Market research analyst: job description Market Research Analyst Job Description, Salary, and Skills
Monday, March 4, 2019

Market research analyst: job description Market Research Analyst Job Description, Salary, and Skills

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Market research analyst: job description

A market research analyst works collecting and assimilating data and interpreting it in order to identify changes and forecast trends.

Market research analysts usually specialise in either quantitative or qualitative research.

What does a market research analyst do? Typical employers | Qualifications and training | Key skills

Marketing research analysts gather together and analyse data from diverse sources to produce results, which are then presented back to a client. They may also be asked to make recommendations based on the findings. Market research analysts are hired by public and private sector organisations, as well as by charities and not-for-profit organisations. Analysts can also work on a freelance or consultancy basis.

The details of the research carried out will vary depending on the type and size of employer, as well as the industry. Research analysts usually specialise in either quantitative or qualitative research. Quantitative research involves working with large amounts of information from statistics from structured questionnaires and can be used to identify attitudes, behaviours or patterns of sales.

Qualitative research is usually based on one-to-one interviews or focus groups. These are more unstructured and have to be interpreted by the market research analyst. They can show underlying reasons, opinions, and motivations and take longer to complete.

Typical responsibilities include:

  • designing questionnaires and advising on methodology of collection of data
  • collecting data and assimilating statistics, using statistical software
  • monitoring the progress of data collection
  • collating information and interpreting data for clients
  • making recommendations based on the data collected
  • presenting findings to clients in an easy-to-understand way
  • managing a team of data collectors and data input assistants
  • negotiate contracts for research projects
  • managing focus groups, carrying out interviews and conducting surveys
  • managing budgets

Salaries, working life and promotion

Marketing research executives who specialise in quantitative research typically follow a standard ‘nine-to-five’ day, although they may occasionally be required to work out of hours on larger projects. However, executives specialising in qualitative research may have to work at unsocial hors in order to make contact with survey respondents.

The work is deadline driven and so, depending on the project you are currently working on, may be stressful. The majority of an executive’s time will be spent in an office, but you may have travel to meet clients.

Salaries may be enhanced with bonuses and could include benefits such as life insurance or gym membership.

Promotion is to senior analyst, accounts director, research executive or into management.

Marketing research analyst are also called data analysts. Market research executive is a related job role. Graduate vacancies may be advertised as research assistants or as graduate trainees.

Typical employers of market research analysts

  • Manufacturers
  • Retailers
  • Governments and local authorities
  • Charities
  • Industries
  • Market research consultancies and marketing agencies

Most opportunities are based in the south-east of England, though there are opportunities in other parts of the UK. You could also work abroad.

Market research companies (consultancies) can be commissioned by public or private organisations, for example advertising companies and charities.

Can be self-employed or on a contract basis but typically this is only possible after building up your experience in the industry.

You can find vacancies in specialist publications, online job-boards (such as TARGETjobs), the Ipsos Mori website, recruitment agencies and local newspapers.

Qualifications and training required

Most workers in the sector have a degree and common subjects for quantitative researchers are maths, statistics, economics or business.

For roles specialising in qualitative research common degree subjects are often in social science or humanities. However, sometimes a specific degree subject is not required. Having a postgraduate qualification could also be an advantage. It is possible to work up from a market researcher post and it is also possible to enter the profession through an apprenticeship.

Key skills for market research analysts

  • Ability to cope with fast-paced and pressured work
  • Accuracy
  • Strong attention to detail and a strong analytical mind.
  • Ability to notice patterns within statistics
  • An interest in psychology and behaviour
  • Good organisational skills
  • Excellent (spoken and written) communication skills
  • Confident presentation skills
  • Commercial awareness
  • A methodical approach to work
  • Familiarity or training in statistics or a willingness to learn
  • Have strong IT skills and have knowledge of or be keen to learn statistical software packages
  • Be able to be flexible and work as part of a team.

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How to cite this article

Extra information elsewhere

  • Ipsos Mori
  • Market Research Society
  • Royal Statistical Society
  • Association for Qualitative Research (AQR)
  • Government Statistical Service
  • Social Research Association

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Market researcher

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If you’re a confident individual, good with analysing data and can rise to the challenge of communicating large amounts of information, a career as a market researcher could be for you

As a market researcher, you’ll collect and analyse data and information to present to your clients. The information you provide helps them to make informed political, social and economic decisions.

You may be employed directly by a company (known as client-side), where you’ll collect information on customer opinions, investment and marketing trends. The majority of market researchers, however, are employed by marketing agencies that range in size, where work is carried out on numerous projects for different companies and industries.

You’ll specialise in either quantitative or qualitative research. Quantitative research involves working with statistics and percentages and can deliver quick results.

Qualitative research involves analysing opinions and can provide the reasons behind certain percentages. Qualitative research is a longer process, sometimes lasting years.

Responsibilities

The exact type of work you’ll carry out varies depending on your employer, whether you work client-side or for an agency, the industry in which the client is based and the type of research you carry out.

In general though, your tasks will include:

  • meeting and liaising with clients to negotiate and agree research projects
  • preparing briefs and commissioning research
  • formulating plans or proposals to present to your client or senior management
  • writing and managing the distribution of surveys and questionnaires
  • briefing interviewers and researchers
  • liaising with and managing survey staff
  • moderating focus groups
  • undertaking ethnographic research (observing people in their homes and other environments)
  • conducting qualitative or quantitative surveys, which may involve field, interview or focus group assessments
  • using statistical software to manage and organise information
  • monitoring the progress of research projects
  • analysing and interpreting data to identify patterns and solutions, including surveys and focus group transcripts
  • writing detailed reports and presenting results
  • advising clients or senior management on how to best use research findings
  • managing budgets.

Salary

  • Starting salaries for market researchers are in the region of £20,000 to £25,000. With experience this can rise to £25,000 to £35,000.
  • At a senior level, once you’ve gained significant experience, you can expect to earn between £40,000 and £70,000+.

These figures do not include earnings that can be achieved from freelance work or self-employment.

Some larger firms may offer additional benefits, such as a company car, profit-sharing scheme, medical insurance, gym membership and bonuses.

Paid overtime is rare, but some organisations will offer time off in lieu.

Salary figures are intended as a guide only.

Working hours

Working hours for in-house and quantitative researchers are generally 9am to 5pm, with occasional evening or weekend work required to meet project deadlines. It’s common for qualitative researchers to have to work evenings and weekends so that they have a better chance of contact with their respondents.

Career breaks and secondments may be possible if you’re working for larger organisations, particularly if your role is client-side.

What to expect

  • You may be desk-based but some market researchers do travel nationally and occasionally internationally to visit client organisations and to complete their research.
  • Self-employment or freelance work is sometimes possible with significant experience. Self-employment usually involves setting up a consultancy, usually after around ten years’ experience and with good contacts.
  • Short-term contracts are available via recruitment agencies, although these are generally for more senior market research posts.
  • Most opportunities with market research firms are in London and the South East of England but client-side posts are generally available nationwide.
  • This can be a fast-paced, high-pressure role due to the tight deadlines, but it’s also challenging, varied and rewarding.
  • Competition for jobs is strong. Speculative approaches can be more successful than relying on advertised vacancies. Consider applying for market research assistant posts first.

Qualifications

The majority of employers expect candidates to have a degree and look for skills in communication and analysis. If you want to get into quantitative research, the following subjects are useful:

  • business or management
  • economics
  • mathematics
  • statistics.

For qualitative research it is helpful to have a degree in a subject such as:

  • anthropology
  • geography
  • psychology
  • social sciences
  • sociology.

Degrees in marketing, English and languages are also useful but a variety of degrees are often accepted by employers.

For specialist industrial market research posts, a degree in a specific subject linked to the industry, such as engineering or science, may be useful. For some posts, an understanding and knowledge of specialist statistical software may give candidates an edge.

A postgraduate qualification is not usually needed, although for some types of roles a Masters or diploma in a statistics-related subject may improve your chances of finding employment, particularly if your first degree isn’t statistical.

Skills

You’ll need to show:

  • interpersonal skills, with strong written and oral communication skills
  • good analytical and numerical skills
  • accuracy and attention to detail
  • the ability to use initiative
  • excellent organisational skills
  • business awareness
  • creativity and problem-solving skills
  • teamwork and negotiation skills
  • flexibility and drive
  • IT literacy
  • an interest in psychology and behaviour.

Work experience

Pre-entry experience in areas such as research, statistical data analysis and interview techniques will be helpful.

You can get relevant work experience through work placements, shadowing or volunteering and a range of market research agencies offer structured placement opportunities.

For details see Market Research Society (MRS) – Work Placement and Intern Opportunities .

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Employers

You’ll find the majority of positions are in market research agencies or consultancies. These specialist agencies manage and oversee research projects commissioned by a range of organisations, including businesses, advertising and PR agencies, local and central government and charities.

Many of the marketing research agencies are located in and around London and in the South East of England. Agencies range in size from two to several hundred employees, offering specialist or general consultancy.

Opportunities also exist client-side, where market researchers work within industrial and commercial organisations, such as manufacturing, pharmaceutical and retail companies, as well as in advertising agencies and charities. Roles in these settings may involve coordinating and contracting out the research on behalf of the company or assisting in the development of marketing strategies.

Research institutions and government departments also employ market researchers. For more information on working for local authorities or government departments, see government social research officer .

You can get details of market research agencies and consultants, as well as background information on the different sectors from:

  • The AQR Directory
  • Research Buyers Guide

Look for job vacancies at:

  • Ipsos MORI
  • Marketing Week
  • MrWeb
  • Research Job Finder
  • Social Research Association (SRA)

You can also check local and national press for listings.

Recruitment agencies commonly handle vacancies. Vacancies for graduates may be advertised as research assistants or as graduate trainees.

Get more tips on how to find a job , create a successful CV and cover letter , and prepare for interviews .

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Professional development

Once in post, most training is provided informally, on the job, with support from more experienced colleagues. Some larger agencies run graduate training schemes, which typically last two years. There are also a variety of external courses available, specifically designed for market research professionals.

The MRS runs many training courses and offers qualifications at different levels. While you’re in the first two years of your market research career you can take the MRS Advanced Certificate in Market and Social Research Practice. Some large companies may incorporate this qualification into their graduate training programmes.

For more experienced market researchers who are progressing to senior roles, there is the MRS Diploma in Market and Social Research Practice. To take this you need to have between one to three years’ experience in a relevant role depending on whether you already hold the MRS Advanced Certificate or another professional qualification or degree.

It’s also possible to take an accredited Masters degree. Details of courses, as well as further information on the certificate and diploma, are available at MRS – Qualifications .

Many of the qualifications offered by the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) include a market research component. There is also a range of relevant postgraduate courses available in statistics, marketing or social research.

The SRA runs a range of courses on topics such as survey design and quantitative data analysis.

Continuing professional development (CPD) is important and can be carried out in many ways. The MRS offers training courses covering a range of topics, as well as webinars and online training in questionnaire design and business skills. It offers a range of events and networking opportunities, some specifically designed for new and young researchers through the MRS: &more group.

Career prospects

Generally, career progression in market research can be relatively rapid, with many market researchers being given the opportunity to advance to a more senior post within two or three years of entry. Promotion is usually based on merit, professional qualifications gained, experience and specialism.

You’ll often progress to research executive, before moving onto senior researcher and finally advancing to the role of account director.

Responsibility for client contact, presentations, and project and team management increases with seniority, often with a corresponding decrease in the level of field work undertaken.

It’s recommended that you gain a range of experience before specialising in order to enhance your career development and/or job mobility later in your career.

The rapid growth of international business and developments in information technology has created worldwide opportunities in this field. With a good level of experience in your specialist area, you can progress to working as a research practitioner, either independently or in a partnership.

You may also want to consider setting up your own consultancy or working as a freelance, but this will only be possible once you’ve built up substantial experience and have a good contacts list.

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Research Assistant Job Description

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In order to ensure your professional resume will support your goals, use this research assistant job description to inform what you should highlight on your resume.

By reviewing job description examples, you’ll be able to identify what technical and soft skills , credentials and work experience matter most to an employer in your target field.

Research Assistant Job Description

Participate in the design, administration and monitoring of clinical trials. Analyze and evaluate clinical data gathered during research. Ensure compliance with protocol and overall clinical objectives.

May require a BS, RN, or BSN degree or equivalent and 0-3 years of experience in the field or in a related area. Knowledge of FDA regulatory requirements is required. Has knowledge of commonly-used concepts, practices and procedures within a particular field. Rely on instructions and pre-established guidelines to perform the functions of the job. Work under immediate supervision. Primary job functions do not typically require exercising independent judgment. Typically reports to a supervisor or manager.

Responsibilities:

  • Conduct literature reviews

  • Collect and analyze data

  • Prepare materials for submission to granting agencies and foundations

  • Prepare interview questions

  • Recruit and/or interview subjects

  • Maintain accurate records of interviews, safeguarding the confidentiality of subjects, as necessary

  • Summarize interviews

  • Provide ready access to all experimental data for the faculty researcher and/or supervisor

  • Request or acquire equipment or supplies necessary for the project

  • Manage and respond to project related email

  • Prepare, maintain and update website materials

  • Supervise undergraduate students working on the research project (maintaining records on assignment completion, acting as liaison/mediator between the undergraduate students and the faculty researcher)

  • Attend project meetings

  • Attend area seminars and other meetings as necessary

  • Summarize project results

  • Prepare progress reports

  • Prepare other articles, reports and presentations

  • Monitor the project budget

  • Travel to field sites to collect and record data and/or samples as appropriate to the specific objectives of the study

  • As appropriate to the specified position, code and verify data in accordance with specified research protocol and coding procedures and enter data into a computer database and/or spreadsheet application for subsequent analysis

  • Develop or assist in the development of interview schedules; contact potential subjects to introduce and explain study objectives and protocol and to arrange interviews, either in person or by telephone

  • Identify and compile lists of potential research subjects in accordance with study objectives and parameters, as appropriate to the individual position

  • Conduct and record face-to-face and/or telephone interviews with subjects, in accordance with predetermined interview protocol, data collection procedures and documentation standards

  • Review and edit data to ensure completeness and accuracy of information; follow up with subjects to resolve problems or clarify data collected

  • May set up, calibrate and maintain laboratory and/or field research equipment, as specified by the requirements of the study

  • May lead or guide the work of student employees

  • Perform miscellaneous job-related duties as assigned

  • Prepare findings for publication and assist in laboratory analysis, quality control, or data management

  • Write and contribute to publications

  • Develop research protocols

  • Track progress over time

  • Assist with preparation of all educational and training workshops and evaluation strategies

  • Engage clinical and community partners in research

  • Market training and technical assistance resources to clinical partners and academic investigators

  • Develop assessment and evaluation tools

  • Compile data for progress reports

Requirements:

  • Completed degree(s) from an accredited institution that are above the minimum education requirement may be substituted for experience on a year for year basis

  • High school diploma or equivalent; college degree preferred

Research Assistant top skills & proficiencies:

  • Communication

  • Attention to detail

  • Critical thinking

  • Technical skills

  • Statistical and Graphical Analysis of Data

  • Ability to maintain quality, safety and/or infection control standards

  • Planning and scheduling

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  • Data Collection

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