A Day in the Life of a Research Analyst

Working as an analyst requires a number of key competencies and skills and can be an extremely rewarding and satisfying career journey.  These professionals conduct research, analyze data, and present their work to help inform decision makers and stakeholders about a situation. Accurate knowledge of situations and circumstances, markets/sectors, emerging issues, and priorities are crucial to examining a project’s parameters, precise goals and project success. On an everyday basis, here is what we do:

1. Stay updated

Typically, research analysts start their day by keeping abreast of new headlines with the market/sectors that they are responsible for, since they need to know of breaking news that may impact on their work. We read both sector-specific and general news from traditional information sources (e.g., newspapers, magazines) and unconventional news sources (e.g., twitter). Additionally, analysts track reports, developments and trends from the sector, government and academia.  Depending on the news, the day can be a roller-coaster ride บริษัทของฉัน!

2. Conduct data analysis

Our main responsibilities are to conduct quantitative analysis (e.g., data) and qualitative analysis  (e.g., interviews). Quantitative analysis may include statistical modelling, extrapolation of graphs, regression models, while qualitative analysis may include key informant interviews, focus groups, and expert panels. Analysts are experts in a very specific sector and tasked to help businesses and organizations make informed decisions. As subject matter experts, they conduct extensive but highly-focused research on a topic of interest and then present the data, analysis and interpretations in a clear, concise and succinct manner to the public, stakeholders and partners. Throughout the day, we may meet with their supervisors and fellow analysts, to touch base and exchange notes and ideas.

3. Communicate with stakeholders 

An aspect of the analyst’s role that is extremely important – but not often discussed – is communication. Analysts need excellent oral communication and writing skills to inform and update the stakeholders with recommendations and insights. This requires critical thinking, the ability to quickly and accurately synthesize data from a number of different data sources, and the ability to present the information in a public-friendly and non-technical manner. Analysts need to anticipate and be prepared to answer questions about the methodologies conducted and the technical specifications of the statistical analysis performed.

The Bottom Line

Analysts typically work about eight to nine hours per day but some days may be longer depending on project deadlines and emerging priorities. In general, analysts keep up with the news, track sector/market performance, write and review reports, attend meetings, and update stakeholders with important and relevant insights.

Being an analyst provides opportunities to perform many different types of tasks in a market/sector and to learn about new and different areas/sectors. Every day is different – an analyst may be designing a questionnaire, reading articles, examining online discussion forums, industry and government web sites, crunching numbers, consulting with subject matter experts and industry leaders, presenting findings and recommendations in a report and presentation format. It is certainly not easy – but the key findings and recommendations that are produced are essential for evidence-based informed decision-making at the organizational and policy levels.

 

References:

  1. Brian DeChesare. Equity Research Careers: Pay, Hours, and Exit Opps. Available at: http://www.mergersandinquisitions.com/equity-research-on-the-job/.
  2. Shelton, M. V. A Day In The Life Of A Financial Analyst. Investopedia (2013). Available at: http://www.investopedia.com/financial-edge/0213/a-day-in-the-life-of-a-financial-analyst.aspx.
  3. What is a Research Analyst – Research Analyst Post-Graduate Program | Humber College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning. Available at: http://www.humber.ca/research-analyst/what.html.

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As a mentor in our free National Young Leader mentorship program, Tommy is eager to answer your questions about the job hunt, being a research analyst, and pursuing graduate studies. Check out his profile and connect with him here.

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