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Become An Operations Analyst

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Working As An Operations Analyst

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

  • $78,900

    Average Salary

What Does An Operations 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 Operations 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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Operations Analyst jobs

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Operations Analyst Career Paths

Operations Analyst
Senior Finance Analyst Controller Operations Manager
Assistant Vice President
7 Yearsyrs
Systems Analyst Information Technology Manager Director Of Information
Chief Information Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Senior Analyst Senior Finance Analyst Controller
Corporate Controller
12 Yearsyrs
Senior Analyst Senior Consultant Senior Manager
Director Of Information
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Business Analyst Product Manager Purchasing Manager
Director, Procurement
13 Yearsyrs
Senior Finance Analyst Finance Manager Controller
Finance Controller
9 Yearsyrs
Finance Analyst Senior Finance Analyst
Finance Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Program Manager
General Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Systems Analyst Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Director
10 Yearsyrs
Data Analyst Business Analyst Senior Finance Analyst
Manager Finance Planning And Analysis
8 Yearsyrs
Operations Manager Branch Manager Account Executive
Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Operations Manager General Manager
Operations Director
9 Yearsyrs
Finance Analyst Finance Manager Sales Manager
Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Consultant Senior Consultant
Program Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Data Analyst Finance Analyst Finance Manager
Senior Finance Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager
Senior Information Technology Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Senior Consultant
Senior Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Project Manager
Senior Project Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Business Analyst Assistant Vice President
Vice President And Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Program Manager Portfolio Manager Assistant Vice President
Vice President Operation Manager
9 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Operations Manager 4.1 years
Programmer Analyst 4.0 years
Staff Analyst 3.8 years
Systems Analyst 3.4 years
Production Analyst 3.3 years
Senior Analyst 3.3 years
Procedure Analyst 3.2 years
Management Analyst 3.0 years
Business Analyst 3.0 years
Operations Analyst 3.0 years
Control Analyst 2.9 years
Technical Analyst 2.8 years
Process Analyst 2.6 years
Associate Analyst 2.5 years
Reporting Analyst 2.4 years
Analyst 2.4 years
Assistant Analyst 2.1 years
Bank Analyst 2.0 years
Analyst Internship 0.5 years
Top Employers Before
Internship 9.0%
Analyst 6.3%
Consultant 3.6%
Specialist 3.2%
Supervisor 3.2%
Top Employers After
Analyst 6.5%
Consultant 5.4%
Manager 4.0%

Operations Analyst Demographics

Gender

Male

56.7%

Female

40.5%

Unknown

2.7%
Ethnicity

White

75.2%

Hispanic or Latino

10.9%

Asian

10.7%

Unknown

2.4%

Black or African American

0.9%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

41.5%

French

10.4%

Chinese

8.4%

Mandarin

7.4%

German

3.7%

Hindi

3.6%

Portuguese

3.6%

Cantonese

2.8%

Russian

2.7%

Japanese

2.4%

Italian

2.3%

Urdu

2.0%

Arabic

1.8%

Vietnamese

1.3%

Korean

1.3%

Gujarati

1.2%

Carrier

1.2%

Greek

0.9%

Croatian

0.7%

Polish

0.7%
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Operations Analyst Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

22.3%

Northeastern University

6.6%

New York University

5.6%

Strayer University

5.5%

Drexel University

5.2%

Arizona State University

4.7%

Villanova University

4.3%

DePaul University

4.3%

Florida State University

3.9%

Southern New Hampshire University

3.8%

Pennsylvania State University

3.8%

Webster University

3.6%

University of Maryland - University College

3.6%

American University

3.5%

University of Texas at Dallas

3.5%

University of Houston

3.3%

Towson University

3.3%

University of North Carolina at Charlotte

3.2%

Michigan State University

3.2%

Syracuse University

3.1%
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Majors

Business

32.6%

Finance

14.0%

Accounting

7.8%

Management

5.1%

Computer Science

5.0%

Economics

4.3%

Computer Information Systems

4.1%

Information Technology

3.4%

Marketing

3.2%

Criminal Justice

2.6%

Psychology

2.3%

Communication

2.3%

Political Science

2.3%

Project Management

2.2%

Information Systems

1.5%

Supply Chain Management

1.5%

Management Information Systems

1.5%

General Studies

1.5%

Human Resources Management

1.5%

Computer Networking

1.4%
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Degrees

Bachelors

46.3%

Masters

25.3%

Other

15.3%

Associate

7.3%

Certificate

3.7%

Doctorate

1.2%

Diploma

0.7%

License

0.1%
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Internship
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Real Operations Analyst Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Trading Operations Analyst Virtu Financial Operating LLC New York, NY Jan 10, 2016 $175,000
Operations Analyst Facebook, Inc. Menlo Park, CA May 18, 2015 $147,261
PBM Operations Analyst Rxadvance Corporation Southborough, MA Oct 01, 2015 $140,000
People Technology and Operations Analyst Google Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Feb 16, 2015 $138,000
Staffing and Operations Analyst Google Inc. New York, NY Jun 25, 2015 $132,558
Offshore Operations Analyst Select Portfolio Servicing, Inc. West Valley City, UT Jan 12, 2015 $132,000
Operations Analyst Video Eye, Inc. Burbank, CA Jan 13, 2015 $130,062
Strategy & Operations Analyst III Enova Financial Chicago, IL Nov 18, 2015 $130,000
Strategic Operational Analyst Uber Technologies Inc. Washington, DC Jul 12, 2015 $130,000
Operations Analyst, Commercial Operations & Resource Effectiveness Indivior, Inc. Richmond, VA May 24, 2016 $128,606
Operations Analyst, HR AIG Employee Services, Inc. New York, NY May 18, 2016 $125,000
Offshore Operations Analyst Select Portfolio Servicing, Inc. West Valley City, UT Nov 23, 2015 $123,000
Offshore Operations Analyst Select Portfolio Servicing, Inc. Salt Lake City, UT Sep 26, 2015 $121,700
Pharmaceutical Operations Analyst American Specialty Pharmacy, Inc. Las Vegas, NV Sep 07, 2015 $83,999
Operational/Modeling Analyst Starpoint Solutions New York, NY May 05, 2015 $83,480
Operations Analyst Aerotek, Inc. Fremont, CA Dec 28, 2015 $83,200
Operation Analyst C.J. Maintenance Inc. Columbia, MD Jul 12, 2015 $82,763
Operations Analyst Salebuild, Inc. Redwood City, CA Apr 27, 2015 $82,550
Operations Analyst Salebuild, Inc. Redwood City, CA May 01, 2015 $82,550
Operations Analyst Squaretrade, Inc. San Francisco, CA Jun 25, 2015 $82,534 -
$100,000
Operations Analyst 2 Cypress Semiconductor Corporation San Jose, CA Aug 31, 2016 $64,958 -
$78,000
Operations Analyst Sunnyworld International, Inc. Bellevue, WA Sep 23, 2015 $64,697
Operations Analyst Sephora USA, Inc. San Francisco, CA Aug 28, 2015 $64,210 -
$82,534
Technical Operations Analyst IBM India Pvt Limited Bentonville, AR Sep 03, 2015 $64,200
Technical Operations Analyst IBM India Pvt Ltd Bentonville, AR Sep 04, 2015 $64,200

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Top Skills for An Operations Analyst

NewProceduresFinancialReportsEnsureComplianceDataEntryCustomerServiceAuditProcessImprovementSQLServerWindowsMainframeAssetTroubleshootTechnicalSupportIncomeERPUnixBusinessUnitsProjectManagementSharepointSpecialProjects

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Top Operations Analyst Skills

  1. New Procedures
  2. Financial Reports
  3. Ensure Compliance
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Examine current procedures, identify/implement process improvements and train associates on new procedures.
  • Supported the advisory team with financial reports prior to meeting.
  • Prepared and managed multiple self assessment checklists to evaluate overall effectiveness and ensure compliance with USAF directives.
  • Maintained inventory, performed data entry, and managed confidential filing systems.
  • Investigate potentially fraudulent banking transactions in an inbound customer service center.

Top Operations Analyst Employers

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