Information and data analysts are concerned with quantitative research and putting explanations around the bare numeric facts. They normally have specialist knowledge in predictive statistical software such as SAS (Statistical Analysis Software), SPSS, Excel or Econometrics.
The data they ‘crunch’ can range from financial data to school enrolment data, and they can then use this information to make predictions about future trends.
For example, an analyst handling information about school enrolment might look at the steep rise in school enrolment over the past decade and use these facts to recommend that the government employs more teachers, and creates a stronger educational infrastructure to support future increase of student numbers. These recommendations may then influence the direction and decisions made by policy analysts.
Information and data analysts can work in many areas of the government. They may be part of Monitoring and Evaluating teams, Data Warehousing teams, Forecasting and Modelling teams, or Information Analyst teams.