The analytics and big data industries in Northern Ireland have boomed in recent years. Fuelled by the growth in the amount of data being consumed globally, Northern Ireland’s thriving technology industry has helped create a huge number of jobs in the analytics sector.

Analytics are used by a company to examine data which they have collected and compiled. This helps companies become more efficient by understanding their customers and generating more sales. If you decide to enter this industry, there are many career paths you can take, from a Data Scientist, to a Business Analyst. With roles in this sector being so in demand, salaries and benefits can be very rewarding.

There are four main types of analytics, including: descriptive analytics, predictive analytics, diagnostic analytics and prescriptive analytics. The type of analytics used will depend on the type of analysis required. If you love crunching numbers and extracting information – this is the industry for you!


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A role in the Analytics sector can bring you into may different types of companies. Typically, you could expect to be employed by any of the Big Four. Firms like EY, Pwc and Deloitte, offer many graduates the chance to start their career in analytics, offering roles such as a Data Analyst, which helps analyse large volumes of data to find valuable information for their clients. Collectively, the Big 4 hire a vast amount of graduates in Northern Ireland, however, there are other employers out there should you want to work in a different industry.

You could also enter into the software industry and work for a company such as First Derivatives (FD) as a Data Scientist. FD offer a suite of software products and consulting services to clients across many different industries, including finance, technology and the energy sector. A Data Scientist is someone who is able to dig into vast amounts of data and unearth business insights to help boost sales revenue.

Other employers you could consider are FinTrU, Kainos, Allstate, Abbey Insurance and AquaQ. The beauty of entering this area is that you can move into many different industries. Data has grown so rapidly over recent years, so many companies across various industries have a need for someone to help make sense of it and understand it so as they can use it more effectively for their customers.

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Every day we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data. If you need to visualise that, it is 2,500,000,000,000,000,000, PER DAY! 2.5 quintillion pennies would, if laid out flat, cover the Earth five times

The average salary for a graduate in an entry level position in the analytics industry is around £21,000

Queen's University Belfast and Ulster University combined offer 29 undergraduate courses that contain Analytics. Both also offer Masters degrees that specialise specifically in Data Science and Data Analytics

By 2025, it’s estimated that 463 exabytes of data will be created each day globally – that’s the equivalent of 212,765,957 DVDs per day

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Salaries in this industry tend to be slightly higher than in other sectors, due to the complexity involved and the fact that skills in this area are so in demand. As a graduate in an entry level position such as a Data Analyst, you could be looking at a starting salary of around £21,000. This is in the upper average of graduate salaries and is a solid salary at which to start your career.

A huge benefit of starting a career in this sector is the earning potential. As you are able to demonstrate your worth to the business through the valuable insights you help uncover, which in turn can help save costs and boost profits, you are in a strong position to negotiate an increase in your salary. As you progress in your career, if you move into a more specialised role such as Machine Learning or Artificial Intelligence, you could earn upwards of £60,000.

The salary is not the only generous aspect of this career. Many employers will offer very generous benefits packages to go alongside it. The typical benefits you could expect with a role in analytics are: the ability to work from home, life assurance which offers your family up to 4 times your salary if you die during service, a hardware budget to buy new tech, flexible working hours, a personal development budget, as well as medical and dental health cover.

perks and benefits


Business Analyst
Data Analyst
Reporting Analyst
Analytics Manager
Business Intelligence Engineer
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Data Scientist
Big Data Engineer
Data Science Engineer
Machine Learning Engineer
Data Engineer
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If you want to enter into this industry, to start off, you need a degree which will teach you the fundamentals of software and computer science. In analytics you could be using programs such as Power BI, Matlab and Excel, or coding in languages such as Python, so it is essential that you have the skills and knowledge in these in order to start your career in this industry.

A degree software or computer science will also teach you the skills needed in areas such as: information extraction, data analysis, knowledge extraction and explanation, which are skills you need if you want a career in analytics.

Both Queen’s and Ulster University offer a variety of undergraduate courses in software development and computer science. If you complete a degree in these subjects and would like to study analytics specifically, both universities also offer Masters degrees in areas such as Data Science and Data Analytics.

Alternatively, degrees such as Maths or Physics also offer a route into the industry, as some of the skills and experience taught throughout the course is transferable

Courses Available

Ulster Uni

Ulster University

9+ Courses
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Queen's University

20+ Courses
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If uni isn’t for you, there are alternative routes to enter this industry. NI Direct offer an assured skills pre-employment training programme for people who are unemployed, under-employed (employed in a job you are over-qualified for or who want to change career.

The programme is delivered in an academy-style training and works with local companies to offer training specifically tailored to meet the needs for those jobs. If you successfully complete the training programme, you are offered a job interview with the company.

Companies such as Deloitte offer assured skills programmes in Data Analytics. The benefit of this is that you are paid a weekly training allowance of £150 and you are reimbursed with your weekly travel expenses, whilst also being potentially fast-tracked into a career.

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Industry Partners

The Institute of Analytics (IoA) is the Professional Body for Analytics and Data Science professionals in UK and International. It exists to promote greater awareness, understanding and innovation in Analytics

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