Research Analyst

A professional who performs research and analysis

What is a Research Analyst?

A research analyst is responsible for researching, analyzing, interpreting and presenting data related to markets, operations, finance/accounting, economics, customers, and other information related to the field they are in.  A research analyst is typically very quantitative, analytical, logical, and good at managing numbers and data.  This guide will break down the most aspects of being an analyst in different industries, with a focus on the finance industry.

 

Research Analyst at work with her boss

 

Types of research analysts

Research analysts exist in just about every industry, but some industries are more common than others.  Within a company, there may be analysts in different parts of the business with different titles.

The most common research analyst job titles are:

  • Market Research Analyst (Marketing)
  • Operations Research Analyst
  • Economic Research analyst
  • Financial Analyst
  • Equity Research Analyst

 

What does a Research Analyst do?

A Financial Analyst is primarily concerned with performing financial forecasting, evaluating operational metrics, analyzing financial data, creating financial models for decision making, and reporting on the financial performance of the company, as well as creating presentations for executives.

Responsibilities in a job description include:

  • Analyze past results and perform variance analysis
  • Identify trends and make recommendations for improvements
  • Provide analysis of trends and forecasts and recommending actions for optimization
  • Identify and drive process improvements, including the creation of standard and ad-hoc reports
  • Use Excel functions to organize and analyze data
  • Create charts, graphs, and presentations for leadership teams
  • Develop recommendations to improve business operations going forward

 

What skills/personality do you need to be a Research Analyst?

In order to be a successful research analyst, there are several important skills you should have.  While everyone is different, and all sorts of types can be successful as an analyst, there are some skills that stand out as being extremely common.

The most common skills and personality traits are:

  • Good with numbers
  • High attention to detail
  • Inquisitive
  • Organized
  • Logical
  • Reliable
  • Ability to distill large amounts of information into specific takeaways

 

Jobs and career opportunities

The best way to find job opportunities in the field is by using the LinkedIn job search function and generating a list of research analyst jobs on LinkedIn.

Once the list of jobs has been generated you can refine the search by changing the location, industry, type of company, size of the company, etc that you want to look for.  When you are satisfied with the list, you can easily apply directly to LinkedIn and see if you have any 1st, 2nd, or 3rd degree connections at the company.

 

Training to be a Research Analyst

From getting hired to succeeding on the job, it’s important to have the right training and skills.  Many analysts get their formal training at University or through a professional designation like the FMVA.

More and more, analysts are turning to online training programs such as CFI’s to get the practical, hands-on skills they need to succeed.

Specifically, some of the most important areas of training include:

 

Research Analyst Model in Excel

Launch All CFI online courses to start financial modeling training now!

 

Types of companies that hire analysts

There are many types of companies that hire analysts to perform research.  These companies range across almost all industries and geographies.

Some of the most common companies include:

  • Insurance companies
  • Banks
  • Governments
  • Health Care providers
  • Pharmaceutical companies
  • Marketing agencies
  • Manufacturing

 

Additional resources

CFI’s mission is to help you advance your career.  With that goal in mind, these additional resources will help you on our way:

FMVA certification program

Advance your career in investment banking, private equity, FP&A, treasury, corporate development and other areas of corporate finance.

Get certified as a financial analyst with CFI’s FMVA Program.