Industries of all types increasingly are driven by data, making people who are experts at collecting, analyzing and interpreting data extremely popular in the job market.
Market research analysts fall into this category. Their numbers are expected to soar in the coming years, with more than 500,000 people working as market research analysts by 2024.
Joining their ranks requires the right education and a skill set that can help businesses use data to determine what customers want, and measure how market and business strategies are performing.
What Market Research Analysts Do
Market research analysts use data analysis to help businesses make better decisions on serving customers, marketing in the most effective way, cutting costs and increasing profits.
The job also can involve many detailed work tasks to achieve those major goals. While job duties can vary depending on the organization and the specific tasks assigned, generally market research analysts work in the following areas:
- Study market trends to determine the potential for sales of a product or service
- Use data to measure how well a specific marketing campaign has performed
- Create and oversee the collection of data, which can include online activities, surveys and opinion polls
- Create and maintain data on consumer behavior, as well as competitors’ activities and market conditions
- Become experts in collecting and analyzing data, which includes skills in using particular types of software programs
- Have the ability to create reports that condense large data set analysis into information that is easily understood by non-analysts
The immense amount of data now available for online businesses has made the market research analyst’s job that much more important. A track record of success has led businesses to increasingly use strategies built on data.
Job Growth and Pay
The need for market research analysts continues to grow much faster than the average for all occupations in the United States. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects the number of market research analysts will grow 19% between 2014 and 2024, with 92,300 new employees entering the profession.
The median pay for a market research analyst in May 2016 was $62,560, according to the BLS. The top 10% in the profession earned $121,720.
Human Resources Manager Job Description & Salary
Skills and Education For Market Research Analysts
Market research analysts must possess analytical thinking skills and the ability to understand and interpret large data sets. Communication skills also are important in this job, as well as the ability to work at extremely detail-oriented tasks.
Most enter the field with a bachelor’s degree in market research or a related field, but some hold a degree in math or statistics. Business classes also can help market research analysts understand how their findings can apply to the business world.
To further advance a career in market research analysis, a master’s degree is typically required by most employees. A master’s degree in applied business analytics or a master’s in business administration can help one attain the top industry jobs.