Category Analyst (Female, Age 36) in Arlington Heights, IL

This is a REAL-LIFE job profile written by a Female aged 36 who works as a Category Analyst in Arlington Heights, IL. This professional kindly spent a bit of their time to complete our job profile survey so that prospective job seekers like you could read their insights. Please excuse any punctuation or grammatical errors in this profile.

At a Glance

Current Job

Basic data on your current job

Job TitleCategory Analyst
Salary$90,000
Other Compensation None Set
Hours/Week40
Company Size(not answered)
LocationArlington Heights, IL
Years Experience2.5 years

Career Ratings

Opinions on your CAREER overall (i.e. not just your current job)

Years in Career0
Education(not answered)
Income Rating0 / 10
Interest Rating0 / 10
Work-Life Rating0 / 10
Fulfilment Rating0 / 10

Table of Contents

Current job Q&A

Describe the type of organization you work for.
Large alcoholic beverage manufacturer

Describe your job role and responsibilities.
Support national accounts sales team with analysis of available market intelligence including Nielsen, IRI, Spectra, industry shipments and internal shopper research.

Prepare fact-based new item and business review presentations for key retail accounts.

Utilize Spectra to identify consumer profiles and stores with the highest potential for placement of new items.

Provide monthly reporting and analysis of distributor depletion data.

Please list an additional benefits (beyond compensation) that you receive.
25 days paid time off, health – PPO and HMO options, vision, dental insurance, 401k, profit sharing, product allowance

Do you feel you are under/over or well/fairly compensated at your current position?
well compensated

Does your job entail you working with others on a daily basis? Is this something you like/dislike about your job? Please explain.
I work with various members of our sales, marketing and category management teams. I do enjoy working with other areas within the company and the opportunity to bounce ideas off other members of my team.

Do you work collaboratively with supervisors/managers?
Yes

Do you work collaboratively with your co-workers?
Yes

Describe your work location (e.g., office, home, theatre, in the field) and what you like/dislike about working in it.

Please rate each of the following aspects of your current job on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the highest/best):
Income: 1
Benefits: 4
Hours: 5
Co-Workers: 6
Supervisors: 7
Job Title: 8
Level of Responsibility: 3
The Actual Work: 2

A day in the life of…

Please describe a typical workday for you in your current job:

5am to 6am
6am to 7am
7am to 8am
8am to 9amChecked emails. Compiled a list of tasks and projects that need to be completed that day. Checked voicemail.
9am to 10amPut together a business analysis presentation for a Southern Region meeting next week. The presentation included ACNielsen data indicating or gains/declines in market share over the last 13 weeks.
10am to 11amSame project as above.
11am to 12pmWorked on an assortment analysis for a customer for their OH and KY stores. Identified low performing items in each of their store clusters and looked for an argument to keep those items if the retailer wants to delete them.
12pm to 1pmLunch
1pm to 2pmMade some additional changes to the Southern Region presentation I worked on this morning. My boss asked me to add brand detail for a couple of additional states.

Phone conversation with one of my account managers to discuss an analysis of recently deleted items at a major retailer. He asked me to look at the items to be deleted and come up with a rebuttal argument for those items that we don’t feel should have been dropped. Often one supplier will recommend that another supplier’s item is deleted to make room for their own items. Those recommendations are not always in the best interests of the retailer.

2pm to 3pmPrepared and submitted expense reports from recent travel.
3pm to 4pmPut together an inventory report for one of our major brands at a major club chain. Looking for gaps in distribution, i.e. which stores aren’t carrying the item so we can go in and try to gain additional placement.
4pm to 5pmWorked a little more on the OH and KY assortment analysis described above. Tried to match up ACNielsen data with scan data pulled directly from the retailer’s system.
5pm to 6pm
6pm to 7pm
7pm to 8pm
8pm to 9pm
9pm to 10pm
10pm to 11pm
11pm to 12am

How you got your job

How did you get your current job?
internet posting

What was the application process?
Submitted my resume online

Did you have to interview for your current job? If yes, what did the interview process entail?
1st interview with HR and the director and VP of Category Management

2nd interview with the VP of Sales

3rd lunch interview with the Director and VP of Category Management to answer a few additional questions I had about the position

If you can remember, what questions were you asked during the interview?
They asked for examples of analysis projects and recommendations I had made as a result of my analysis. They also asked where I saw my career path going in the next few years. Other questions about how I feel about working with sales reps who are based outside the corporate office.

Do you feel your employer properly prepared you for your job? Explain.
Yes. I was given training on all of our data systems and I am a very fast learner so I quickly became the expert in the department.

Was there training for your current position? If yes, what did it entail?
Most training was on the job. There have been a few off-site classes I have attended as well.

Do you feel your educational background prepared you for your job? Explain.
Yes. I have a degree in math and the analytical background coupled with my experience working in retail and customer service gave me the perfect background for this type of job.

If applicable, do you feel your internship experience helped you prepare for your job?
Not applicable.

If someone wanted to go about getting a job similar to yours, what would you recommend for him or her to do?
A college degree in a quantitative field is necessary as are strong skills in Excel and Access. Most larger consumer package goods companies have category management departments. Entry level analysts generally run basic monthly reports and generate shelf layouts while more experienced analysts utilize available data to make recommendations for adds and deletes within the assortment. Jobs can be found by searching “category analyst” on career sites like Indeed, Monster and CPGjoblist.com

What skills do you think a person should have if they want to pursue a position like yours?
A college degree in a quantitative field. Strong Excel and Access skills. Also experience dealing with customers, i.e. customer service is extremely helpful because the position is not just crunching numbers. There is a great deal of presenting your findings to internal people and account buyers.

Do you feel that you need a certain level of education or training to be successful in your job?
A bachelor’s degree in a quantitative field is needed

What advice would you give to someone who was about to start work in your position/ line of work?
Take advantage of any opportunity for training and learn all you can about all of the various data sources available. The more well rounded your skill set, the stronger an analysis you can do. It also gives you more opportunities to move up in the future.

Long-term career plans

Is your current employment part of your overall career plan? Why or why not?
Yes. My next step would be a category manager role in either the same or a different company. That role would involve more direct contact with the accounts.

What are your current career goals?
Next step would be a Category Manager role followed by a Manager of a Category Management department.

Is there anything else you would like to share about your career?
This is a growing field where there are lots of opportunities. We often find it difficult to find people with the right skills and experience.

Prior work history

Please list your most recent jobs prior to this current job:

TitleLengthSalaryDescription
Prior Job 1Category Analyst2.5 years90000Support national accounts sales team with analysis of available market intelligence including Nielsen, IRI, Spectra, industry shipments and internal shopper research.

Prepare fact-based new item and business review presentations for key retail accounts.

Utilize Spectra to identify consumer profiles and stores with the highest potential for placement of new items.

Provide monthly reporting and analysis of distributor depletion data.

Prior Job 2Trade Analyst3 years80000

Educational background

Please list your educational background:

High School GPA:4

GPASchoolDegree
College (Undergraduate)
or Technical/Vocational
3.85Northeastern IL UniversityMath
Graduate or Professional
(Masters or Doctorate)