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What Analytical Jobs Are Right for Me? Quiz

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Maybe you’re the friend who can spend hours tracking down a name someone can’t remember, or the person who always opts for word games or puzzles when they’re looking for an activity. If you’re naturally curious and love problem-solving, you’re an excellent fit for analytical jobs. Jobs for analytical thinkers require analytical skills like critical thinking and precision to unlock insights that can help companies achieve their goals. 

So, what kinds of analytical jobs are out there, and how do you know which ones are right for you? We’ll break down the different types of analytical careers and share a free, no-stress quiz to help you determine which one makes the most sense for you.

What Are Analytical Jobs?

Analytical jobs focus on problem-solving by investigating facts, information, situations, or other evidence. 

Not so surprisingly, they require analytical skills like: 

Data Analytics Jobs

Data analytics roles involve examining data sets to uncover insights that help companies make decisions. These roles require attention to detail, a love for numbers, and identifying patterns and trends. 

For example, a data analyst might look at a company’s employee productivity over the last year to identify trends like what hours employees are most productive or what teams are most productive and why. Then, the company would use these insights to build solutions that increase employee productivity. 

Examples of roles in data analytics include:

  • Statistical analyst
  • Data scientist
  • Quantitative analyst
  • Research analyst
  • Database analyst
working at Accenture

Data Analytics and Visualizations

Clean, model, and analyze data for a client, then present your findings.

Avg. Time: 2-3 hours

Skills you’ll build: Data analysis, data visualization, modeling, storytelling, communication

Business Analytics Jobs

Business analytics jobs involve improving company performance by examining data. While some companies use “business analyst” and “data analyst” interchangeably, generally, business analysts are more involved in building and implementing solutions; data analysts are more in the weeds of gathering and parsing company data.

Business analytics roles require strategic thinking, business acumen, and leadership to collaborate with company stakeholders. 

For example, a business analyst might help improve a company’s supply chain. They’d analyze the current processes, identify bottlenecks or inefficiencies, and work with the right departments to develop and implement changes. 

BCG logo on building

Strategy Consulting

Research a hypothetical company facing a decline in profits, then use financial data to determine the potential profitability of your business recommendation.

Avg. Time: 4-5 hours

Skills you’ll build: Data gathering, Excel, business knowledge, financial basics, professional communication

Examples of roles in business analytics include:

  • Business intelligence analyst
  • Corporate analyst
  • Consultant
  • Operations analyst
  • Strategic planning specialist
  • Process improvement analyst

Marketing Analytics Jobs

Marketing analytics roles examine data on consumer behavior and market trends. Using these insights, they help companies better market and sell their products to customers. Marketing analytics roles require impeccable communication and empathy to connect with and understand consumers. 

For example, a marketing analyst might help a company experiencing decreased sales. They’d analyze the company’s recent marketing promotions to determine what strategies have been successful so far (and what haven’t), then recommend new tactics to increase sales. 

Mastercard office building in downtown Auckland

Advisors Client Services

Step into a role in the Mastercard Data & Services team to use data to help a hypothetical client improve their marketing strategy.

Avg. Time: 1-2 hours

Skills you’ll build: Data analysis, strategic planning, critical thinking, strategic communication

Marketing analytics professionals are deeply empathetic and can connect well with others. Their jobs require effective communication, creative thinking, and presentation skills.

Examples of roles in marketing analytics include:

  • Consumer insights analyst
  • Market research analyst
  • Digital marketing analyst
  • Social media analytics manager
  • Brand analytics consultant

Financial Analytics Jobs 

Financial analytics roles analyze data to understand a company’s financial performance and recommend actions to boost its profits. They might help companies with selling stocks and bonds, investments, initial public offerings (IPOs), or mergers and acquisitions (M&A)

For example, a financial analyst might help a company looking to acquire another company. The analyst will research potential acquisition targets and develop financial models to predict the main company’s financial performance if the acquisition goes through. 

J.P.Morgan bank corporation headquarters glass building concept. JP Morgan banking company symbol on front facade 3d illustration.

Markets (Sales and Trading)

Analyze the current market environment and suggest an attractive investment opportunity to your client.

Avg. Time: 3-4 hours

Skills you’ll build: Market analysis, strategic rationale, research, sales acumen, analytical skills

Finance analytics requires problem-solving and critical thinking skills. These roles also require communicating findings to leaders; presentation and storytelling skills are essential. 

Examples of roles in financial analytics include:

  • Investment analyst
  • Risk management specialist
  • Portfolio manager
  • Credit analyst
  • Financial planning and analysis (FP&A) analyst
  • Hedge fund analyst

What Analytical Jobs Are Right for Me? Quiz

Ready to determine what types of careers are right for you? You’ll need to sign up to see your results, but it’s absolutely free — and you’ll get them immediately!

1. When you were younger, you wanted to be…
2. You're most productive when…
3. On a job application, you'd most likely say you're…
4. Pick a board game.
5. You're lost on a hike with your friends. Your first instinct is to…
6. When you retire, you want to be most proud of…
7. Pick a place to study.
8. If you had a superpower, it'd be…
9. Working closely with others makes you feel…
10. Pick a rainy day activity.
11. You're working on a group project. You take the role of…
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

How to Find Analytical Jobs for You

You may know what types of analytical jobs are right for you — but how do you actually find and land them? How do you know what company or kind of team you’ll like or what sector to work in?

The beauty is that jobs for analytical thinkers span many different opportunities. For example, people in marketing analytics could work for an online retail store or in tech, trying to help a company sell software. Both roles use the same skills but are in very different sectors.

Build Your Skills

Analytical jobs often require a variety of technical skills, depending on the type of role you’re interested in. For example, jobs for analytical thinkers in business may include financial modeling or business valuation.

“Hone your analytical skills through coursework, online tutorials, and personal projects,” says Michael Dion, senior manager of finance at Walt Disney Company. “Familiarize yourself with essential tools and software commonly used in the industry, such as Python for data science, Excel for financial analysis, or SPSS for market research.”

>>MORE: Build the skills you need to land analytical jobs with Forage job simulations

Try Roles Out First

Analytical jobs aren’t always as straightforward as other roles, and every company expects something different from its analysts. That’s why trying out different areas can help you understand what work environments, responsibilities, company cultures, and more work for you. 

For example, are you an aspiring data analyst who wants to sit in on a big team working with large data sets, or someone who wants to be a one-person team to oversee all data at a lean startup?

>>MORE: Learn top companies to work for and take a quiz to see what type is right for you.

“Embrace exploration,” Dion says. “The field of analytics spans a broad spectrum of industries and disciplines, from data science in tech firms to financial analysis in banking or market research in consumer goods. My journey involved a blend of self-reflection and practical exploration. Initially, I was intrigued by the vast possibilities analytics offered but unsure where my interests lay. I differentiated between analytical careers by seeking out internships, part-time jobs, and volunteer opportunities in various sectors. This hands-on experience was invaluable; it not only provided me with a practical understanding of the day-to-day responsibilities but also allowed me to gauge my interest and fit within different roles and industries.”

Get Clear on Your Goals

After exploring different industries and work environments, it’s time to get specific with what you want out of work — not just where you want to work. This kind of goal-setting can help you understand what career path you might want to end up in so you can work backward to figure out where to start. 

“In my case, the differentiation [of analytical jobs] came from recognizing where my passion for analytics intersected with my desire to make a tangible impact,” Dion says. “This realization steered me towards data science within the healthcare sector, where analytical insights can directly contribute to improving patient outcomes. The diversity of analytics applications within healthcare, from predictive modeling to operational efficiency and personalized medicine, offered a challenging yet rewarding career path that aligned with my aspirations.”

Be Savvy in Your Search

OK, you have a good idea of what you’re looking for — now, search for it! But what do you search for? 

Unfortunately, there aren’t always standard titles for analytical jobs. What one company calls a “market research analyst,” another might call a “consumer insights specialist.”

“There are so many postings! I would have them start looking in the field they are interested in,” says Nicole Alioto, CEO at Alla Breve Consulting and analyst and research professional. “If they want to work in the sports world, what are the analyst roles commonly called, what skills are needed, and what work environment would they desire? These will vary from other industries like education, government, retail, etc.”

Researching what titles to search for can help you find the right opportunities more efficiently. 

“I’d also set up alerts once you know the titles that match skills and interests,” Alioto says.

>>MORE: The 85 Best Job Search Sites and Apps in 2024

Analytical Jobs: The Bottom Line

Jobs for analytical thinkers focus on using data to help accomplish a business goal, whether making a process more efficient, getting insights on sales, learning about customer behavior, or predicting financial performance. 

These roles require a range of technical skills depending on the type of analytics you’re interested in; soft skills are necessary, too, especially in analytics roles where you need to interact with company stakeholders or customers.

The beauty of analytical jobs is that there’s so much opportunity out there, from types of analytics to different sectors and various team structures. Figuring out and landing the best analytical job for you requires hands-on experience, careful research, and understanding your goals — which should come naturally for an analytical thinker who can problem-solve their way to a dream role. 

Image credit: Canva

Zoe Kaplan is a Senior Writer at Forage. Prior to joining Forage, she wrote and edited career and workplace content for Fairygodboss, the largest career community for women.

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