Operations Research Analysts
Also called: Advanced Analytics Associate, Operations Research Analyst, Operations Research Director, Operations Research Manager
Produced by CareerOneStop
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Weighing the costs and benefits of different solutions to complex problems, operations research analysts help organizations make better decisions. Operations research analysts use modeling software to simulate current and future events, and explore how altering the costs, schedules and other variables, might affect results. Their first step is exploring the problem at hand… then observing business processes in action… interviewing the clients or managers involved… and collecting other relevant data. With data in hand, analysts 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, the best way to ship products, or even what an airline should charge for tickets. Almost all operations research analysts work full time, and are employed by finance and insurance companies, private consulting firms, manufacturing, and for the Department of Defense. Most of their time is spent in an office, but they may visit organizations to gather data. They often work in teams with experts from a variety of different fields. Though many positions require a master’s or Ph.D., a bachelor’s degree is sufficient for most entry-level positions. Typical majors include engineering, computer science, analytics, or mathematics, as well as operations research. Positions with the military are usually filled by military veterans.
What they do:Formulate and apply mathematical modeling and other optimizing methods to develop and interpret information that assists management with decision making, policy formulation, or other managerial functions. May collect and analyze data and develop decision support software, service, or products. May develop and supply optimal time, cost, or logistics networks for program evaluation, review, or implementation.
On the job, you would:
- Formulate mathematical or simulation models of problems, relating constants and variables, restrictions, alternatives, conflicting objectives, and their numerical parameters.
- Perform validation and testing of models to ensure adequacy and reformulate models as necessary.
- Collaborate with senior managers and decision makers to identify and solve a variety of problems and to clarify management objectives.
Math and Science
- arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics
Arts and Humanities
- English language
Engineering and Technology
- computers and electronics
- product and service development
- using math to solve problems
- thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem
- noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
People and Technology Systems
- measuring how well a system is working and how to improve it
- thinking about the pros and cons of different options and picking the best one
- choose the right type of math to solve a problem
- add, subtract, multiply, or divide
- read and understand what is written
- communicate by speaking
Ideas and Logic
- make general rules or come up with answers from lots of detailed information
- use rules to solve problems
People interested in this work like activities that include ideas, thinking, and figuring things out.
They do well at jobs that need:
- Analytical Thinking
- Attention to Detail
You might use software like this on the job:
Analytical or scientific software
Object or component oriented development software
Operating system software