What Is a Market Research Analyst? 2024 Guide

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

Market research analysts pore over trending keywords, survey responses, social media mentions, and more to understand markets, customers, and competitors. Learn more about this high-demand role.

[Featured image] Staff reviews marketing data

Market research analysts—sometimes called market researchers—help companies develop or maintain a competitive edge by finding and delivering data-backed insights into potential markets, competitors, and even customer behaviour.

They’re an integral part of a company’s overall marketing strategy and are in demand across multiple industries. Look at the role of a market research analyst and what you can expect working in the field.

What does a market research analyst do?

Market research analysts pore over trending keywords, survey responses, social media mentions, and other data to find answers. Essentially, they transform information into actionable insights that will help companies develop everything from competitive product launches to effective marketing campaigns.   

Each company’s needs differ, but your responsibilities as a market research analyst may include:

  • Developing data collection tools and techniques 

  • Using data modelling tools

  • Analysing data sets and communicating findings 

  • Contributing data-backed insights to marketing strategy 

  • Conducting product testing and brand research 

What type of research does a market research analyst conduct?

A market research analyst conducts qualitative and quantitative research. In other words, they gather statistical data and solicit responses about people’s beliefs, opinions, and experiences.  

An analyst’s research can span multiple areas, including: 


Primary and secondary customer research—everything from demographics to opinions—helps a company develop more targeted marketing and align its products and services with customers’ differing needs. Market research analysts may also identify how companies find, acquire, and retain customers while avoiding churn—or customer loss. 

Primary vs. secondary research: What's the difference?

Primary research is research you conduct yourself, building original tools or techniques to help you collect new information. Research someone else has done, like a government agency or research think tank, is considered secondary research.



As a company develops new offerings—like products, services, or ideas—market research about competitors, similar products, and potential sales can help successfully position each launch. Market research analysts investigate new and existing markets, learning as much as possible so they can deliver precise suggestions.


Both new and established companies rely on brand research to strengthen their position in the market. Conducting a competitive analysis to see how a company’s brand fares against competitors and researching customers’ brand awareness and perception helps them remain competitive. Those findings can also yield insights into customer acquisition, retention, and loyalty.


Understanding how a company’s customers feel about advertising at all phases of a marketing campaign can produce specific messaging and, in turn, more impactful campaigns. Whilst this type of research typically falls under a marketing analyst role, market research analysts at smaller companies may sometimes analyse a company’s marketing strategy.

Market research analyst job description


Market research analyst jobs typically require a bachelor’s degree in business or a related field to qualify for an entry-level role. More senior-level market research analyst jobs may require a master’s degree or several years of experience.

Subjects and coursework that can prepare you for a job as a market research analyst: 

  • Business administration 

  • Economics 

  • Marketing

  • Psychology

  • Sociology  

  • Statistics

Market research analyst technical skills

Data collection tools: Market research analysts gather data from various sources, including surveys, social media platforms, keyword trends, and audience insights. Market research analysts use Qualtrics, SurveyMonkey, Typeform, Google Trends, and SEMrush, among many other tools, to learn more about customers, markets, and competitors.

Statistical analysis: Because market research involves working with quantitative data, it’s important to understand how to apply statistical techniques to group your data into relevant, actionable findings. Whilst many programs, like the data visualisation tools below, offer a statistical analysis feature, they shouldn’t replace a more foundational knowledge.  

Data visualisation: Once a market research analyst has collected relevant data, they must structure their findings comprehensively. Using data dashboards or data analytics suites can help convey essential findings to other teams. Market research analysts use data visualisation tools like Tableau, Qlikview, and Plotly.  

Programming languages: Although not always necessary, some companies do require market research analysts to know a programming language, such as R, SQL, SAS, or SPSS, which feeds into their data gathering and data interpretation efforts. Make sure to read over job descriptions to learn which language, if any, a company prefers.

Market researcher workplace skills

Interpretation: Parsing data is critical to a market research analyst’s role. After gathering the necessary data, you must interpret those findings in light of a company’s product and marketing needs.  

Critical thinking: Conducting market research means asking the right questions to find the best data, extracting meaning from collected data, and then applying those insights to a company’s marketing strategy.    

Communication: Translating insights into recommendations that other teams can act upon will help in a marketing research analyst's line of work. A strong ability to speak and write clearly and constructively is an asset. 

Interviewing: Many market research analysts rely on digital surveys to glean customer responses, but the role can also involve conducting customer interviews or focus groups. Being comfortable speaking with strangers and getting them to open up about their experiences is a key skill.

What are the benefits of being a market research analyst?

Job prospects

As companies need insight into customer behaviour to keep their competitive edge, market research analysts will continue to serve an integral role. In 2021, revenue in the Asian Pacific market research industry grew more than 10 per cent year over year [1]. This trend should continue, as experts expect the global market to exceed $83 billion by 2025 [2].

Market research analyst salary

According to Glassdoor, the median salary for a market research analyst in India is ₹5,15,767, though salary can differ depending on the industry [3].

Market research analyst vs. similar roles

Market research analysts share much in common with roles that also parse data and deliver strategic insights.

Marketing analyst

Although market research analysts are sometimes confused—and even called—marketing analysts, the two roles differ slightly. Marketing analysts focus internally on a company’s marketing efforts rather than externally on markets, but both roles use data to inform their recommendations.

Business analyst

Another role that relies heavily on data, a business analyst analyses large data sets to make recommendations that will strengthen a business’ processes and help it run more efficiently.

Data analyst

With a much broader role than the three previously described, a data analyst typically works with large, raw data sets that must first be cleaned to yield important insights. Data analysts apply their findings to an array of organisational and business needs.

How to become a market research analyst

1. Look for a related entry-level role

Whilst some entry-level market research analyst roles exist, most employers prefer at least two years of experience. If you’re interested in becoming a market research analyst, consider a related role to help you gain experience and grow more competitive. Working as a marketing assistant or data analyst can provide you with the experience necessary to move into market research analysis.

2. Brush up on related technical skills

Knowing that market research analysts use specific tools to gather and assess customer, market, and competitor data, it’s a good idea to research the most popular programs and refine your knowledge of them. Watch tutorials, use free trials, and familiarise yourself with the tools of the trade.

3. Take a course

Taking courses that expose you to critical strategies of market research can help introduce you to the work of a market research analyst. You can start with the Google Digital Marketing & E-commerce Professional Certificate offered on Coursera. You’ll learn how to manage digital marketing campaigns, attract and engage customers, and prepare for media planner and marketing coordinator jobs. 

Article sources


Statista. "Annual Growth in Market Research Revenue Worldwide by Region 2021, https://www.statista.com/statistics/378039/annual-change-in-market-research-revenue-by-region/." Accessed July 27, 2023.

Keep reading

Updated on
Written by:

Editorial Team

Coursera’s editorial team is comprised of highly experienced professional editors, writers, and fact...

This content has been made available for informational purposes only. Learners are advised to conduct additional research to ensure that courses and other credentials pursued meet their personal, professional, and financial goals.