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Become A Research Analyst

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Working As A Research Analyst

  • Analyzing Data or Information
  • Getting Information
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Make Decisions

  • $77,000

    Average Salary

What Does A 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 A 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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Research Analyst jobs

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Research Analyst Career Paths

Research Analyst
Senior Analyst Program Manager General Manager
Account Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Senior Research Analyst Research Manager
Consumer Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Account Manager Marketing Manager Senior Manager Of Marketing
Director Of Consumer Marketing
11 Yearsyrs
Program Manager Marketing Consultant Marketing Manager
Director, Global Marketing
12 Yearsyrs
Market Research Analyst Market Research Manager
Director, Market Research
10 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Senior Finance Analyst Finance Manager
General Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Data Analyst Business Analyst Product Manager
Marketing Director
7 Yearsyrs
Account Manager Account Executive Marketing Consultant
Marketing Lead
6 Yearsyrs
Analyst Business Analyst Product Manager
Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Account Executive Marketing Specialist
Marketing Program Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Senior Project Manager Senior Product Manager
Product Management Director
12 Yearsyrs
Data Analyst Senior Business Analyst Product Manager
Product Marketing Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Finance Analyst Account Manager Marketing Manager
Regional Marketing Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Program Manager Marketing Manager
Senior Brand Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Analyst Senior Manager Marketing Director
Senior Director Of Marketing
13 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Product Manager
Senior Product Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Finance Analyst Operations Manager Account Executive
Strategic Accounts Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Analyst Finance Analyst Assistant Vice President
Vice President And Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Program Manager Business Developer
Vice President, Business Development
13 Yearsyrs
Account Executive Assistant Vice President
Vice President, Strategy
13 Yearsyrs
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Research Analyst Demographics

Gender

  • Female

    47.8%
  • Male

    47.2%
  • Unknown

    5.0%

Ethnicity

  • White

    71.7%
  • Asian

    15.7%
  • Hispanic or Latino

    9.0%
  • Unknown

    2.6%
  • Black or African American

    1.0%
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Languages Spoken

  • Spanish

    34.4%
  • French

    12.4%
  • Mandarin

    8.8%
  • Chinese

    8.7%
  • German

    4.8%
  • Russian

    4.0%
  • Italian

    3.7%
  • Arabic

    3.7%
  • Japanese

    3.4%
  • Portuguese

    3.2%
  • Hindi

    2.6%
  • Korean

    2.5%
  • Cantonese

    2.3%
  • Turkish

    1.0%
  • Urdu

    1.0%
  • Hebrew

    0.8%
  • Greek

    0.8%
  • Armenian

    0.7%
  • Dutch

    0.6%
  • Persian

    0.6%
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Research Analyst

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Research Analyst Education

Research Analyst

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Real Research Analyst Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Research Analyst Independent Project Analysis, Inc. Ashburn, VA Dec 30, 2014 $85,000
Research Analyst Independent Project Analysis, Inc. Ashburn, VA Dec 10, 2016 $83,158
Research Analyst Independent Project Analysis, Inc. Ashburn, VA Aug 31, 2018 $82,000
Research Analyst Independent Project Analysis, Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 28, 2012 $81,000
Research Analyst Independent Project Analysis, Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 01, 2015 $80,000
Research Analyst Independent Project Analysis, Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 01, 2018 $80,000
Research Analyst Independent Project Analysis, Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 20, 2012 $80,000
Research Analyst Independent Project Analysis, Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 15, 2012 $80,000
Research Analyst Independent Project Analysis, Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 06, 2013 $80,000
Research Analyst Independent Project Analysis, Inc. Ashburn, VA Mar 05, 2012 $80,000
Associate Research Analyst Independent Project Analysis, Inc. Ashburn, VA Jan 09, 2016 $78,000
Associate Research Analyst Independent Project Analysis, Inc. Ashburn, VA Jan 09, 2017 $78,000
Associate Research Analyst Independent Project Analysis, Inc. Ashburn, VA May 25, 2018 $77,896
Research Analyst Independent Project Analysis, Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 30, 2010 $77,000
Research Analyst Independent Project Analysis, Inc. Ashburn, VA Dec 31, 2011 $77,000
Research Analyst Independent Project Analysis, Inc. Ashburn, VA Jan 09, 2016 $77,000
Research Analyst Independent Project Analysis, Inc. Ashburn, VA May 19, 2010 $75,000
Research Analyst Independent Project Analysis, Inc. Ashburn, VA Jan 09, 2016 $75,000
Research Analyst Independent Project Analysis, Inc. Ashburn, VA Oct 01, 2012 $75,000
Research Analyst Independent Project Analysis, Inc. Ashburn, VA Aug 26, 2015 $75,000
Research Analyst Independent Project Analysis, Inc. Ashburn, VA Jun 25, 2018 $73,486
Research Analyst Infonetics Research, Inc. Ashburn, VA Jan 02, 2010 $73,440
Research Analyst Independent Project Analysis, Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 15, 2018 $72,500
Research Analyst Independent Project Analysis, Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 06, 2013 $70,000
Research Analyst Independent Project Analysis, Inc. Ashburn, VA Oct 01, 2013 $70,000
Research Analyst (Construction Management) Independent Project Analysis, Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 16, 2015 $65,000 -
$75,000
Research Analyst Independent Project Analysis, Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 01, 2013 $65,000
Research Analyst Independent Project Analysis, Inc. Ashburn, VA Sep 01, 2010 $59,904

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Top Skills for A Research Analyst

FinancialStatementsDataEntryPolicyPortfolioDataAnalysisResearchProjectsStatisticalAnalysisMarketResearchDataCollectionEquitySASSpssInternalDepartmentsPowerpointRealEstateWebCustomerServiceSQLHealthcareDueDiligence

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Top Research Analyst Skills

  1. Financial Statements
  2. Data Entry
  3. Policy
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Analyzed financial statements of publicly traded companies, including SEC reports, and monitored major news regarding business operations and management.
  • Conducted manual and electronic data entry.
  • Conduct regulatory and institutional policy research.
  • Produced asset class comparison and bond portfolio analysis.
  • Responded to inquiries from various internal and external sources regarding survey design methods and appropriate data analysis methods.

Top Research Analyst Employers

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