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How to become an information analyst

You'll need a college or degree-level qualification to become an information analyst in the NHS.

What is an information analyst?

Information analysts use powerful analytics tools and modelling software to analyse and interpret data. Their findings and insights are used to help inform decision-making, strategy, and processes.

Starting your career as an information analyst

Choosing subjects at school

To get on a college or university course that could lead to a career as an information analyst, useful subjects include: 

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

Speak to your guidance teacher about subjects offered at your school.

Workplacements and volunteering

You may find it helpful to get some healthcare experience by doing a work placement or volunteering. You’ll get training, increase your knowledge, and learn new skills. This could help you when applying to university, college or a new job with NHSScotland.

College and university

The education pathway for information analysts is varied.

Most universities accept a wide range of qualifications, so you could apply directly from school or go to college first.

At college, useful courses for a career as a information analyst include:

  • HND Business
  • HND Computer Science
  • HND Social Sciences

Widening access

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 Wider Access Programme (SWAP). Many universities also provide access programmes to help you get the degree entry qualifications you need. 

Degree programmes

If you choose to go to university, relevant degree subjects include:

  • Mathematics and Statistics
  • Data Science
  • Business Information Systems
  • Statistics and Operational Research 
  • Business Management
  • Social Science

Course search

Search for college or university programmes on My World of Work.

Modern Apprenticeships

Some information analysts start their careers as Modern Apprentices. With a Modern Apprenticeship, you'll get the training and experience you need for the role, and an industry-recognised qualification.

Modern apprenticeship opportunities include: 

  • Business and administration
  • Data Analytics Technical

Find out more about becoming an apprentice.

Get to know the role

As an information analyst working in the NHS, you’ll examine complex data and create models. You’ll also identify trends and present results to stakeholders and colleagues using data visualisation techniques.

Tasks include: 

  • use multiple data sources and analytics tools to provide insights and support decision making
  • help stakeholders to access and analyse data sets
  • support academic research projects
  • compile and present statistics to colleagues and partner organisations

You'll need these skills:

  • communicating
  • time management
  • problem-solving
  • organisation
  • teamwork
  • curiosity
  • sense-making

You’ll also need knowledge and experience of:

  • programming languages, such as R, Python, SQL, or SPSS
  • data protection and confidentiality principles
  • how data can help manage and improve health and social care

As an information analyst, you could work with: 

  • data analysts
  • data scientists
  • project managers
  • information governance managers

Information analysts work in an office, or remotely.

Learning and development

With training and experience, you could move into a supervisory or management role, such as senior information analyst or principal information analyst. If you take up these senior roles, you could be responsible for a team of staff and for managing a budget.

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