Role profile: geographic analyst

Geographic analysts work with geospatial and georeferenced data to generate insight and support decision-making. They are able to integrate geographic data within their analytical workflows and apply different specialist techniques to account for the geographic dimensions of the data.

Geographic analysts communicate analysis effectively. This includes using cartography and geovisualisation to present intelligence from complex geographic datasets.

Typical role responsibilities

Geographic analysts:

  • are responsible for producing analytical outputs that integrate spatial and georeferenced data from a range of sources – this will provide integrated geographical evidence to support business decisions and policies
  • ensure that spatial dependency and spatial relationships can be considered in generation of solutions to business problems – this can be done through the application of a range of specialised spatial analysis techniques
  • maximise the available evidence base and bring geographical insight to decision-making by applying specialist tools and techniques for analysing geographic data sources – these include georeferenced administrative data, remote sensed imagery, point clouds, GPS tracks, and unstructured geographic text
  • ensure that stakeholders are effectively engaged with geographic dimensions of their problems – for example, by using best practice and standards from cartography and geovisualisation in analytical outputs
  • are responsible for ensuring geospatial analytical outputs are of a high quality and fit-for-purpose – this can be done by applying best practice, policies and standards for assurance and reporting of geospatial analytical outputs

Skills

There are several important skills that geographic analysts need to be successful in their role.

You must be able to demonstrate that you understand geographic processes and how they affect the physical and human world at different scales.

You will be expected to demonstrate these skills at different levels depending on the seniority of your role.

Associate geographic analyst

As an associate geographic analyst, you must have a ‘working’ skill level.

Geographic analyst

As a geographic analyst, you must have a ‘working’ skill level.

Senior geographic analyst

As a senior geographic analyst, you must have a ‘practitioner’ skill level.

Principal geographic analyst

As a principal geographic analyst, you must have an ‘expert’ skill level.

You must be able to integrate and aggregate data based on its spatial reference. You must be able to demonstrate that you can understand and apply techniques for analysing spatial relations, and for modelling surfaces and terrain.

You will be expected to demonstrate these skills at different levels depending on the seniority of your role.

Associate geographic analyst

As an associate geographic analyst, you must have a ‘working’ skill level.

Geographic analyst

As a geographic analyst, you must have a ‘practitioner’ skill level.

Senior geographic analyst

As a senior geographic analyst, you must have an ‘expert’ skill level.

Principal geographic analyst

As a principal geographic analyst, you must have an ‘expert’ skill level.

You must be able to demonstrate that you can understand and apply statistical techniques dealing with spatial dependence. You must also be able to understand and use these techniques for identifying spatial patterns, or reducing the dimensional complexity of large place-based datasets.

You will be expected to demonstrate these skills at different levels depending on the seniority of your role.

Associate geographic analyst

As an associate geographic analyst, you must have an ‘awareness’ skill level.

Geographic analyst

As a geographic analyst, you must have a ‘working’ skill level.

Senior geographic analyst

As a senior geographic analyst, you must have a ‘practitioner’ skill level.

Principal geographic analyst

As a principal geographic analyst, you must have a ‘practitioner’ skill level.

You must be able to demonstrate that you can understand and apply techniques for mapping geospatial data in effective and engaging ways.

You will be expected to demonstrate these skills at different levels depending on the seniority of your role.

Associate geographic analyst

As an associate geographic analyst, you must have an ‘awareness’ skill level.

Geographic analyst

As a geographic analyst, you must have a ‘working’ skill level.

Senior geographic analyst

As a senior geographic analyst, you must have a ‘practitioner’ skill level.

Principal geographic analyst

As a principal geographic analyst, you must have an ‘expert’ skill level.

You must be able to use specialist techniques to classify and extract information from imagery and other remotely sensed sources.

You will be expected to demonstrate these skills at different levels depending on the seniority of your role.

Associate geographic analyst

As an associate geographic analyst, you must have an ‘awareness’ skill level.

Geographic analyst

As a geographic analyst, you must have a ‘working’ skill level.

Senior geographic analyst

As a senior geographic analyst, you must have a ‘working’ skill level.

Principal geographic analyst

As a principal geographic analyst, you must have a ‘practitioner’ skill level.

You must be able to use specialised software or libraries in the analysis of geospatial data. You must be able to do this interactively and in coded analysis pipelines.

You will be expected to demonstrate these skills at different levels depending on the seniority of your role.

Associate geographic analyst

As an associate geographic analyst, you must have a ‘working’ skill level.

Geographic analyst

As a geographic analyst, you must have a ‘practitioner’ skill level.

Senior geographic analyst

As a senior geographic analyst, you must have an ‘expert’ skill level.

Principal geographic analyst

As a principal geographic analyst, you must have an ‘expert’ skill level.

You must be able to demonstrate that you can understand and model geographical systems. You must also be able to apply techniques to optimise or make forecasts from these systems.

You will be expected to demonstrate these skills at different levels depending on the seniority of your role.

Associate geographic analyst

As an associate geographic analyst, you must have an ‘awareness’ skill level.

Geographic analyst

As a geographic analyst, you must have a ‘working’ skill level.

Senior geographic analyst

As a senior geographic analyst, you must have a ‘working’ skill level.

Principal geographic analyst

As a principal geographic analyst, you must have a ‘practitioner’ skill level.

Sample career path

The geographic analyst career path shows some of the common entry and exit points for the role. It also shows the typical skill levels needed.

You can enter a geographic analyst role from other analytical professions, or other professions including the Digital Data and Technology (DDaT) profession, or the policy profession. You can also exit the role to join these professions.

The diagram shows a potential career path. It shows that you can enter or leave a role from a wide range of backgrounds and experience levels. For example, you could become a geographic analyst by developing your skills in an associate role. You could continue to move up the levels in the career path by taking on more senior geographic analyst roles. Or you could develop your skills by working in a technical specialist role in an analytical or digital profession. You could also develop the necessary skills by working in a profession agnostic role outside of these professions.

A role that could be done by any person with the relevant skills or experience from any profession.

This could be a ‘badged’ or professional role that is subject to entry requirements and development.

Beyond the principal geographic analyst role, you could go into more senior leadership roles. These roles require broader analytical understanding, and the ability to lead multi-disciplinary teams.