CAREER DEVELOPMENT / JUL. 05, 2014
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How to Become a Market Research Analyst

Imagine being knowledgeable of which products people want to purchase and how much they are willing to spend. That is your basic responsibility as a market research analyst. Working as a market research analyst requires that you use your comprehension of demand and supply and buying preferences while gathering information by the help of opinion polls, surveys, or questionnaires. Market research analysts establish reports on consumer demographics, needs and purchasing habits, preferences and sales tendencies based on the intricate data and present them to their clients in a comprehensive manner.

What do Market Research Analysts do?

Whether it is Chevy or Toyota, Pepsi or Coke, Android or iPhone, it is the responsibility of the market research analysts to know what is most preferred in the market. They dissect buckets of data and carry out numerous surveys to come up with these findings. Their duties include:

Tracking the consumers’ preferences and what it entails to change their minds

  • Helping companies determine what to sell, who will purchase their services and products and the way to promote them
  • Designing surveys to find out the preferences of potential customers
  • Training and supervising interviewers conducting surveys online
  •  Examining potential service or product sales
  •  Devising procedures and methods of obtaining data
  •  Making recommendations to companies on the basis of data evaluation
  •  Creating presentations for organisation executives and stakeholders

Basic market research analysts carry out their activities in an office setting. Nevertheless, travel and overtime may be required depending on the nature of their task and the employer.

Salary

Earnings for market research analysts varies according to various factors such as company size, years of experience, level of education, location and industry. Below are the median annual earnings for these professionals by state:

State

Earnings

Alabama

$45,443

Colorado

$54,098

Georgia

$44,731

Lowa

$43,479

Maryland

$54,981

Missouri

$52,680

Illinois

$56,287

West Virginia

$46,990

Washington

$56,003

Tennessee

$48531

 

Source: salary.com

Best Paying Cities for Market Research Analysts

City

Earnings

   

San Jose, California

$104,670

San Francisco

$88,580

Oakland, California

$85,260

Seattle

$83,540

Source: usnews

What Qualifications are Needed?

A market research analyst is an imperative team player in the development of great emergent and new products. This position is important to all sectors and industries that consider research necessary. Below are the qualities of a market research analyst:

  •   Adequate computer skills
  •   Efficient communication skills
  •   Adept math knowledge
  •   Self-motivation
  •   Open-mindedness and flexibility
  •   Imaginativeness to come up with new great ideas
  •   Should be skeptical hence the ability to question one’s data
  •   Awareness of what’s important
  •   Ability to analyze large volumes of data
  •   Good report writing skills
  •   Should be interested and curious to conduct deep research
  •   Willingness to talk to various individuals to find out their behaviour motivators
  •   Attention to detail

Professional Training

One needs to secure at least a bachelor’s degree in marketing research to become a market research analyst. Nevertheless, choosing various majors such as math and statistics can land you this career. Despite the degree you choose to chase, your curriculum coursework should include survey design, mathematics, statistics, marketing, and business.

Market research analysts obtain certification from the MRA. This certification has its basis on experience and education and needs to be renewed after every two years. Renewal of this certification needs someone to take continuing education classes. Market research analysts with vast experience can be assigned to their own projects. Those aspiring to proceed to more responsible positions need to take continuing education courses such as an advanced degree that equips them with the emergent survey conducting, developing and analysing skills.

Career Prospects

The job outlook for market research analysts is admirable. According to the BLS, this occupation is experiencing a much quicker growth. It is projected that job opportunities for this career will increase 32% from 2012-2022.

Employment is catalyzed by an increase in the use of market and data research in a large number of industries to figure out the wants and needs of customers and to evaluate the efficiency of business and marketing strategies. Individuals with a strong setting of data analysis, statistical analysis or related experience have higher chances of landing a job in market research analysis.

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