Real-life story - Katherine Cheema

Whilst doing her degree Katherine knew that she wanted to work in statistics and analytics, she decided to work part-time with IT, databases and knowledge management. After this she quickly realised that she could use her skills to make a difference in the NHS.

Katherine Cheema Specialist analyst
Employer or university Quality Observatory (hosted by Central Southern Commissioning Unit)
Salary range Unknown

What I do

My job is very varied. It can be quite strategic one minute and detailed the next – collecting and analysing data to see how individual services are performing, and helping to work out how they can be improved.

The best bits and challenges

I’m lucky enough to be part of a forward thinking, dynamic team that is nationally respected, and have recently completed a postgraduate diploma in research methods with a view to providing specialist support to help develop new patient services

How I got into the role

My degree had a significant research and statistical component, and during my study I had part-time and holiday jobs involving IT, databases and knowledge management. I knew that when I finished at university I wanted to use my skills to make a difference.

I initially joined the team as a performance analyst but have changed roles to become a specialist analyst with a broad portfolio of responsibilities. I am actively involved in developing new information projects with clinical and management teams that help improve the user experience in terms of interpretation and presentation of information.

Top tips for others

In this job, you need an eye for detail, as well as the ability to see the wider picture – it’s easy to get bogged down in numbers! It’s also important to be able to explain your analysis to a wide audience – the best kind of analyst is able to defend their conclusions, as well as make them, especially when they might not be what people expect.

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