What Makes a Great Pricing Analyst?

Posted by Moira McCormick on May 18, 2017
Moira McCormick

What Makes a Great Pricing Analyst.jpeg

Are you already employed as a pricing analyst, looking to employ someone to this post – or perhaps thinking about embarking on a career in this field?  If you are currently employed in this post there is always room for improvement.  If you think you need to employ someone to this vital role in your business the following may help you decide on the right candidate.  If you are just starting out on your business career and think this role might suit you, read on.


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Firstly, What Does a Pricing Analyst Do?

Many businesses employ full-time pricing analysts or hire an analyst as a consultant for a particular project or concern.

Pricing analysts look at industry standards, playing close attention to the pricing strategies of their competitors.

They use mathematical analysis to track pricing trends in the marketplace using industry databases, catalogues and other industry sources. They study consumer habits to determine how much people are willing to pay for various products, and to look for patterns in consumer spending.

They are also interested in the cost of production of various items, the amount of profit a company wants to make, and associated costs like marketing.

They may be involved with the packaging and presentation of products, which can influence how much people are willing to pay, and they provide advice during the research and development phase to help create the most income for the company.

They work with a variety of departments, including sales, product management, marketing and accounting, to ensure that their methods comply with company strategy and maximise profitability.

Other duties that are included under a pricing analyst's job title include maintaining price lists, contributing content for sales proposals, reviewing price quotes, generating pricing reports on sales revenue and preparing revenue forecasts and budgets for project managers.


A great pricing analyst

  • Provides pricing analysis for management
  • Performs margin and pricing analysis in order to support business initiatives
  • Monitors and update commercial price lists
  • Validates sales quotations for accuracy and profitability
  • Develops a system of communication, documentation and review of internal and external comparative pricing data
  • Identifies opportunities to optimise sales and profitability through pricing strategies
  • Consults with sales and marketing teams to develop proposals
  • Prepares multi-year cost and pricing models that may include labour, materials, subcontracts, travel and other relevant costs


Who employs pricing analysts?

The list is almost endless but mainly includes:

  • Companies that manufacture or distribute commercial and industrial goods
  • Construction companies
  • Agricultural companies
  • Food and beverage
  • Private health care facilities
  • Colleges and universities
  • Banks and other financial institutions
  • Pharmaceutical companies
  • Transport and logistics companies
  • Professional service firms and offices, such as legal, engineering, architectural and others


What qualifications are needed to be a great pricing analyst?

First Degree

Many employers require candidates to have at least a bachelor's degree and courses in mathematics, marketing, finance, accounting or statistics are typically the best options. A degree in finance can help students to develop analytical skills in portfolio management, commercial finance and other financial markets.


Computer Skills

Companies value candidates who have experience with back-office and billing systems, database management and Microsoft Office programs. Becoming familiar with these programs while still at university can give aspiring pricing analysts a chance to get ahead before entering the job market.


Appropriate Experience

Employers prefer candidates who are skilled at analysing and developing appropriate pricing strategies. Some employers may also seek workers who have experience in the particular industry the job is focused on.

Students can usually gain the necessary experience through a junior pricing analysis or finance position. Companies hiring junior pricing analysts may only require a year or two of experience in a related setting in addition to a bachelor's degree.


A Master's Degree

Although a master's degree is rarely a pre-requisite to become a pricing analyst, individuals who possess a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree will have the most opportunities for employment. Students typically have the option to choose a concentration within an MBA course such as marketing, statistics, finance and accounting.

Course options in an MBA program may include financial decision making, business ethics, risk management and corporate strategy – all pertinent to a pricing analyst role.


Personality Traits of a great pricing analyst

Pricing is intensely psychological, which means that he/she needs to have a knowledge of human psychology in addition to a deep understanding of the relevant business.

Pricing analysts need to think about how consumers interact with pricing, how other products in the same line are priced, and how prices may be altered in store. Choosing the right price can make a big difference in sales, even if the difference between prices under consideration is minimal.

Some of the required traits include:

  • A natural aptitude for mathematics and statistics
  • Ability to think analytically
  • Attention to detail
  • Ability to solve complex problems that involve competing priorities
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills and business acumen
  • Customer-centric attitude
  • An interest in lifelong learning and career development


Success as a pricing analyst

Becoming a pricing analyst is a great career choice for those looking to work with numbers in a fast-paced job that offers plenty of room for growth and demands accuracy and accountability.

It is a career just made for those with an analytical mind, business acumen, excellent communication skills and a passion for numbers. 

We hope that the above has helped you realise what makes a great pricing analyst – and how vital this role could be to the ultimate success of your business.


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