Market research analyst job descriptions generally cite the ability to use research skills and analytics expertise to parse consumer data and guide marketing decisions. The expectations include proficiency in gathering data from different sources, segmenting it to determine patterns of behavior and correlations to other events during the timeframe of the data, and creating replicable cause-and-effect scenarios to accurately predict future consumer actions.
“As you advance through and gain greater statistical skills, you start to move into predictive analytics, where you’re able to take the information that’s out there and combine that with any other market research information that you might glean to make predictions regarding what customers will be doing,” says Doug Olsen, Department of Marketing associate chair for the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. “There’s no question that this is becoming more and more important over time.”
After reviewing the data, market research analysts must communicate their findings to marketing and sales teams in a digestible manner. They need to have strong written and verbal communication skills to provide insight into complex topics. They may also work with additional members of the creative team to present conclusions in the form of case studies, reports or infographics to help marketing and sales managers thoroughly understand the outcomes to develop and implement strategies more effectively.
A typical day for a market research analyst could include any or all of the following tasks:
Market research analysts must also be aware of privacy and security concerns when handling consumer information, particularly when working with customer financial and personal identifier data sets. Maintaining consumer trust is key to making valuable predictions regarding their future interactions.
As the marketing field continues to recognize the potential for data, research professionals combine analytical tools and models with their knowledge of human behavior to create evidence-based recommendations for marketing strategies. Olsen notes, “business analytics is not just for people who have strong analytical and quantitative skills. More than anything, it’s for people who have a strong desire to understand human behavior and to leverage statistics to tell stories about human behavior.” These stories help organizations of all kinds attract, convert and retain long-term customers.