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The Net Takeaway: Should it be this hard to find a good research analyst?


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Should it be this hard to find a good research analyst? · 06/07/2004 12:18 PM, Analysis

We have a position open at my company for a senior database marketing research analyst. At first, I was looking for someone with a well rounded mix of skills. Now, I am starting to wonder if I should lower the requirements to “can count using either hand”.

I started off looking for someone who had experience with quant and qualitative research. That was quickly squashed, as number crunchers tended to shy away from the “softer arts” and the qualitative folks tended to be weak on advanced analysis (though some understood conjoint and scaling/clustering). (While I still believe in the merging of the two, I know its a pipe dream. But if you have the time, make sure to sit in on a focus group or two, and take a survey-writing course someday… its harder than you think)

Ok, so I retrench, and create a basic list of qualifications for success. But I ask you, am I looking for too much? Everyone who I am impressed with in multiple industries has this mix of skills, and I think that success in the modern marketing analysis world will require all of them. But 70 phone calls, 10 interviews later, I am still looking…

Now, I am not alone in expecting these things. Pick up any issue of Intelligent Enterprise or DM Review and read how these columnists and authors are begging for datawarehouse designers, developers and planners to work with the business heads to make sure what comes out of a multi-million dollar data project actually fits the needs of the business. And if someone is a novice but they understand that they need this, well, I can help. But a senior level analyst coming in with either “I did that stuff back when, but nowadays I don’t need to know how to do it, just how to use it” or “I just analyze it, what they do with it is their job” will have a shorter career than they might hope for.

So, I encourage you: if you work in this space;

Can someone succeed with just part of the story? Sure… but not as an analyst. You can do great things in finance, in selling CRM tools, in becoming a DBA, in working with tabs from survey houses, or even in the client services wing managing the various projects that analysts are working on. But you won’t be able to rise up an an analyst, and you certainly won’t be CxO of a large company (if that’s what you want) without more of the above. (Well, you could start your own company, make a success, and then laugh at me and my silly claims… but that’s a different story.)

Meanwhile, if this is all easy stuff to you, and you are in the Boston area, perhaps you can use the Mail Me link here to drop me a line.

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