What does this career entail?
The proportion of time a market research statistician spends actually doing statistics depends on the company and the type of work it does, but may be anything up to about 80%. For this reason, the career is obviously very satisfying for people who want to continue really using statistics in a commercial environment.
As a market research statistician, you will be heavily involved with the research staff who run the individual projects. You will spend a lot of time working in effect as a consultant for these researchers. You will be involved in writing proposals describing how the market research will be carried out. These proposals will cover a number of areas of which the most important from the statistical point of view will be the overall research methodology and the calculation of sample sizes and related power for relevant tests. You will have to advise about the design of the investigations; for example, there might be complex rotation plans required if products are being tested or a number of different ideas are being considered in the same piece of research.
Once the data are collected and carefully checked, the statistical analysis itself can begin. The analysis may involve anything from the most simple tests to complex multivariate analyses or modelling. Part of the challenge for the statistician is firstly to explain the analysis and results to the researcher, who may well have no mathematical/statistical background, and then to work with the researcher to present the results in a way that the company itself will understand.