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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:
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.
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.
Average Length of Employment
Top Careers Before Operations Analyst
Top Careers After Operations Analyst
Hispanic or Latino10.9%
Black or African American0.9%
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University of Phoenix22.3%
New York University5.6%
Arizona State University4.7%
Florida State University3.9%
Southern New Hampshire University3.8%
Pennsylvania State University3.8%
University of Maryland - University College3.6%
University of Texas at Dallas3.5%
University of Houston3.3%
University of North Carolina at Charlotte3.2%
Michigan State University3.2%
Unfortunately we don’t have enough data for this section.
|Job Title||Company||Location||Start Date||Salary|
|Decision, Risk and Operations Analyst||Jpmorgan Chase & Co.||New York, NY||Mar 16, 2016||$200,000|
|Decision, Risk and Operations Analyst||JP Morgan Chase & Co||New York, NY||Jul 15, 2015||$175,000|
|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|
|Finance Operations Analyst||Google Inc.||Sunnyvale, CA||Mar 28, 2016||$140,000|
|Finance Operations Analyst||Google Inc.||Sunnyvale, CA||Jun 09, 2016||$140,000|
|People Technology and Operations Analyst||Google Inc.||Sunnyvale, CA||Feb 16, 2015||$138,000|
|Finance Operations Analyst||Google Inc.||Sunnyvale, CA||Mar 06, 2015||$134,000|
|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|
|Finance Operations Analyst||Google, Inc.||Sunnyvale, CA||Feb 05, 2015||$131,500|
|Operations Analyst||Video Eye, Inc.||Burbank, CA||Jan 13, 2015||$130,062|
|Strategic Operational Analyst||Uber Technologies Inc.||Washington, DC||Jul 12, 2015||$130,000|
|Customer Operations Analyst||Cisco Systems, Inc.||Parkton, NC||Jun 01, 2015||$84,531 -
|Operations Analyst Senior||Cypress Semiconductor Corporation||Atlanta, GA||Aug 14, 2015||$84,011 -
|Oracle WMS Operations Analyst||Telcobuy.Com LLC||Maryland Heights, MO||Apr 20, 2015||$84,000 -
|Fund Operations Analyst||MOTO Capital Group Inc.||Miami, FL||Sep 01, 2015||$84,000|
|Fund Operations Analyst||MOTO Capital Group Inc.||Miami, FL||Jan 09, 2016||$84,000|
|Logistics Operations Analyst||Kw International, Inc.||Carson, CA||Mar 23, 2016||$84,000|
|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 2||Cypress Semiconductor Corporation||San Jose, CA||Aug 31, 2016||$64,958 -
|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 -
|Research & Operations Analyst||Pampanito Corporation||San Francisco, CA||Sep 10, 2015||$64,210|
|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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