Data analysts identify and describe data trends using statistics and specialised software to help organisations achieve their business aims.
Data analysts usually earn
$80K-$130K per year
Data scientists usually earn
$100K-$160K per year
Source: Recruit I.T., 2021.
Pay for data analysts varies depending on skills, experience and where you work, with pay in Auckland being higher.
- Data analysts usually earn between $80,000 and $130,000 a year.
- Data scientists can earn between $100,000 and $160,000.
Sources: Recruit I.T. 'Technology and Digital Salary Update Auckland', July 2021; and Recruit I.T. 'Technology and Digital Salary Update Wellington', July 2021.
(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:
- find out what information clients need to 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 written or visual reports.
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 regular business hours
- work in offices or remotely
- may travel to meet clients.
What's the job really like?
Making sense of data
Data scientist Pip Bennett works with a range of clients, including businesses and government departments, and shows them how to make use of their data.
“Data science is about solving problems. As data never captures the whole picture I also look at assumptions that could be made when data is collected or analysed.”
A typical day in the office
“There are lots of statistical, technical and communication challenges in my job. My typical day could involve meeting with clients and colleagues, writing code, building software, researching and using large statistical datasets.
“You can spend a lot of time coding by yourself, but at the same time I have teammates who I can bounce ideas off, and who I can solve a range of high-to-low-level problems with. Working with a good team is crucial.”
Advice for future data analysts and scientists
Pip says it’s good to focus on communication as well as technical skills while you are studying.
“You have to make sure you can identify and communicate what data is and how it is useful.
“Ethics and Māori data sovereignty are important in data science. These are things to be aware of as a data scientist, and are becoming more important as this field matures.”
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.
- NxtStep website - find IT internships and graduate programmes
- Summer of Tech website - information on the IT internship programme
A tertiary entrance qualification is needed to enter further training. Useful subjects include digital technologies, maths and statistics.
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 may choose to become certified through associations such as the Institute of IT Professionals.
Find out more about training
- IT Professionals
- 0800 252 255 - firstname.lastname@example.org - itp.nz
- (09) 475 0204 - email@example.com - www.nztech.org.nz
What are the chances of getting a job?
Data analysts in demand
Demand for data analysts is strong because:
- organisations collect large amounts of digital data
- they need to make sense of this data to gain insights and make sound decisions.
Shortage of experienced data analysts
There are not enough experienced data analysts to meet demand. Nearly two thirds of IT employers report skills shortages, and there aren't enough information technology (IT) trainees.
Developer programmer, database administrator, ICT business analyst and systems analyst 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.
According to the Census, 29,202 developer programmers, database administrators, ICT business analysts and systems analysts worked in New Zealand in 2018.
How to get your first IT job
You can improve your chances of getting an IT job through:
- internships like Summer of Tech
- graduate programmes offered by IT companies
- events such as hackathons
- mentoring programmes.
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.
- Hays, 'IT Salary Guide and Recruiting Trends', accessed November 2021, (www.hays.net.nz).
- Immigration New Zealand, 'Long Term Skill Shortage List', 19 February 2018, (www.immigration.govt.nz).
- Recruit I.T., 'Technology and Digital Salary Update Auckland', and 'Technology and Digital Salary Update Wellington', July 2021, (www.recruitit.co.nz).
- Stats NZ, '2018 Census Data', 2019.
(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 16 August 2022