What is a project analyst and what do they do?

A project analyst is part of a project team who helps the project manager to plan, organise and execute the project in an effective manner by providing critical data support.

They will support in project evaluation and scoping through the preparation and review of cost schedules, budgets and forecast returns. As the project proceeds, project analysts are responsible for providing regular update reports to ensure things are kept on track (including budget tracking, benchmarking and milestone monitoring). Information provided by the project analyst is also key to the final analysis of the project’s performance and assessment of how successful the project has been at achieving the organisation’s objectives.

Key responsibilities

Responsibilities will vary, but examples include:

  • Collecting information required to start projects, preparing detailed plans, determining resource allocation, deliverable timelines and possible issues.
  • Maintaining project timeframes, objectives and communications.
  • Verifying data and information and analyse it to suit the direction of a project.
  • Maintaining current knowledge on the legislation applicable to each project.
  • Providing support by handling some operational aspects of a project - coordinating with stakeholders and consultants, conducting internal meetings, reviewing finances, and streamlining the overall workflow, with the primary aim of keeping the project on schedule.
  • Establishing key performance indicators and monitoring the project with reference to cost estimates, overall plans, and deliverable deadlines.
  • Preparing presentations and regular status reports.
  • Acting as the main source of information about the project to external teams. 

Why are they important?

Project analysts are responsible for providing data and analysis that helps project managers deliver projects to time and budget. Information provided by the analysts helps to evaluate and prioritise potential projects, ensures smooth delivery and supports objective assessment of the project at completion.

Skills needed for this role

Strong organisational skills and a good understanding of project management and data analysis is required for this role. Project analysts must have strong analytical and problem-solving skills, be capable of multi-tasking and comfortable working to tight deadlines. Good communication and reporting skills are also advantageous.

Strategic Professional Options examinations linked to this role

Advanced Performance Management

Career opportunities presented by this role

Advances in technology are creating unprecedented change in organisations. New technologies are transforming ways of working, presenting opportunities to access new markets and introducing greater efficiencies. This is leading to increasing numbers of strategic and operational projects and growing demand for project professionals at every level. Career advancement includes moving into project management roles with further opportunities to move into leadership positions with time and experience.

Competencies

High level competencies required include:

  • Advisory and consultancy

    A. Gathers and understands financial and non-financial information to develop complete knowledge of the client business and the environment in which it operates.

    B. Provides expert advice that will add value to the business and gain advantage.

    C. Identify and advise on business partnering to develop strategic relationships to create opportunities, improve performance and solve business problems.

    D. Prepare and present business plans and advise on the actions to implement these plans.

  • Data, digital and technology

    A. Identifies strategic options to add value, using data and technology.

    B. Analyses and evaluates data using appropriate technologies and tools.

    C. Applies technologies to visualise data clearly and effectively.

    D. Applies scepticism and ethical judgement to the use of data and data technology.

  • Management accounting

    A. Applies development and performance management, in the wider business and technological environment, within the context of strategic planning and implementation.

    B. Directs organisational performance through the selection and measurement of financial and non-financial performance indicators.

    C. Collaborates on the key tactical and organisational areas of budgeting and control, capital investments, people and resource management.

    D. Consults on the design and use of current and emerging technology and information systems to improve strategic decision-making and organisational performance.

     

  • Stakeholder relationship management

    A. Positively develops relationships with internal and external stakeholders.

    B. Communicates and gains commitment from internal and external stakeholder.

    C. Uses emerging technologies to collaborate and communicate effectively with stakeholders.

    D. Applies professional and ethical judgement when engaging with stakeholders.

    E. Aligns organisational strategic objectives with stakeholder needs and manages expectations.

  • Strategy and innovation

    A. Applies development and performance management, in the wider business and technological environment, within the context of strategic planning and implementation.

    B. Directs organisational performance through the selection and measurement of financial and non-financial performance indicators.

    C. Collaborates on the key tactical and organisational areas of budgeting and control, capital investments, people and resource management.

    D. Consults on the design and use of current and emerging technology and information systems to improve strategic decision-making and organisational performance.