Behind the day-to-day business transactions that take place in the shipping industry there is usually a trail of data and statistics that convinces, or dissuades, a company from investing in one area over another. For example, in setting the freight rate for the charter of a ship, the ship owner or operator will have to establish a favourable rate that a charterer will agree to, around market levels. To find that he/she may need to sift through past charters, shipbrokers reports, economic reports, newspaper items and a number of other sources. As you would expect, this can take a great deal of time and can be difficult to keep on top of in a daily business. An Analyst makes it his/her job to make sense of all this information, manipulating and working with raw data to create databases, reports, graphs, determine trends and understand the economics of the shipping market. Some shipping companies maintain an in-house research department, although this is unlikely to be cost effective for small business. Thankfully, a number of those in-house research departments also sell on their reports and statistics to outside companies, or publish some of it free of charge on websites in the interest of knowledge sharing.