The global skills and competency framework for the digital world

Market research MRCH


Gathering, analysing, and interpreting data about markets, customers, and competitors to inform business decisions and strategies.

SFIA 9 is in development

  • SFIA 9 beta due in early July 2024
  • SFIA 9 planned for publication October 2024

This is a prototype for SFIA 9. It is subject to change before publication.

Disclaimer - prototypes/new skills may be substantially modified prior to launch or may never be released.

Guidance notes


Market research involves collecting and analysing data from various sources to understand market trends, customer needs and preferences, and competitive landscapes. This skill applies to both qualitative and quantitative research methods.

Activities may include, but are not limited to:

  • designing and conducting market research studies using surveys, focus groups, interviews, and other methods
  • analysing market data to identify trends, opportunities, and challenges
  • segmenting markets and identifying target customers based on research findings
  • monitoring competitor activities and analysing their strategies and performance
  • communicating research findings and recommendations to stakeholders to inform decision-making and strategy development

Understanding the responsibility levels of this skill

Where lower levels are not defined...

  • Specific tasks and responsibilities are not defined because the skill requires a higher level of autonomy, influence, and complexity in decision-making than is typically expected at these levels. You can use the essence statements to understand the generic responsibilities associated with these levels.

Where higher levels are not defined...

  • Responsibilities and accountabilities are not defined because these higher levels involve strategic leadership and broader organisational influence that goes beyond the scope of this specific skill. See the essence statements.

Developing skills and demonstrating responsibilities related to this skill

The defined levels show the incremental progression in skills and reponsibilities.

Where lower levels are not defined...

You can develop your knowledge and support others who do have responsibility in this area by:

  • Learning key concepts and principles related to this skill and its impact on your role
  • Performing related skills (see the related SFIA skills)
  • Supporting others with tasks (generic examples are provided by the essence statements for each level)

Where higher levels are not defined...

  • You can progress by developing related skills which are better suited to higher levels of organisational leadership.


Defined at these levels: 3 4 5 6

Show/hide extra descriptions and levels.

Level 1

Level 1 - Follow: Essence of the level: Performs routine tasks under close supervision, follows instructions, and requires guidance to complete their work. Learns and applies basic skills and knowledge.

Level 2

Level 2 - Assist: Essence of the level: Provides assistance to others, works under routine supervision, and uses their discretion to address routine problems. Actively learns through training and on-the-job experiences.

Market research: Level 3

Level 3 - Apply: Essence of the level: Performs varied tasks, sometimes complex and non-routine, using standard methods and procedures. Works under general direction, exercises discretion, and manages own work within deadlines. Proactively enhances skills and impact in the workplace.


Assists in the design and execution of market research studies.

Collects and analyses data using standard methods and tools.

Contributes to the preparation of research reports and presentations.

Market research: Level 4

Level 4 - Enable: Essence of the level: Performs diverse complex activities, supports and supervises others, works autonomously under general direction, and contributes expertise to deliver team objectives.


Designs and conducts market research studies independently.

Analyses market data to identify trends, opportunities, and challenges.

Segments markets and identifies target customers based on research findings.

Prepares research reports and presentations to communicate findings and recommendations.

Market research: Level 5

Level 5 - Ensure, advise: Essence of the level: Provides authoritative guidance in their field and works under broad direction. Accountable for achieving workgroup objectives and managing work from analysis to execution and evaluation.


Leads the design and execution of complex market research studies.

Analyses and synthesises market data from multiple sources to generate insights and recommendations.

Advises stakeholders on the implications of research findings for business strategy and decision-making.

Contributes to the development of organisational market research methods and standards.

Market research: Level 6

Level 6 - Initiate, influence: Essence of the level: Has significant organisational influence, makes high-level decisions, shapes policies, demonstrates leadership, fosters organizational collaboration, and accepts accountability in key areas.


Sets the overall direction and strategy for market research in the organisation.

Develops organisational policies, standards, and guidelines for market research.

Ensures that market research capabilities and resources are aligned with business needs and objectives.

Collaborates with internal and external partners to drive the effective use of market research in decision-making and strategy development.

Level 7

Level 7 - Set strategy, inspire, mobilise: Essence of the level: Operates at the highest organisational level, determines overall organisational vision and strategy, and assumes accountability for overall success.

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