Skills required to become a market research analyst

By Vinay K Mayer

Working in the market research industry, you are no stranger to how rapidly the technology improvements are affecting the end-user experience. From understanding the impact of technological advancements on users around the globe to analyzing market trends and adjusting your business strategy by doing so, there are many aspects of a thriving business that rely on market research to be successful.

Market Research is the collection, analysis, and reporting of information related to the market, consumers, competition, and other factors that affect a business. It helps companies make informed decisions on their products and marketing strategies.

Market Research Analysts (MRAs) are focused on gathering data related to the progressing market trends and using that information to develop relevant insights based on product marketing and business strategy. MRAs use several methodologies such as questionnaires, surveys, observation, focus groups, and statistical analysis to gather information about consumer preferences, buying behavior, product usage, and patterns, among other factors.

Market Research can be used in diverse industries including retail, education, entertainment, healthcare, media, travel, business to business, government, and non-profit.

Steps to Becoming a Market Research Analyst

Define your goals

Analyzing market research is a rewarding and interesting career choice; however, new professionals should take the time to think about what they expect out of being a MRA before embarking on the journey. Do you just want to work with companies, or do you have a passion for analyzing marketing data? How much time can you invest into training, development, and onsite learnings? Once you’ve got all your expectations lined up, it’s time to start researching opportunities that fit these preferences.

Learn about market research

The next step to becoming a MRA is to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Business, Economics, or other related fields. Next, you’ll need to enroll in an advanced program in marketing research or informatics so you can gain the necessary skills, required knowledge, and good experience with statistical tools for this career.

Find a market research analyst position

Once you’ve learned about market research, it’s time to start looking for a job. A few online resources that can help you out are job search engines or industry databases. Many employers recruit marketing research analysts through targeted job fairs and career fairs.

Skills Needed

MRAs must possess excellent analytical skills, as they process large amounts of information and use statistical and analytical techniques to identify patterns that can be used to predict future outcomes.

● One should have a solid background in Mathematics and Statistics. These skills will allow you to analyze data and communicate your findings effectively.

● One should have experience conducting surveys or interviews. By gaining hands-on experience, you will be better equipped to ask questions that elicit interesting responses.

● Knowledge of statistical tools such as SPSS, R, MATLAB, SAS, Excel, and Minitab, to name a few.

● Finally, it is important to have good writing skills. It’s not only important to report your findings concisely, but also to communicate them.

Path ahead

Becoming a market research analyst will require a mix of education and experience. There are multiple ways one can become a market research analyst, for example getting a job at an agency dedicated to market research or working in association with the government. The higher you’re hoping to climb on this career track, the more education you should aim to get under your belt.

At entry-level positions, one usually requires a bachelor’s degree in business, marketing, or another field; however, analysts that have made it to the top may be required to have attained a master’s degree. Analysts earn between $30,000-70,000 per year depending on their level and what organization they work for.

The bottom line

If you’re passionate about market research and want to make an impact in the industry, then a career in this field can be very satisfying. The important thing to remember as one looks to build your experience and expertise in market research is that every project is unique, so it’s essential to approach things in a way that will allow you to put your best foot forward for each new endeavor.

The author director, Market Research and Consulting, Asia Research Partners LLP.

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