, inspired by the opportunity to unleash whole continents of human potential, and motivated to help build a truly epic business.

The role

As a leader within Digital Platforms department, the director of data will build a world-class practice that enables Off Grid to access and leverage its data effectively. Working closely with technologists and product managers, you will create bulletproof systems that enable us to capture highly reliable data, deliver business intelligence, predictive analytics and new software features at an accelerating pace.

We’ll count on you to provide the following:

  • Data practice management. Oversee technical excellence throughout a multi-faceted data group, including hiring and staff mentorship
  • Responsibility for the overall data solution, architecture and process for the group
  • Cultivation of joint development processes with other Digital Platforms practices. Actively collaborate with other members of the product management, software engineering, and Global IT teams to deliver impact to the business
  • Advocacy for best practices around data across the organization, including participating in cross-functional initiatives

Specifically, the director of data will oversee the continued development of a robust infrastructure to accommodate our rapidly expanding data streams. Our data warehousing process requires ongoing database maintenance, plus ETL design, deployment and operation. It is no small feat to keep the multiple data sources flowing smoothly into our system as schemas are extended or updated within our software, and third-party sources evolve. This is mission-critical for our commitments to deliver the following:

  • Business Intelligence. Every part of our business has a ravenous appetite for historical data, which we make available to non-technical staff through our data analysis tool, Looker.
  • Data science, which allows us to develop and apply predictive models to our business. We’ll want you to lead by example in employing data science fundamentals in projects
  • Data-enriched software features. Functionality such as real-time user dashboards and automated workflows need seamless pipelines between our data systems and software platform. We need to be able to count on this data being available and accurate at all times.

This role is based in Amsterdam, Netherlands

What we’re looking for

  • Demonstrated technology leadership skills in high growth organizations; 5+ years of software/data work experience
  • Master solutions architect, with history implementing large-scale projects on-time and on-budget
  • Familiarity with AWS Redshift, Talend, Looker, AWS Lambda, Apache Storm, Tableau, and/or related tools
  • Ability to work well across organizational boundaries
  • BS or MS in Computer Science, Engineering or Advanced Science (or equivalent work background) required
  • Nice to have: Experience in a vertically integrated business–e.g., product manufacturing through customer delivery; knowledge of solar/energy industry and/or African markets


  • Travel to some of the loveliest and most exotic parts of Africa
  • The opportunity to directly improve millions of lives. By bringing sustainable electricity to a part of the world where 90% of people have no grid access. Few other activities can provide as fundamental impact to human lives as this.
  • Some of the smartest, most committed, and hardest working co-workers in a distributed environment.

Let’s connect

Send us info about yourself to surge@offgrid-electric.com. We’ll get the ball rolling from there!

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ZOLA Electric

ZOLA Electric delivers clean, affordable, reliable solar +…

ZOLA Electric

ZOLA Electric delivers clean, affordable, reliable solar + smart storage solutions — designed specifically for energy access in Africa 🌞⚡️We operate in Nigeria 🇳🇬 Tanzania 🇹🇿Rwanda 🇷🇼Ghana 🇬🇭Côte d’Ivoire 🇨🇮 Netherlands 🇳🇱 USA 🇺🇸

ZOLA Electric

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ZOLA Electric is democratising energy with clean, affordable, reliable distributed solar + smart storage solutions — POWER ANYWHERE 🌞⚡️🔋🌍

ZOLA Electric

ZOLA Electric delivers clean, affordable, reliable solar + smart storage solutions — designed specifically for energy access in Africa 🌞⚡️We operate in Nigeria 🇳🇬 Tanzania 🇹🇿Rwanda 🇷🇼Ghana 🇬🇭Côte d’Ivoire 🇨🇮 Netherlands 🇳🇱 USA 🇺🇸