9 Basic Steps to get Started as an Analyst

Victoria Schoenlaub

9 min Read Time | August 8th 2022

Max saeling C Gx NOLM1g Q unsplash 1

The ultimate guide for new Analysts

Have you just finished watching the Certified Impact Analyst webinar and are eager to get started? Or perhaps you have just signed up with us and want to know how to start writing quality impact analyses?

We’ve got you covered.

In this article, we will go over the 9 basic steps to:

  • Easily pass the assignments to obtain your Analyst certification.
  • Efficiently research and structure your work.
  • Get your work published and become an outstanding Impact Analyst.

For each step, you’ll be given the best practices to help you move up the learning curve. If you are curious to learn more, you have the option to read in detail. Feel free to explore!

Without further ado, let’s get started.

Step 1: Understand what impact really is

1. Intentions ➡️ inputs ➡️ activities ➡️ outputs ➡️ outcomes ➡️ impact.

2. Look at the different dimensions of impact: the what, the how much, the who, the contribution, and the risk.

👉 Take your understanding of the impact to the next level by reading the article Step 1: Understand Impact.

Step 2: Choose a relevant topic

1. Go to the Topic Selector. You may select a topic based on interest on a particular subject or company.

2. Choose a topic that has not been written about or an angle that hasn’t been addressed.

3. Focus on a singular topic - an analysis that assesses multiple topics will be rejected.

4. Add up to 7 tags to describe the topic you are working on.

👉 More about the topic selection in this article: Step 2: Choose a relevant topic.

Step 3: Do research the smart way

1. Start with the company you wish to cover, look at which topics are or aren't covered, and use online research tricks for successful research.

2. Make sure to use various sources, prioritising primary sources over secondary ones.

3. Check the sources toolkit and build your own list of favourite websites to use.

4. Verifying the credibility of sources is important. For this, make sure to question timeliness, accuracy, authority, relevance, and purpose.

👉 For a more in-depth guide on effective research, check out the article Step 3: Do research the smart way.

Step 4: Build a good structure

1. Introduce the broader impact issue, tailor it to the industry and SDG of your choice, and disclose how the topic affects society or the environment.

2. Provide an in-depth analysis of the impact, try to be as granular as possible, include impact data, and assess the impact compared to the broader issue.

3. Provide an impact statement, and sum up the main points without adding new information.

👉 For a more detailed guide on structuring your analysis, including tips and examples, make sure to read Step 4: Build a good structure.

Step 5: Assess the scale and value

1. You must first select 1 of the 3 impact categories that best defines the impact: Products, Processes or Philanthropy.

2 Based on your IMP analysis, you must evaluate the value of the impact from -5 to +5 based on how positive or negative the impact is.

3. Scale is assessed from 1 to 5, following an exponential rate. It should be evaluated by looking at the breadth, depth, and persistence of the impact.

👉 Step 5: Assess scale and value is a must-read article before you start rating analyses and writing your own. If want to improve your rating skills why not join our next Certified Impact Rater Training? It will give you the detail and skills to better rate the impact in each analysis.

Step 6: Use the right standards

1. Whenever you are unsure about adding: quotations, in-text citations, units, or numbers, make sure to check this list.

2. The most basic standards you must follow are: writing in English, using the International System of units, spelling out abbreviations, and converting currencies to euros or US Dollars.

3. If you have any doubts, always refer to this list, which is regularly updated.

👉 Not sure what our standards are? Read the detailed article, Step 6: Use the right standards.

Step 7: Reference like a pro

1. All analyses need to contain sources with working URLs.

2. You must first add all your sources and second add the corresponding footnotes in the body of your analysis.

3. Analyses that contain no sources or footnotes will be rejected.

👉 Our referencing style can be hard to master at first. Read Step 7: Reference like a pro to learn more.

Step 8: Write a catchy headline

1. Follow a 3-part structure: company name ➡️ action made ➡️ a quantitative impact.

2. Always insert your most important metric.

3. Add dates and locations when needed.

👉 Remember, a catchy title will get your analysis read and rated more frequently by our community! Check out Step 8: Write a catchy headline for best practices.

Step 9: Choose your cover photo

1. The picture chosen needs to come from a license-free, open-source website. These include Unsplash, Pixabay, and Pexels.

2. Select an image that represents best and most accurately the topic discussed.

3. Make sure that the image is of good quality, thus not pixelated or blurry.

👉 Do you want your analysis to stand out from the others on the platform and social media? Check out Step 9: Choose your cover photo.

Follow these steps, and you’ll progress and achieve your certification quickly and efficiently!

If you want to level up your writing and critical assessment skills from apprentice to expert, your next objective is to check the 9 golden rules for an outstanding publication.


Based on the article you've just read, here are some more we think you'd be interested in.

9 Min read

Impacts of Investments in the Energy Transition

6 Min read

Step 1: Understand Impact

Learn to assess the different dimensions of impact

6 Min read

Step 2: Choose a Relevant Topic

How to select a topic for your impact analysis

6 Min read

Step 3: Do research the smart way

How to conduct effective research, find the best sources and a fact-based analysis?

5 Min read

Golden Rule #3: Differentiate ethics from impact

Learn how to go beyond ethical assessment.

12 Min read

Step 6: Use the right standards

Learn the ins and outs of our standards.

11 Min read

Step 4: Build a good structure

How should you structure your impact analysis.

6 Min read

How to avoid writing about multiple topics

Learn how to focus on the main impact topic in this guide.

7 Min read

How to use the Topic Selector

How to pick a topic that interests you and reserve it so no one else can write on it

7 Min read

How to Write an Impact Analysis

Impact analyses are short sustainability notes relating to a specific company’s activities and what impact they are having.

World Green Background Sustainability small

Let’s take action together

With the right investment companies having a positive impact on the planet are able to flourish. Our community forms part of that mission by measuring their impact.

Join Us