Information Research Specialist

Posted to IASSIST on: 2018-01-30

Employer: Harvard Business School

Employer URL:


The Information Research Specialist is a valued member of Baker Research Services (BRS), a team of librarians, MBAs, statisticians, and economists with deep expertise working with licensed and publicly available data sources. BRS provides support to Harvard Business School faculty and doctoral students across multiple phases of research, teaching and learning. Our services include: advising on best resources for a research project; sourcing, acquiring and preparing data for analysis; methodological and statistical consulting; managing projects from beginning to end; finding innovative ways to communicate research findings; and much more.

Licensed business data sources frequently used in BRS include Bloomberg, CRSP, Capital IQ, Compustat, Datastream/Eikon, Factset, SDC, Thomson One and others.

Working Relationships:

  • Reports to the Senior Manager, Baker Research Services.
  • Works closely with HBS faculty, doctoral students, and research associates.
  • Contributes to the goals and priorities of Baker Research Services and Knowledge and Library Services.
  • Works closely with subject matter, content, and technical experts across Knowledge and Library Services, HBS and the Harvard University community.


The Information Research Specialist in Baker Research Services:

  • Supports the creation of original intellectual property by Harvard Business School (HBS) faculty and doctoral students in the forms of scholarly articles and books, cases, conference presentations, course materials, and testimony.
  • Responds accurately and rapidly to the information needs of clients using electronic, printed, and other types of information sources. Responsible for completing a varying number of long-term research projects as well as responding to quick-turnaround information requests.
  • Researches, identifies, evaluates, obtains, accesses, interprets and analyzes text and quantitative information and data from printed and digital sources including, but not limited to: macroeconomic, financial, accounting, and securities data, and information collected from third-party and non-traditional sources.
  • Builds and manages coherent spreadsheets and databases, merges data from multiple sources and formats, performs statistical analyses, and creates data visualizations representing results of research and analyses.
  • Consults with and advises researchers on optimal methodologies and interpretations of results.
  • Serves as backup to Senior Information Research Specialist in providing colleagues and customers with training, maintenance, and support for specialized research databases and analytical software in Baker Research Services
  • Participates in Baker Library and Harvard Library committees, working groups, events, etc.

Basic Qualifications:

  • Masters degree or equivalent graduate education in Economics, Statistics, Library/Information Science, Business Administration or other relevant discipline.
  • Minimum 5+ years of applicable work experience.
  • Demonstrated proficiency in accessing and preparing for analysis data from diverse sources and in structured and unstructured formats, using Excel and at least one statistical analysis software package (SAS, Stata, R, etc.)

Additional Qualifications:

  • Solid understanding of business and economics concepts, related quantitative/qualitative measures for research application, and research methodologies, practices, and tools.
  • Experience finding, collecting, cleaning, manipulating and analyzing quantitative data in a research environment, including experience with third-party business data sources.
  • Record of participation in research, preferably in a business-related discipline and particularly in the process of accessing and preparing raw data for analysis.
  • Ability to work closely with HBS faculty, doctoral students, research assistants, and colleagues to understand and assist with the achievement of their research goals and to help resolve problems.
  • Knowledge of literature databases (particularly business literature databases such as Factiva, EBSCO, and LexisNexis) and experience with tools and strategies for searching these databases, organizing voluminous search results, and integrating results with data from other sources.
  • Highly developed skills and creativity in information research, organization, presentation and delivery; excellent critical thinking skills; superb customer service. Able to produce timely, high quality results under pressure.
  • Proven record of managing client relationships, setting priorities, meeting multiple deadlines and sharing workloads and projects with a research team.
  • Demonstrated ability to instruct and guide others in the use of data sources and data analysis tools and to troubleshoot problems.
  • Demonstrated ability and willingness to work well with others and to collaborate and contribute to group projects– such as participation on committees and working groups– within the department, across Knowledge and Library Services, and across the Harvard Library.

Archived on: 2018-01-30