Steve Ferris - Market research statistician

I completed a degree in Statistics and Operational Research, followed by an MSc in Biometry at the University of Reading. I had a particular interest in the design and analysis of experiments which led me to undertake a PhD in the area of sensory and psychological studies at Biomathematics and Statistics Scotland in conjunction with the University of Edinburgh.

After completing my PhD I worked at the Rowett Research Institute in Aberdeen before embarking on my current career at MMR in 2001.

MMR is a full service market research agency specialising in the area of food and drink and services many of the world’s largest manufacturers which are all household names and has offices in Oxfordshire, London, New York, Shanghai and Singapore. I chose to work for MMR because of its strong heritage in both statistics and sensory sciences, which were directly relevant to my area of interest.

I started off as a statistician but within 4 years I had taking over as head of department and have been in the role for the past 7 years. My main responsibilities are:

  • Management of the team of five statisticians in the company
  • Ensuring that the statistics team provide high quality statistical support and that deliverables are on time
  • Attending client debriefs/meetings to explain statistical concepts in simple terms

Researching new methods

I have also travelled extensively as part of my role and have recently visited the US, China, India and South Africa. All in all my job is extremely varied and challenging, I’ve learnt a considerably amount about the application of statistics in a business environment and have developed into a better statistician as a result.

Take a look at our guide to becoming a market research statistician.