In the last couple of years we’ve seen the Researcher and Analyst jobs become more and more similar.
If, in the past, there was a clear distinction between the two, they have now begun to merge into one.
While Researchers worked on the front and the back end of data, crunching numbers and interpreting results, most Analysts worked on the back end of research, compiling and analysing larger and more complex data.
Once upon a time, the prerequisite was that if you were a wiz with numbers and could do things most people couldn’t understand (eg. conjoint analysis, maxdiff, structural equation modelling, cluster analysis ?!, etc…), then you wouldn’t be the one that had to develop a story and present or sell it.
On the other hand, if you did some analysis and interpretation and could also present it in an eloquent way, then you were not expected to do any advanced analytics.
Things have changed.
Our clients now want the best of both worlds –someone who is excellent with numbers AND ALSO has great client facing skills. This is now expected at all levels of seniority, from juniors to research directors.
If you desire a career in market research and want to become a marketable candidate in the future, start honing your analysis and client facing skills from the get go. One is not more important than the other, and both skills are now expected to go hand in hand. Sounds impossible, but it isn’t! It is just… challenging.