Planning Analyst Job Description

Planning analysts design and implement business and marketing strategies to increase company profits and reduce costs. Private businesses, nonprofit organizations, and governments hire planning analysts to work full-time shifts, usually during daytime business hours. Planning analysts report to sales managers and must be able to work in a collaborative, high-stress environment. Planning analysts typically work in offices and rarely travel outside the office to perform their regular job duties.

 

Planning Analyst Duties and Responsibilities 

Day-to-day duties for planning analysts vary based on the industry they’re in and the financial interests of the hiring company. The following core job duties, however, are essentially the same in all businesses and industries:

Develop Strategies

Planning analysts develop marketing and financial strategies to increase company profits and boost sales.

Analyze Data

Planning analysts study and analyze various business data and financial information, including market trends, sales figures, and inventory control processes.

Study Daily Operations

Planning analysts streamline daily business operations to find ways to cut costs, maximize sales, and increase profits.

Consult with Staff

Planning analysts collaborate with managers and staff to implement financial and marketing plans.

Create Reports

Planning analysts write reports outlining various business strategies and design detailed plans to enforce them.

Prepare Financial Forecasts

Planning analysts create financial forecasts and sales projections based on currently available business data.

 

Planning Analyst Skills and Qualifications 

Planning analysts examine business data to formulate marketing and financial strategies designed to help the company succeed and grow. Employers hire planning analysts who have the following essential skills:

  • Time management – planning analysts work under tight project deadlines, which requires good time management skills
  • Mathematics – planning analysts have an in-depth knowledge of economics and finance, so employers look for professionals with excellent math skills
  • Computer skills – planning analysts need strong computer skills to work with various types of software, particularly spreadsheet applications, to create reports, find data, and examine financial information
  • Problem-solving skills – planning analysts use problem-solving skills to isolate issues relating to risk, productivity, and other business operations, and find ways to manage and fix these issues
  • Analytical thinking – planning analysts need a high degree of analytical skill to process business data and create detailed financial plans based on their findings
  • Communication skills – planning analysts use strong verbal and written communication skills to speak effectively with other staff members and create detailed written reports
  • Multitasking – planning analysts must successfully manage multiple projects and tasks at once

 

Planning Analyst Education and Training

Employers require planning analysts to have a bachelor’s degree in business, economics, finance, or a related field of study. Many employers also look for planning analysts who have previous experience in retail or an industry-specific field.

Because of the extensive education and training credentials planning analysts need, very little job training is provided by employers. Many companies offer a brief orientation period to help new planning analysts become familiar with business operations and current marketing and sales strategies. The length of this orientation varies by employer.

 

Planning Analyst Salary and Outlook

Planning analysts earn a median annual salary of $59,232, according to data from PayScale. Job data compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)shows that market research analysts earn$63,230 in median annual income. Market research analysts analyze market data and create marketing strategies, performing many duties similar to those performed by planning analysts. The BLS estimates that this job field will grow 23 percent by2026, a rate that is much faster than the national job growth average.

Planning analysts receive complete benefits packages that include full medical coverage with dental and vision insurance. Retirement plans and life insurance typically come standard in these packages. Planning analysts also receive vacation time and paid holidays. In addition to these benefits, some employers offer tuition reimbursement and continuing education support. Planning analysts may receive bonuses for implementing successful financial and marketing strategies that noticeably increase company profits.

 

Helpful Resources 

Find education resources, career opportunities, job strategies, and practical techniques for planning analysts using the information and tools in these websites and books:

Association for Strategic Planning – this website for strategic planning professionals has a learning center full of educational resources, a calendar of upcoming conference and event dates, and online learning webinars

Financial Planning & Analysis and Performance Management – planning analysts use this book to learn financial planning strategies, budget forecasting, and business analysis methods that work in real-world environments

The American Finance Association – designed for the academic study of economics and financial topics, the AFA has career opportunities, event information, and many other resources for professionals who develop financial and economic business strategies of all sorts

The Portable Financial Analyst: What Practitioners Need to Know – this book is full of information to make financial decision-making easier and includes practical job tips for professional financial and planning analysts

Association for Financial Professionals – this website is full of financial content, including information on risk management, financial planning and analysis, cyber security concerns, and other strategies and information for planning analysts and financial professionals in all industries

Financial Analyst’s Indispensable Pocket Guide – this reference guide is full of commonly used financial terminology and comprehensive definitions that provide detailed information about the fundamental financial concepts planning analysts and other financial professionals need to know

 

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