As a market analyst at AC Nielsen Research, statistician Kayte describes herself as a 'floating researcher'. She has input into many projects, providing advice on the design and analysis of questionnaires.
Job description: Uses statistical and modelling techniques to do market research projects; analyses market research problems for clients and advises on solutions.
Subjects studied: Maths A, Maths B, Chemistry, Biology and English.
Further training: Kayte completed a Mathematics degree at Monash University (3 years); a Graduate Diploma in Market Modelling at Swinburne University of Technology (2 years part-time); and a Graduate Diploma in Social Statistics at Swinburne (2 years part-time)
Kayte is a statistician who works as a project analyst for market research company AC Nielsen, the world's largest provider of marketing analysis and information. As AC Neilsen's sole statistician in Victoria, Kayte is much in demand. And she's often approached by head-hunters.
She loves her chosen profession, "I don't think any other career would give you such a mix of skills-presentation, communication, writing, analysis, negotiation and sales, lateral thinking and team work. They are very transferable skills."
"I was interested in marketing and I looked for a career that would combine maths and marketing. I found market modelling, did a course and the rest is history!"
"I use statistical and modelling techniques in market research projects to try and dig deeply into clients' problems, to advise on solutions. I advise project directors on questionnaire design, prepare and manipulate data, and do analyses using multi-variate techniques."
Kayte's input on a project for her clients, who are mainly larger retailers, goes beyond standard techniques of analysis. She describes her role as 'adding value' to the analysis of sales and marketing data.
The details of her projects are confidential but some of the issues she has tackled are:
- Calculating the demand for airline travel
- Understanding how buyers of premium fuel differ from other fuel buyers
- Quantitatively monitoring staff performance to aid in the allocation of bonuses
- Classifying people into groups of similar likes, so that products can be targeted individually.
She also helps government departments on surveys regarding social trends and the effect of new policies, as well as helping with models to assess performance within the departments.
Part of her time is spent training the company's market researchers about which situations require the use of statistical modelling techniques.
Kayte still finds that statisticians have an image problem in her industry. "We are often more skilled than business analysts and consultants, but people still think we just carry out interviews all day."
Realising the importance of overcoming the negative stereotypes, Kayte has been very active in professional groups outside her work. She started the Young Researchers Group through the Market Research Society and is a committee member of the Australian Institute of Management's Public Speaking Forum.
Market researchers collect and analyse information to assist in marketing and determine whether a demand exists for a particular product or service.
Market researchers may perform the following tasks:
- Design questionnaires and select sample groups to survey
- Collect facts from sources such as company records showing the total volume of sales, or from government statistics and information such as population census data
- Arrange and analyse collected information
- Interpret and predict current and future consumer trends, such as changes in tastes and lifestyles
- Write reports on the results of the research activities
- Discuss with clients their information needs
- Identify specific consumer markets for clients.
- Able to analyse and interpret information
- Enjoy statistics and computers
- Good interpersonal skills
- Good communication skills
Find out more about a career in market research.
Australian Market and Social Research Society (National Office)
Level 1, 3 Queen St Glebe, NSW 2037
Tel: (02) 9566 3100
Find out more about this career path at myfuture.edu.au (Note: free registration is required to access the myfuture site).