Data analysts identify and communicate trends in data using statistics and specialised software to help organisations achieve their business aims.
Data analysts usually earn
$69K-$110K per year
Data scientists usually earn
$85K-$128K per year
Source: AbsoluteIT, 2018.
Pay for data analysts varies depending on skills and experience. According to AbsoluteIT, data analysts in the:
- lowest-paid group earn an average of $69,000 a year
- highest-paid group earn an average of $110,000.
Data scientists, who are more senior and may have higher qualifications, can earn from $85,000 to $128,000 a year.
Sources: Absolute IT, 'Business Intelligence Roles', accessed April 2018; Absolute IT, 'Digital Remuneration Report', March 2018.
(This information is a guide only. Find out more about the sources of our pay information)
What you will do
Data analysts may do some or all of the following:
- work with clients to find out what information they need to help them make good business decisions
- gather or choose data for analysis
- ensure the data is reliable
- identify trends and patterns within data
- interpret numbers to gain business insights
- create easy-to-understand written and visual reports and present their findings in person.
Skills and knowledge
Data analysts need to have knowledge of:
- data analysis tools such as Excel, SQL, SAP and Oracle, SAS or R
- data analysis, mapping and modelling techniques
- analytical techniques such as data mining
- web analytics techniques and tools such as Google Analytics
- how to represent data in clear visual formats such as infographics
- the business they are working for, and how data can help it become more efficient and successful.
- usually work full time and may work evenings and weekends, or on call
- work in offices
- may travel locally or overseas to meet clients.
There are no specific requirements to become a data analyst. However, employers usually prefer you to have a diploma or degree in a subject that requires statistical, business and analytical skills, such as:
- business information systems
- computer science
- information management
- maths or statistics.
People with qualifications in other fields may enter the job through:
- learning data analysis skills through short courses
- gaining experience in an internship or placement during their degree or diploma.
If you are a graduate from other fields, you can gain a fast-tracked IT-related qualification through ICT Graduate Schools.
- NxtStep website - find IT internships and graduate programmes
- Summer of Tech website - information on the IT internship programme
- Tertiary Education Commission website - information on ICT graduate schools
A tertiary entrance qualification is needed to enter further training. Useful subjects include digital technologies, maths, statistics and English.
For Year 11 to 13 students, the Gateway programme is a good way to gain industry experience.
Data analysts need to be:
- highly analytical
- curious and detail-oriented
- good at problem solving
- creative thinkers
- good communicators.
Useful experience for data analysts includes:
- previous experience in data-related jobs such as data entry and research
- on-the-job training through IT internships
- data-related study and projects
- volunteer work involving data.
Data analysts spend a lot of time using computers, so they need to know how to use computer equipment properly to avoid occupational overuse syndrome (OOS).
Data analysts may choose to become certified through associations such as the Institute of IT Professionals.
Find out more about training
- Engineering New Zealand
- (04) 473 9444 - firstname.lastname@example.org - www.engineeringnz.org
- IT Professionals
- 0800 252 255 - email@example.com - itp.nz
- (09) 475 0204 - firstname.lastname@example.org - www.nztech.org.nz
What are the chances of getting a job?
Demand for data analysts rising
Data analysts are in high demand, according to Digital Skills for a Digital Nation, a 2017 New Zealand report. This is because:
- organisations are able to collect large amounts of data about their customers due to multiple devices being connected to the internet
- data analysts are needed to make sense of this data so that organisations can gain insights into their customers' needs and make sound business decisions.
Shortage of data analysts
Although the number of data analysts is increasing, there are still not enough to meet demand and not enough trainees coming through.
As a result, roles relating to data analysis appear on Immigration New Zealand’s long-term skill shortage list. This means the Government is actively encouraging skilled data analysts from overseas to work in New Zealand.
How to get your first IT job
You can improve your chances of getting an IT job by gaining experience through government and IT industry initiatives, which include:
- internships like Summer of Tech
- graduate programmes offered by IT companies
- events such as hackathons
- mentoring programmes
- programmes to encourage more women into IT, such as ShadowTech.
- Summer of Tech website - find out about their IT internship programme
- ShadowTech website - find out about ShadowTech
Types of employers varied
Employers of data analysts include:
- tertiary institutions
- retail, marketing and finance companies
- pharmaceutical and telecommunications companies
- government and public sector organisations.
- AbsoluteIT, 'Digital Remuneration Report', March 2018, (www.absoluteit.co.nz).
- Immigration New Zealand, 'Long Term Skill Shortage List', 19 February 2018, (www.immigration.govt.nz).
- New Zealand Digital Skills Forum, 'Digital Skills for a Digital Nation,' 2017, (digitalskillsforum.files.wordpress.com).
- Paredes, D, 'Data Scientist: The Job with the Negative Unemployment Rate', CIO, accessed July 2017, (www.cio.co.nz).
- Stodd, A, 'Data Analysts – What You’ll Make and How You’ll Make It', 26 November 2014, accessed July 2017, (https://blog.udacity.com).
(This information is a guide only. Find out more about the sources of our job opportunities information)
Progression and specialisations
Data analysts may progress into roles such as:
- data scientists, who use more sophisticated techniques to deal with higher volumes of data
- data engineers, who build the systems to capture data and the statistical analysis programs that data analysts use.
Data analysts may specialise in:
- business intelligence – using a variety of specialised software and methodologies to analyse data
- data assurance – checking for, and correcting errors in data
- data quality – assessing how well the data is able to answer particular questions.
Data analysts may specialise in industry sectors such as:
- tertiary education
- marketing and sales.
Last updated 10 December 2019