What is a Crisis Data Analyst?

Crisis Data Analyst

Job Title – Crisis Data Analyst

People who work in data analysis often specialise in certain areas of industry or commerce.

A more specialized role of Crisis Data Analyst has emerged in recent years, whose job is to help use data to make quickly needed decisions regarding emergency disaster events.

Description / Responsibilities

It is virtually impossible to watch the news nowadays without seeing some type of humanitarian disaster either happening or unfolding.

As with any news cycle, it can have an immediate effector impact on people, but swiftly moves on to some other tragedy or important newsworthy event.

What gets much less publicity is how the various governments, non-profits and disaster relief agencies have to cope with the immediate aftermath of the disaster, as well as how they do with long-term renewal and relief efforts.

The job of a Crisis Data Analyst is crucial to this entire process. They will be at the forefront of using data to guide decisions that are quite often literally life threatening.

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These decisions won’t be their responsibility, but they will be informed by data that will guide various principles, often at great speed.

Often the data that is used may be incomplete or what is known as dirty data.

It will be part of the job and responsibility of the data analyst to research what data is needed for a particular country or situation, clean up the data and help present it to relevant decision makers in a clear and easy to use format.

Crisis Data Analyst Qualifications / Experience

This type of job will need to bring together two slightly different areas of both qualifications and experience.

It will be crucial that person can show you they have part of reaching experience of data analysis, how to research it, how to clean it and how to use it in the most productive way possible.

This doesn’t necessarily mean they have to have qualifications in data analysis, but any such qualifications will be really helpful.

The right candidate will  normally need to show that they have experience of using either Microsoft Excel, or Power BI, which are the some of the most commonly used business management tools.

In addition, the candidate will need to show that they can use these skills in situations that involve disaster relief, crisis management, potential war zones and other humanitarian conflicts.

Whilst the candidate is unlikely to be involved in practical field work, it will be really helpful to most roles to show that they have either a real interest and commitment to this type of work, and / or they have some type of lived experience with displacement, or asylum / immigration activities.

Salary / Benefits

No one is likely to go into this type of work for the money, but equally governments and non-profits do have a responsibility to pay their employees a reasonable salary, and provide practical benefits like any business.

Salary levels and benefits will vary considerably depending upon the type of work involved, and should be specifically shown in any job recruitment ad.

Some jobs may be part-time, or may even be on a consultancy basis. Applicants will need to be quite flexible in their working, being able to work this type of job at relatively short notice.

This is likely to involve shift work as well.  If it is a part-time job, then it is quite possible that the salary will be shown as an hourly level rate, in which case it is important that the number of hours at the job requires will be specified as a contractual commitment.

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A crisis data analyst will work within a team of other specialised roles to provide the relief needed for the emergency. This may lead to the location of the job being a fixed physical location, or the whole thing may be done entirely online.

This depends on the company or the government department involved, and in today’s world there may well be a hybrid option. This again should be spelled out in the job application advert.


It is important that the government body or non-profit are aware of the training needs of the individual data analyst, both iteration to their role and in relation to their personal development, and make sure such training is available.

This is especially important if it is a part-time job, or even a consultancy role