Why Become a Product Analyst? Careers, Salaries, Data

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Discover information about product analyst skills, salary, and job responsibilities in this guide. Uncover insights into this career to understand if it's for you.

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Product analysts watch how people use products and then analyze the data they collect—tracking usage patterns, identifying trends, and making inferences about customers' preferences, needs, and behaviors.

If you love data and are curious, innovative, and collaborative, you might want to consider a career as a product analyst. Product analysts are in high demand. Organizations need them to gather and interpret data to design better products and services. As a product analyst, you'll work on exciting projects throughout the product lifecycle and directly impact product strategy and business performance.

What is a product analyst?

As a product analyst, you research and analyze customers' behaviors who use a product or service. Companies that design and manufacture consumer products, such as products for the office, home, car, and tech gadgets typically employ product analysts.

The product analyst's job entails gathering and analyzing data on how customers use a particular product. This allows you to determine what product features are widely adopted and which need improvement. You can contribute to every stage of developing a new product, from conducting market research before the actual design process begins to analyzing market trends after the product has become available. You’ll also help decide when a product has come to the end of its life.

What are the typical job responsibilities of a product analyst?

Product analysts gather information, analyze it, and draw conclusions. Analysts are essential to help us understand what's happening in a world constantly flooded with data. Working as a data analyst, you'll:

  • Be at the center of the action and responsible for providing the insight that drives management decisions on product direction and investment.

  • Work at the heart of product planning and development, helping teams create products by providing them with data-driven insights about customers and markets.

  • Be responsible for customer and market research, and competitive analysis.

  • Collect and analyze data to identify areas for improvement in products and product lifecycle processes.

  • Understand the needs of different customers, user groups, and stakeholders involved in the product life cycle.

  • Also conduct research to identify problems, gaps, pricing strategies, and market opportunities.

  • Help translate these findings into actionable business requirements, specifications, and features.

  • Coordinate with other departments and key organizational stakeholders, including project managers, developers, designers, and marketers.

Daily activities as a product analyst will vary, doing different things at different stages of the product lifecycle. You'll be gathering and analyzing data, refining insights, formulating suggestions, and presenting your data and insights.  

Monitor product performance

As a product analyst, you’ll monitor the performance of products over their lifecycle. It's important to look for patterns and trends that indicate how well a product performs on the market, and subsequently monitor sales numbers and gather customer feedback data to gauge performance.

Analyze customer feedback 

The day-to-day role of a product analyst involves using data to understand customer perception of products. You may interview customers directly or facilitate focus groups with several customers at once, or even conduct polls to collect feedback from many customers on specific issues related to the product you’re evaluating.

As a product analyst, you’ll also:

  • Set up and manage daily, weekly, and monthly product performance tracking and reporting processes

  • Develop new tools and reports to improve day-to-day operations

  • Perform ad hoc analysis to support business decisions

  • Research information about products under analysis

  • Assist in all activities involved in taking a product from conception to launch stage

  • Build dashboards in Tableau or other BI tools for the company to use to track product performance

  • Partner with the growth marketing team to track, analyze, and report on the impact of marketing campaigns on product performance

  • Collate feedback from customers about their level of satisfaction with the product 

Evaluate products and find ways to improve performance

You’ll draw insights about products from the data you’ve gathered. The goal as a product analyst is to evaluate products to determine how they can be improved or updated, as well as to study competitors' products in terms of quality and price point to ensure the product you are evaluating is competitive with others in the market. This information can then help to make data inferences informed by your experience.

Create reports and presentations about product data findings

As a product analyst, creating reports and presentations about data findings and insights is a frequent task. You’ll use charts, graphs, tables, or other visuals to represent the data in a way other stakeholders easily understand. In some cases, the responsibility for presenting and justifying the findings to senior management will be needed.

Workplace skills required for a career as a product analyst

When building your resume for a product analyst role, it's helpful to know the product analyst skills and experience employers are looking for. Here are some of the top skills you'll need throughout a product analytics career:

Creativity. As an analytics professional, you must be able to think creatively and outside the norm, mainly when tasked with finding solutions to complex issues.

Motivation. While working as a product analyst, you’re often involved in investigating new products and processes, which can mean working independently on your initiative. 

Critical thinking. Be able to evaluate large amounts of data and quickly identify patterns and trends that can inform business decisions.

Communication. As a product analyst, you must be able to share your findings with others, both verbally and in written reports. You’ll also need to explain technical information and data-driven insights to non-technical colleagues.

Collaboration. A product analyst's findings often impact the work of other employees. It's crucial for you to be able to share information with colleagues in an effective manner, to take feedback gracefully, and use collaborative efforts to improve your work processes.

Organizational skills. Often there will be a need to work on multiple projects simultaneously, so you need to be organized, keeping track of each project. You’ll also be very careful about keeping data up-to-date. Outdated numbers and disorganized data will affect your ability to draw insights.

Technical skills of a product analyst

As well as having core workplace skills, you’ll need specific technical proficiencies to get a product manager job and succeed in the role.

Knowledge in economics

Understanding the economic principles that govern product development and market research is essential. Product analysts use data to help drive decisions that improve product performance. This includes being comfortable with basic economic concepts like supply and demand.

Market research

It's beneficial to have experience in conducting market research. This includes being familiar with the tools and methods used to gather customer information, their needs, and their perception of products.

Writing detailed and comprehensive reports.

Be able to produce detailed reports by summarizing and presenting your findings in an easily understood manner. Your success will be about how well you tell the story of the analyzed data. If you're able to engage the interest of stakeholders with the impact of your insights, you’ll be able to affect change. 

Data analytics and product analyst techniques

Having experience using data analytics tools to analyze large datasets and derive insights from them will be needed. Some of the data analytics techniques you’ll need to know are:

  • Cohort analysis

  • A/B testing

  • Retention analysis

  • Heat mapping

  • Form analysis

  • Funnel analysis

  • Session replay

  • User survey

Product management

You should have a strong grasp of the product management lifecycle, providing you a good understanding of the product design, development, and management process. It helps you understand how products are designed to meet customer needs and how they are developed from conceptualization to the final product. It enables you to comprehend how products are produced and distributed to customers after they leave the developers' hands. This background is necessary to help you draw actionable insights in your product analyst role.

SQL

Structured query language (SQL) is essential for any product analyst as it enables you to extract information from various databases across your organization. You’ll need SQL to gain access to the data you want to work with for your analysis. You may also need NoSQL data skills if your company uses big data warehouses of unstructured data.

Statistics

Statistics is an essential skill you need as an analyst. You’ll have to find, collect, and analyze data,  making conclusions based on the findings. This means you need to be good at statistics. You’ll understand the statistical side of data analytics, be able to make projections, and infer causation and correlations from data.

MS Office applications

Microsoft Excel, PowerPoint, and Word or similar applications from competitors like Google, are used daily.

What is the average annual salary of a product analyst?

The average product analyst salary in the US. is $99,289[1]. This includes base pay of $65,308 and additional pay of $33,981

Other similar job titles

Additional job titles are related to the product analyst role and these roles require having similar competencies:

  • Senior product analyst: $108,467 [2]

  • Lead product analyst: $101,672 [3]

  • Market research analyst: $89,597 [4]

  • Product insights manager:$126,093[5]

  • Product consultant: $64,624 [6]

Career paths product analysts move on to

Product analyst roles enable you to build strong experience in product marketing and management. Some of the senior roles you could advance to after working as a product analyst include:

  • Product marketing manager: $121,247 [7]

  • Product manager: $113,903 [8]

  • Product director: $170,963 [9]

  • Product lifecycle manager: $97,907 [10]

  • Ecommerce manager: $87,098 [11]

  • Digital marketing manager: $95,955 [12]

What is the typical background of a product analyst?

There are no specific educational requirements for product analyst jobs. Still, employers usually look for candidates with at least a bachelor’s degree in business management, economics, finance, or another relevant field. Some companies prefer candidates with graduate degrees.

Certifications

Certifications like Certified Analytics Professional (CAP) and Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP) are highly prized by employers. Some employers require certifications in data analytics and product management.

Ready to get started on a product analyst career?

Becoming a product analyst can be an exciting and rewarding career. You’ll be pivotal to the success of product launches, marketing campaigns, and company growth. The experience you gain can also open up opportunities for career advancement in marketing, product, and management roles.

If you’re ready to take your next step into a product analyst career, you can start building your knowledge and skills by learning online. Learn job-ready competencies in data analytics by earning an IBM Data Analyst Professional Certificate, for example, or learn the basics in an Introduction to Data Analytics course on Coursera.

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Article sources

1. Glassdoor, “How much does a Product Analyst make?, https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/us-product-analyst-salary-SRCH_IL.0,2_IN1_KO3,18.htm.” Accessed June 10, 2022.

2. Glassdoor, “How much does a Senior Product Analyst make?, https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/senior-product-analyst-salary-SRCH_KO0,22.htm.” Accessed June 10, 2022.

3. Glassdoor, “How much does a Lead Product Analyst make?, https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/product-analyst-lead-salary-SRCH_KO0,20.htm.” Accessed June 10, 2022.

4. Glassdoor, “How much does a Market Research Analyst make?, https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/market-research-analyst-salary-SRCH_KO0,23.htm.” Accessed June 10, 2022.

5. Glassdoor, “How much does a Product Insights Manager make?, https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/manager-product-insights-salary-SRCH_KO0,24.htm.” Accessed June 10, 2022.

6. Glassdoor, “How much does a Product Consultant make?, https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/product-consultant-salary-SRCH_KO0,18.htm.” Accessed June 10, 2022.

7. Glassdoor, “How much does a Product Marketing Manager make?, https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/product-marketing-manager-salary-SRCH_KO0,25.htm.” Accessed June 10, 2022.

8. Glassdoor, “How much does a Product Manager make?, https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/product-manager-salary-SRCH_KO0,15.htm.” Accessed June 10, 2022.

9. Glassdoor, “How much does a Product Director make?, https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/product-director-salary-SRCH_KO0,16.htm.” Accessed June 10, 2022.

10. Glassdoor, “How much does a Product Lifecycle Manager make?, https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/product-lifecycle-manager-salary-SRCH_KO0,25.htm.” Accessed June 10, 2022.

11. Glassdoor, “How much does a ECommerce Manager make?, https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/ecommerce-manager-salary-SRCH_KO0,17.htm.” Accessed June 10, 2022.

12. Glassdoor, “How much does a Digital Marketing Manager make?, https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/digital-marketing-manager-salary-SRCH_KO0,25.htm.” Accessed June 10, 2022.

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