Senior information analyst

Senior information analysts lead a team of information analysts, making sure they have the skills and knowledge to deliver high-quality information services.

As a senior member of the team, they’ll have relevant experience in research, information work or statistics. However, this doesn't have to be in medical or health-related.

Senior information analysts usually take responsibility for:

  • analysing and interpreting complex data
  • providing professional statistical advice
  • specifying requirements with customers
  • making sure their customers can make informed decisions

Starting your career

Subject choices

If you’re thinking of a career as a senior information analyst, useful subjects might include: 

  • English 
  • Maths 
  • Information and Communication Technology 
  • Physics 
  • Computing Science 
  • Statistics 
  • Business 

Work placements and volunteering

You may find it helpful to get some experience of working in healthcare by doing a work placement. There may also be opportunities to volunteer. This could help you when applying to university, college or a new job with NHSScotland. 

Apprenticeships

Foundation Apprenticeships

A Foundation Apprenticeship could help you gain the skills and experience relevant for a role as a senior information analyst.

Find out more about the Foundation Apprenticeship in Business Skills.

Modern Apprenticeships

Begin or continue your information analytics career journey with a Modern Apprenticeship in Data Analytics Technical

Graduate Apprenticeships

A Graduate Apprenticeship in data science is a great chance to learn relevant technical skills while gaining valuable work experience. 

Find out more about the Graduate Apprenticeship in Data Science

College and university

You might choose to go to college or university before working as a senior information analyst. Useful degree subjects for the role include: 

  • Social Science
  • Business Management
  • Operational Research 
  • Statistics 
  • Data Science  
  • Mathematics 

There are many education pathways for this role. Studying college or university subjects other than those listed above could still lead to a role in information analytics.

Widening participation supports adult learners who want to go to university. If you’re an adult with few or no qualifications, you could get into higher education through the Scottish Widening Access Programme (SWAP).

Many universities also provide access programmes to help you get the degree entry qualifications you need.

Search for college or university courses on My World of Work

The role

As an NHSScotland senior information analyst, you’ll use best practice to enhance existing datasets and develop new data collections to support information needs. You may have to handle hundreds of requests every year, including those from:

  • Scottish Government
  • NHS Boards
  • media outlets
  • the public
  • commercial organisations
  • research bodies
  • universities

What you’ll do

Your tasks could include:

  • leading a team of information analysts
  • analysing and interpreting complex data
  • using multiple data sources and analytics tools to provide insights and support decision making
  • presenting data effectively using data visualisation techniques
  • helping customers access and analyse data sets
  • supporting academic research projects
  • compiling and presenting statistics to colleagues and partner organisations

Top skills

Top skills for a role as an information analyst include:

  • communication
  • leadership
  • flexibility
  • analysis
  • attention to detail
  • accuracy
  • organisation
  • teamwork

You’ll also need knowledge and experience of:

  • project management
  • cleaning, merging, reshaping and formatting data
  • Microsoft Office, particularly Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Access
  • data visualisation tools, like Tableau, Shiny by RStudio, Plotly, GIS mapping and D3
  • programming languages, such as R, Python, SQL, or SPSS
  • data protection and confidentiality principles

Who you’ll work with

As a senior information analyst, you could be working with:

  • information analysts
  • data analysts
  • data scientists
  • project managers
  • data managers
  • information managers
  • information governance
  • graphic designers
  • digital designers

You might also engage with other NHSScotland healthcare professionals, including clinicians.

You could also be supporting and assisting people to access and understand your data sets, including:

  • academics
  • civil servants
  • the media
  • members of the public

Working environment

Senior information analysts can work in an office or remotely.

Did you know

Public Health Scotland launched on 1st April 2020. This new national Health Board employs information analysts, senior information analysts, and principal information analysts to gain insights into their data.

Learning and development

With training and experience, you could move into a more senior supervisory or management role, such as principal information analyst. This role might mean that you’re responsible for a larger team of staff and for managing a budget.

Professional bodies