Recruiting Analysts for dynamic cutting edge public sector team

At a glance:

In my day job I'm running a recruitment process for two Principal Analysts, a Senior Analyst and an Analyst. This is a great opportunity to get into one of the most interesting analytics teams in New Zealand. Applications close 14 October 2015.

04 Oct 2015

The jobs

Within the New Zealand Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, the Sector Trends team has recently secured resourcing for additional analysts on a range of statistical programmes. That’s the team that I usually manage, although for the next few months I’m doing a stint on a similar team, different topics. The formal details and position descriptions are on the MBIE website of course; this blog post should be considered only as informal additional material.

Here’s a little more about the positions there wasn’t space to put in the formal documentation:

Principal Analyst - Tourism Data

MBIE spends some millions of dollars each year on producing, publishing and analysing data on the tourism sector in New Zealand. Tourism is New Zealand’s second biggest export industry, and the Minister for Tourism happens to also be the Prime Minister. The Principal Analyst Tourism Data will be responsible for the overall programme, including the world-leading Tourism Data Improvement Programme. They’ll lead on engagement with the Minister and with the sector, oversight overall prioritisation, planning, and quality control.

Principal Analysts don’t have staff or financial delegations - those are with the Manager - but take leadership on all aspects of the content in their area. They need the people and communication skills to engage with Ministers and the industry, and the technical skills to deal with our data-intensive projects and support the Analysts and Senior Analysts producing new data, publishing statistics, and undertaking analysis.

Principal Analyst - Science and Innovation data.

MBIE administers many hundreds of millions of dollars of science investments every year and is the lead agency advising the Government on science and innovation policy. A significant stepping up of resourcing is underway to improve the evidence base in the science and innovation field. Working with the policy teams, we’re identifying a range of areas where improvements are needed, from re-using our own investments data through to better understanding how science translates into innovation at the business level. This programme is at its early stages and needs a experienced leader with vision and mana to oversight it and make it happen.

Senior Analyst.

This role will work across the range of areas the team provides analysis on, which as well as tourism and science and innovation includes regions, cities, sectors, and strategic microeconomic thinking. This is a more hands-on role than the Principals and needs someone who is either an expert with R and data management and visualisation or has demonstrated capacity to quickly become one. Senior Analysts lead complex projects in sensitive areas, and coach and mentor Analysts.


The Analyst role could be an entry level position or might be for a more experienced person looking for a new challenge. This is the classic “data ninja” role - you need to be an R expert or quickly become one, have great ideas about data analysis and visualisation, and be keen to get your hands dirty with the data that tells us how New Zealand works.

The workplace

All the basics about MBIE are on the website. You can find out a bit more about the team from this presentation I recently gave for the New Zealand Analytics forum. We work closely with policy teams and industry on difficult change programmes. We led the world in using electronic card transactions to estimate regional tourism spend. We put a major Tier 1 official statistic expenditure survey online and improved understanding of tourist spend and New Zealand household consumption and savings. We’re now moving more into exciting interactive data visualisations. We use R, LaTeX, Git, Shiny, JavaScript, and SQLServer.

Checkout examples of our work:

If you want to do stuff like that with data, and also take it the next step to work with policy teams to form advice for Ministers on what to do about what we find, this could be the team for you!

It’s an exciting team, and now large enough to generate a huge buzz as we solve new problems every day. We are obsessively into continuous improvement and constantly training eachother in the innovative and new. Many of the things we do day to day we hadn’t heard of six months ago, and quite a few didn’t exist two years ago. It’s not the place to be if you think you’ve learnt everything you need to know already! We have a 20 minute seminar each week, and a one hour lab session too, constantly building our statistical and econometric skills. This is a team for someone with a bit of buzz and pizzaz as well as an obsession with exploring and analysing cool economic data to answer difficult problems.

Where to go

Apply via the MBIE careers website by 14 October 2015.

Note that these four positions are part of a wider recruitment of eight analysts in total for the Evidence, Monitoring and Governance branch. The other four positions are in the Research and Evaluation teams in the branch and they do cool stuff too. So if the above isn’t quite right for you, check out the role descriptions for those other opportunities too, at the same webpage.

These positions are in Wellington, and you need to be able to work in New Zealand.

Different data types and users


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