Research Analyst Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

A Research Analyst, or Researcher, is responsible for using their knowledge of research tools and industry trends to conduct research projects. Their duties include communicating with business owners and industry professionals to identify research objectives, reviewing statistical data or industry reports to aid research projects and compiling their findings into a comprehensive report for their employer to use when making business decisions.

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Research Analyst Duties and Responsibilities

A research analyst typically specializes in a particular field in order to provide the most efficient analysis of data. For example, a financial analyst will collect market data, while a marketing specialist will apply socioeconomic data to their reports. The following are the general duties and responsibilities of a research analyst:

  • Use mathematical models to come up with objective answers based on historical data.
  • Perform research to base buy or sell recommendations to money managers, brokerages or investors. 
  • Analyze data using statistical software.
  • Identify trends and make recommendations to improve.
  • Create presentations with charts and graphs to present to higher-ups and management.
  • Develop recommendations for the future of the business.
  • Measure the strategy effectiveness of the business.

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What Does a Research Analyst Do?

Research Analysts typically work for corporations across industries and contribute their expertise to a specific department or overall business operations. They work closely with other Research Analysts to analyze data, prove or disprove hypotheses and present their findings to business professionals. Their job is to gather past and present industry data to make predictions. They may also be responsible for offering their professional opinion about whether a company should pursue certain business opportunities.

Research Analyst Skills and Qualifications

A Research Analyst also has particular skills and qualifications in order to perform their job well. These should be learned and improved on throughout the university level and entry-level work.

The following are the major skills and qualifications of a Research Analyst:

  • Research analysts should know how to use a computer in order to perform data research. Statistical software and creating charts and graphs is done via a computer.
  • Communication skills are important in order to present the results of the data collected. Analysts present their findings to clients and managers.
  • The ability to communicate effectively with all types of people is important, as research analysts deal with co-workers, managers, clients and vendors in their job.
  • Research analysts should use their advanced organizational skills in order to multi-task effectively and meet deadlines.
  • Analytical skills is very important as a research analyst because they deal with mathematical models, statistics and the gathering of data to reach conclusions.

Research Analyst Salary Expectations

The average salary of a Research Analyst is $67,423 per year. This is based on the past 36 months of salary reports and present salary reports.

Research Analyst Education and Training Requirements

Research Analysts should have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in a subject like marketing, finance, economics, business or a similar field. As a Research Analyst, companies prefer candidates who have a master’s degree in finance or similar subjects. Those with a Chartered Financial Analyst designation have proven to have the necessary credentials as a Research Analyst.

Those who pass the Series 86/87 have proven to have the necessary knowledge to work as a Research Analyst for FINRA-member brokers.

Research Analyst Experience Requirements

Research Analysts can gather experience during their university studies by taking part in internships with financial institutions, the government or non-profits. Working in accounting, marketing, sales, research is important experience that counts. Positions which require analyzing data, creating reports and collecting data are very helpful in starting as a Research Analyst.

Some companies do offer some training to recent graduates or those who took part in internships and help them grow within the company if they see great potential. The certifications available for Research Analysts can prove knowledge in the area.

Job Description Samples for Similar Positions

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Frequently asked questions about Research Analysts


What are the different types of Research Analysts?

Research Analysts have different job titles depending on the areas they specialize in. Here are some examples:

  • Market Research Analyst: Market Research Analysts specialize in marketing and use their knowledge to aid businesses with identifying market trends, product popularity, competition and consumer preferences.
  • Financial Research Analyst: This type of Research Analyst reviews a business’s financial statements and compares them with current economic factors. Their goal is to help business owners make sound financial decisions regarding investments, downsizing or expanding into new markets.
  • Operations Research Analyst: These professionals review a company’s operational data relating to organizational structure, employee data and other factors to determine ways to improve business operations.
  • Medical Research Analyst: Medical Research Analysts work on clinical trials and medical studies to record participant data and reach conclusions about the effectiveness of a pharmaceutical drug or procedure.


What are the daily duties of a Research Analyst?

On a typical day, a Research Analyst starts by checking their email and voicemail to respond to time-sensitive messages from industry Consultants or company employees. Throughout the day, they meet with department heads and company leadership personnel to discuss their progress with research projects. During downtime at their desk, Research Analysts continue entering data into statistical software and read industry articles to aid their ongoing research initiatives. They also use this time to write reports and create presentations to show to their colleagues at a later date.


What qualities make a good Research Analyst?

A good Research Analyst has a passion for their industry and an investigative mindset. These qualities, in combination with one another, inspire a Research Analyst to complete valuable research projects. They value continued education in their field and devote some of their free time to reading reports and reviewing market data. Further, a good Research Analyst has the ability to work as part of a team and on their own when necessary. This allows them to collaborate on research projects but doesn’t hinder them from pursuing challenging research topics independently. 

A good Research Analyst also has excellent public speaking abilities, enabling them to present their findings to industry professionals in a comprehensive manner.


Who does a Research Analyst report to?

A Research Analyst usually reports to different roles depending on their employer’s organizational structure and the department in which they work. For example, a Financial Research Analyst likely reports to the Finance Manager or Director of Finance. A Market Research Analyst reports to the Marketing Department Manager or Marketing Director, while an Operations Research Analyst may work directly under the Chief Operating Officer (COO).

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