Acumen Research Analyst Reviews | Glassdoor

Acumen Research Analyst Reviews

13 reviews

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Research Analyst

2.2
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Thomas MaCurdy
7 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Interesting projects that offer great exposure to the healthcare field through projects that matter and working with big data (in 9 reviews)

  • work-life balance is great if you're the type who likes to work hard on interesting problems but still go home at 6 (in 5 reviews)

Cons
  • Hypocrisy regarding work/life balance (in 10 reviews)

  • There is a high turnover rate so employees left have to take on huge amounts of responsibilities with little pay to compensate for it (in 10 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Great place for recent grads"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Quantitative Research Analyst
    Current Employee - Quantitative Research Analyst
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Acumen (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Interesting, meaningful work.
    Clients are capable of turning results into policy

    Cons

    Insufficient manager training
    If you are not self-driven, career growth is limited.

    Acumen Response

    Jun 1, 2015 – Senior Recruiting Coordinator

    Thank you for the review. We have now implemented a yearly manager training workshop.


  2. Helpful (17)

    "Everyday is a struggle"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Research Analyst in Burlingame, CA
    Current Employee - Research Analyst in Burlingame, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Diverse entry-level staff component, some of them are nice to work with.

    Cons

    Neither the management nor the HR care about you, insanely low salary, nil respect, expected to work long hours, they prefer hiring their close-knits for advanced positions instead of investing in excellent current staff for promotions. They are finding whatever "reason" to lay off good people to avoid the cost and "justify" themselves.

    Advice to Management

    Wise up. Try caring more

    Acumen Response

    Aug 13, 2015 – Senior Recruiting Coordinator

    We appreciate your honest feedback. Thank you for taking the time to share your experience.

  3. Helpful (12)

    "A Dubious Company and Even More Dubious HR"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Quantitative Research Analyst - Policy Writer in Burlingame, CA
    Former Employee - Quantitative Research Analyst - Policy Writer in Burlingame, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Acumen full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Some interesting research projects.

    Cons

    So soon out of college and with mounting student debts to pay off, I was desperate for a job--any job. So I went to work for Acumen. I was there for a couple of months before leaving for Goldman Sachs. I had the worst time ever. I had to deal with terrible HR people, who were engaged in very dubious practice. We were told to go on glassdoor and write positive reviews about the company. Say what? A year ago, the company had a rating of 2.8; now it's 3.2. This kind of artificially pumping up your company ratings is very questionable from an ethical point of view. I would treat recent 5-star reviews with a very, VERY large grain of salt.

    Advice to Management

    HR need better training.

    Acumen Response

    Oct 15, 2014 – Senior Recruiting Coordinator

    Glassdoor encourages companies to invite current employees to leave reviews. This way people reviewing Acumen can get the best perspective, not just from former employees, but current employees as... More


  4. Helpful (3)

    "bad experience, bad salary but flexible work time"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Quantitative Research Analyst-Statistical Programmer in Burlingame, CA
    Former Employee - Quantitative Research Analyst-Statistical Programmer in Burlingame, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Acumen full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    nice people, flexible work time

    Cons

    bad salary, bad promotion, worst experience

    Advice to Management

    nice people, but should improve.


  5. Helpful (3)

    "Needs Improvement"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Research Analyst/Data Systems - Algorithm Programmer Lead in Burlingame, CA
    Former Employee - Senior Research Analyst/Data Systems - Algorithm Programmer Lead in Burlingame, CA
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Acumen full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    One of few places that will take a chance on recent graduates with no experience.
    Decent benefits

    Cons

    Nepotism, Bad and Unqualified Managers, Low Pay

    Advice to Management

    Data Center - Do not hire architects who do not know how to code. They do not know how feasable implementation of their designs are, cannot properly estimate time to code, and coders get very annoyed when such non-coders try to micro-manage code. Many coders, including myself, have left due to this issue.


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Not easiest place to work, but for some it can be a career job"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Research Analyst in Burlingame, CA
    Former Employee - Senior Research Analyst in Burlingame, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Acumen full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Decent Benefits, the people are mostly nice.

    For kids fresh out of college, a lot of practical statistics can be learned - and similarly for programming if you like statistical programming.

    Beautiful views of ocean - really nice if you you get an office with window.

    Once you fully understand how the company works, most cons can be side-stepped, or based on the individual, they can be turned into pros.

    Cons

    The practical skills you learn will be very specific, as opposed to general training / skills - so you will not likely be able to take those skills with you to another job.

    The pay is way below market value and raises are based more on relations than on merit.

    Management tends to be unorganized, leading to crisis before deadlines. Implicitly, you will have to work longer hours. Over time, this proves too frustrating for most individuals and they leave.

    Long hours of work are worth more to the company than efficient short hours of work. I can understand this, because all work is government contracted and company must spend money for given year or else give back to government. For most individuals, this is not sufficient justification for spending so much time at work.

    As with most companies, they charge much more for your work than you get paid ( roughly 2 times as much for an hour's work ). Considering the pay is below market value already, and company makes millions yearly, the difference is not acceptable to most individuals.

    Advice to Management

    I think management works as expected / any issues are by design - the government contracted work just isn't for everyone. However, you should pay your employees what they are worth, reward based on merit rather relationship, and implement some sort of training program for managers to reduce unnecessary stress on employees.


  7. Helpful (4)

    "Okay for a short-term transition out of college"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Quantitative Research Analyst in Burlingame, CA
    Current Employee - Quantitative Research Analyst in Burlingame, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Acumen full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Provides good programming skills for aspiring health researchers. Some of the best office coffee I've ever had. Work appears to have a very direct impact.

    Cons

    Less than market value salary, so-so benefits, unprofessional and overly-casual work environment, little room for professional growth aside from some very specific programming skills. Office building is drab and provides few lunch options nearby.

    Advice to Management

    Take the time to provide more of an introductory background of projects before throwing your employees straight into crunching numbers.

  8. "Interesting work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Research Analyst in Burlingame, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Research Analyst in Burlingame, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Acumen full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Policy relevant projects, lots of learning

    Cons

    no incentive bonuses, high turnover, below average building

    Advice to Management

    keep the good work


  9. "Challenging content-wise and also in figuring out what is expected of me to really excel."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Research Analyst in Burlingame, CA
    Current Employee - Research Analyst in Burlingame, CA
    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    The workplace and the stimulating material.

    Cons

    Positive reinforcement is almost non-existent and the management is not extremely clear in setting expectations. Favoritism is also fairly prevalent.

    Advice to Management

    Improve benefits and employee appreciation initiatives.


  10. Helpful (3)

    "No organizational structure, but great projects."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Research Analyst in Burlingame, CA
    Current Employee - Research Analyst in Burlingame, CA
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    For someone interested in health policy, this is a good place to work. It's the perfect job for someone in need of work experience prior to attending graduate school. The people are (mostly) intelligent. Work environment is casual, and hours are flexible.

    Cons

    Turnover rate is high, due to the fact that management does a poor job of assigning people to project teams based on their skills and interests. Management makes decisions without inviting input from staff. There is NO formal process for performance evaluations. I was told before I was hired that it's a meritocracy, but I came to realize that people will be awarded with a raise/promotion if they are willing to spend long hours (sometimes sleeping) in the office. And after you get your raise, you better start spending even more time working. Yes, the hours are flexible, but expect to take work home with you if you want to leave the office before 7pm.

    Advice to Management

    Please learn the concept of management. Put some thought into planning for projects--it takes more time to put out fires than to prevent them.