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Become An Operations Research Analyst

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Working As An Operations Research Analyst

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

  • $85,969

    Average Salary

What Does An Operations Research 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 Research 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 Research Analyst Jobs

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Operations Research Analyst Career Paths

Operations Research Analyst

Do you work as an Operations Research Analyst?

Operations Research Analyst Demographics

Gender

Male

65.2%

Female

30.2%

Unknown

4.6%
Ethnicity

White

57.7%

Asian

14.1%

Black or African American

12.5%

Hispanic or Latino

11.4%

Unknown

4.4%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

36.1%

Korean

8.2%

German

6.6%

Japanese

6.6%

French

6.6%

Mandarin

6.6%

Russian

4.9%

Portuguese

3.3%

Chinese

3.3%

Urdu

1.6%

Dutch

1.6%

Ukrainian

1.6%

Georgian

1.6%

Hebrew

1.6%

Hindi

1.6%

Polish

1.6%

Cantonese

1.6%

Uzbek

1.6%

Arabic

1.6%

Italian

1.6%
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Operations Research Analyst Education

Schools

Northeastern University

11.9%

Naval Postgraduate School

8.4%

George Washington University

7.1%

George Mason University

7.1%

Rochester Institute of Technology

6.4%

Drexel University

6.1%

University of Phoenix

5.5%

Johns Hopkins University

5.5%

Pennsylvania State University

4.8%

Georgia Institute of Technology -

4.8%

University of Maryland - College Park

3.9%

Florida Institute of Technology-Melbourne

3.9%

University of Southern California

3.5%

Air Force Institute of Technology

3.5%

American University

3.2%

University of Cincinnati

2.9%

State University of New York Buffalo

2.9%

Wright State University

2.9%

University of Louisville

2.9%

Purdue University

2.9%
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Majors

Business

16.7%

Operations Research

11.7%

Mathematics

9.2%

Industrial Engineering

7.6%

Mechanical Engineering

6.2%

Management

5.5%

Chemical Engineering

5.0%

Finance

4.9%

Computer Science

4.2%

Economics

3.8%

Computer Information Systems

3.5%

Biomedical Engineering

3.3%

Statistics

3.1%

Electrical Engineering

2.5%

Chemistry

2.5%

Project Management

2.2%

Systems Engineering

2.2%

Engineering

2.1%

Engineering And Industrial Management

2.0%

Political Science

1.8%
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Degrees

Masters

43.8%

Bachelors

34.9%

Doctorate

8.9%

Other

7.9%

Certificate

2.4%

Associate

1.6%

Diploma

0.5%
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Temporary

Real Operations Research Analyst Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Operations Research Analyst Hylink (USA) Digital Solutions Co., Ltd. Santa Monica, CA Aug 26, 2016 $265,000
Operations Research Analyst Xavier Sun Santa Monica, CA Aug 26, 2016 $265,000
Operations Research Analyst Cathy Jean, Inc. Irvine, CA Jan 06, 2015 $250,000
Operations Research Analyst Cathy Jean, Inc. Irvine, CA Nov 30, 2016 $250,000
Operations Research Analyst-Product Director Zappos Ip, Inc. Las Vegas, NV Apr 09, 2016 $241,000
Operations Research Analyst Pace Harmon, LLC Vienna, VA Sep 04, 2016 $209,900
Operations Research Analyst Renaissance Technologies LLC Setauket-East Setauket, NY Jan 31, 2015 $175,470 -
$177,713
Senior Operations Research Analyst Adi Strategies, Inc. Carlsbad, CA Jul 27, 2016 $175,000
Operation Research Analyst for Corporate Finance United Merchant Services Inc. Hackensack, NJ Sep 12, 2015 $170,571
Operation Research Analyst for Corporate Finance United Pos Solutions Inc. Hackensack, NJ Sep 12, 2015 $170,571
Operations Research Analyst Carolina Herrera, Ltd. New York, NY Jun 02, 2016 $160,000
Operations Research Analyst Zeytinia LLC Atlantic City, NJ Dec 13, 2016 $154,627
Operations Research Analyst Laird International Corp Pompano Beach, FL Jan 14, 2016 $153,000
Operations Research Analyst Dane ELEC Corp. USA Irvine, CA Jul 28, 2016 $78,478
Pharmaceutical Operations Research Analyst Swarn, Inc. Bothell, WA Aug 18, 2015 $78,458
Operations Research Analyst ZT Wealth, Inc. Pearland, TX Oct 22, 2015 $78,270
Sales Operations Research Analyst Heat Software USA Inc. Milpitas, CA May 10, 2016 $78,000
Operations Research Analyst Innovative Scheduling, LLC Gainesville, FL Mar 03, 2015 $78,000
Operations Research Analyst Llamasoft, Inc. Ann Arbor, MI Dec 24, 2015 $78,000
Operations Research Analyst Amekor Industries Inc. Conshohocken, PA Oct 29, 2015 $77,688
Operations Research Analyst Amekor Industries Inc. Conshohocken, PA Dec 23, 2015 $77,688
Operations Research Analyst MTS Logistics, Inc. New York, NY Oct 01, 2015 $63,069
Operation Research Analyst for Corporate Finance United Pos Solutions Inc. Hackensack, NJ Sep 02, 2015 $63,007
Operations Research Analysts Brightline Partners LLC New York, NY Sep 01, 2015 $63,007
Operations Research Analyst for Food Production Grand Supercenter Inc. Lyndhurst, NJ Sep 23, 2015 $63,007
Business Operations Research Analyst H Mart Fort Lee LLC Fort Lee, NJ Sep 10, 2015 $63,007
Operations Research Analyst RN Express Staffing Registry, LLC New York, NY Jul 06, 2015 $63,007
Business Operations Research Analyst INP Foods Inc. New York, NY Sep 15, 2015 $63,007
Business Operations Research Analyst Grand Bk Corp. NY Sep 02, 2015 $63,007

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Top Skills for An Operations Research Analyst

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  1. Operations Research
  2. Data Analysis
  3. Technical Support
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Provided economic risk and operations research analyses supporting decision-making on major new initiatives, strategic planning and investment and spending priorities.
  • Performed data analysis and developed predictive models based on historical data in support of program and management objectives.
  • Study Lead and Contractor Technical Support Project Officer (TSPO).
  • Reviewed current logistic policies/procedures and initiated remedial measures where there is a potential for improvements.
  • Experience with working in team-based atmosphere, including interdisciplinary communication and translation of design information to non-technical personnel.

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