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Become An Investigative Analyst

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Working As An Investigative Analyst

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Analyzing Data or Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Getting Information
  • Thinking Creatively
  • Mostly Sitting

  • $75,050

    Average Salary

What Does An Investigative Analyst Do

Operations research analysts use advanced mathematical and analytical methods to help organizations solve problems and make better decisions.

Duties

Operations research analysts typically do the following:

  • Identify and solve real-world problems in areas such as business, logistics, healthcare, or other fields
  • Collect and organize information from a variety of sources, such as computer databases, sales histories, and customer feedback
  • Gather input from workers involved in all aspects of a problem or from others who have specialized knowledge, so that they can help solve the problem
  • Examine information to figure out what is relevant to a problem and what methods might be used to analyze it
  • Use statistical analysis, simulations, predictive modeling, or other methods to analyze information and develop practical solutions to business problems
  • Advise managers and other decision makers on the impacts of various courses of action to take in order to address a problem
  • Write memos, reports, and other documents explaining their findings and recommendations for managers, executives, and other officials

Operations research analysts are involved in all aspects of an organization. They help managers decide how to allocate resources, develop production schedules, manage the supply chain, and set prices. For example, they may help decide how to organize products in supermarkets or help companies figure out the most effective way to ship and distribute products.

Analysts must first identify and understand the problem to be solved or the processes to be improved. Analysts typically collect relevant data from the field and interview clients or managers involved in the business processes being examined. Analysts show the implications of pursuing different actions and may assist in achieving a consensus on how to proceed.

Operations research analysts use sophisticated computer software, such as databases and statistical programs, and modeling packages, to analyze and solve problems. Analysts use these mathematical programs to simulate current and future events and evaluate alternative courses of action. Analysts break down problems into their various parts and analyze the effect that different changes and circumstances would have on each of these parts. For example, to help an airline schedule flights and decide what to charge for tickets, analysts may take into account the cities that have to be connected, the amount of fuel required to fly those routes, the expected number of passengers, pilots’ schedules, maintenance costs, and fuel prices.

There is no one way to solve a problem, and analysts must weigh the costs and benefits of alternative solutions or approaches in their recommendations to managers.

Because problems are complex and often require expertise from many disciplines, most analysts work on teams. Once a manager reaches a final decision, these teams may work with others in the organization to ensure that the plan arrived at is successful.

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How To Become An Investigative Analyst

Although applicants may need a master’s degree for most operations research positions, a bachelor’s degree is enough for some entry-level positions. Because few schools offer bachelor’s and advanced degree programs in operations research, analysts typically have degrees in other, related fields.

Education

Although some employers prefer to hire applicants with a master’s degree, many entry-level positions are available for those with a bachelor’s degree. Although some schools offer bachelor’s and advanced degree programs in operations research, some analysts have degrees in other technical or quantitative fields, such as engineering, computer science, analytics, or mathematics.

Because operations research is based on quantitative analysis, students need extensive coursework in mathematics. Courses include statistics, calculus, and linear algebra. Coursework in computer science is important because analysts rely on advanced statistical and database software to analyze and model data. Courses in other areas, such as engineering, economics, and political science, are useful because operations research is a multidisciplinary field with a wide variety of applications.

Continuing education is important for operations research analysts. Keeping up with advances in technology, software tools, and improved analytical methods is vital.

Other Experience

Many operations research analysts who work with the military are veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces. 

Some positions may require applicants to undergo a background check in order to attain a security clearance. 

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Operations research analysts use a wide range of methods, such as forecasting, data mining, and statistical analysis, to examine and interpret data. They must determine the appropriate software packages and understand computer programming languages to design and develop new techniques and models.

Communication skills. Operations research analysts often present their data and conclusions to managers and other executives. They also need to communicate technical information to people without a technical background.

Critical-thinking skills. Operations research analysts must be able to figure out what information is relevant to their work. They also must be able to evaluate the costs and benefits of alternative solutions before making a recommendation.

Interpersonal skills. Operations research analysts typically work on teams. They also need to be able to convince managers and top executives to accept their recommendations.

Math skills. The models and methods used by operations research analysts are rooted in statistics, calculus, linear algebra, and other advanced mathematical disciplines.

Problem-solving skills. Operations research analysts need to be able to diagnose problems on the basis of information given to them by others. They then analyze relevant information to solve the problems.

Writing skills. Operations research analysts write memos, reports, and other documents explaining their findings and recommendations.

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Investigative Analyst jobs

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Investigative Analyst Demographics

Gender

Female

53.6%

Male

44.4%

Unknown

2.1%
Ethnicity

White

74.3%

Hispanic or Latino

13.6%

Asian

8.5%

Unknown

2.9%

Black or African American

0.7%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

42.9%

French

7.8%

Portuguese

6.5%

Italian

6.5%

Hindi

5.2%

Arabic

5.2%

German

3.9%

Russian

3.9%

Bengali

2.6%

Korean

2.6%

Swedish

1.3%

Chinese

1.3%

Turkish

1.3%

Albanian

1.3%

Hebrew

1.3%

Armenian

1.3%

Greek

1.3%

Dari

1.3%

Persian

1.3%

Urdu

1.3%
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Investigative Analyst Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

11.1%

University of Maryland - University College

9.1%

University of South Florida

9.1%

John Jay College of Criminal Justice of the City University of New York

5.1%

Troy University

5.1%

George Washington University

5.1%

Florida International University

5.1%

Liberty University

5.1%

Northeastern University

5.1%

Saint John's University - New York

4.0%

Drexel University

4.0%

Strayer University

4.0%

Iowa State University

4.0%

Capella University

4.0%

George Mason University

4.0%

Hillsborough Community College

4.0%

Ashford University

3.0%

University of Cincinnati

3.0%

Arizona State University

3.0%

Brooklyn College of the City University of New York

3.0%
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Majors

Business

22.3%

Criminal Justice

19.9%

Law

7.4%

Finance

5.7%

Accounting

5.2%

Management

4.4%

Psychology

3.5%

Legal Support Services

3.3%

Health Care Administration

2.7%

Sociology

2.7%

Nursing

2.5%

Public Administration

2.5%

Communication

2.5%

Political Science

2.5%

Human Resources Management

2.5%

Marketing

2.5%

Education

2.2%

English

2.2%

Economics

1.9%

Project Management

1.9%
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Degrees

Bachelors

40.0%

Masters

24.2%

Other

15.8%

Associate

8.4%

Doctorate

6.2%

Certificate

4.4%

License

0.5%

Diploma

0.5%
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Real Investigative Analyst Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Investigative Analysts Manager Pricewaterhousecoopers Advisory Services LLC McLean, VA Oct 17, 2016 $107,744
Investigations Analyst Microsoft Corporation Redmond, WA Jun 13, 2016 $98,100
Investigations Analyst Microsoft Corporation Redmond, WA Aug 13, 2015 $96,000
Investigations Analyst-Corpfin-G&A or Other Microsoft Corporation Redmond, WA Jan 21, 2016 $96,000 -
$116,000
Investigations Analyst EBAY Partner Network, Inc. San Jose, CA Jul 22, 2011 $85,000
Investigations Analyst EBAY Partner Network, Inc. San Jose, CA Jul 22, 2011 $80,000
Investigations Analyst EBAY Inc. San Jose, CA Oct 04, 2010 $80,000
Internal Audit Analyst, Fraud & Investigations Uber Technologies, Inc. San Francisco, CA Jun 16, 2016 $67,683 -
$75,000

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Top Skills for An Investigative Analyst

FraudulentActivityFinancialCrimesLawEnforcementAgenciesEnsureComplianceProceduresSuspiciousActivityReportsBackgroundInvestigationsDueDiligenceInvestigationsAMLInternalSystemsAssetsSarsAnti-MoneyOfacFincenCreditCardSpecialProjectsSecrecyFraudCasesKYC

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Top Investigative Analyst Skills

  1. Fraudulent Activity
  2. Financial Crimes
  3. Law Enforcement Agencies
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Analyzed online sales orders to detect fraudulent activity.
  • Perform risk analysis and modeling to provide input and recommendations for financial crimes strategies and models.
  • Provide support to various law enforcement agencies
  • Researched policies and procedures of regulatory guidelines to ensure compliance to standards.
  • Review the underwriting guidelines and procedures of the bank to determine if the loan was approved and closed accurately.

Top Investigative Analyst Employers

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Investigative Analyst Videos

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What Would 25 x 25" Do?"

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