What does it involve?
Almost every business, at a certain size, requires these functions. And if anything, this is increasingly the case. And then of course there are those businesses which focus entirely on either research or analytics - or both.
In short, it's a perhaps a surprising combination of attention to detail and a certain sort of creativity which will make out the best. Mathematical skills are frequently required but so too is an understanding of the implications of your research or analysis - and it's critical to be able to fit this into a wider narrative.
At its best: Engaging and satisfying apprenticeship in the all-important crafts of research, analysis and report writing skills appreciated by almost all organisations with the capacity to invest across both the private and public sectors - and, for the right person, intellectually stimulating and enjoyable.
At its worst: Repetitive work, constantly making minor adjustments to existing reports, detached from the real action and yet without the intellectual stimulation that a truly 'academic' role might offer.