Example Career: Operations Research Analysts
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.
What Job Titles Operations Research Analysts Might Have
- Analytical Strategist
- Operations Research Analyst
- Operations Research Manager
What Operations Research Analysts Do
- Formulate mathematical or simulation models of problems, relating constants and variables, restrictions, alternatives, conflicting objectives, and their numerical parameters.
- Collaborate with senior managers and decision makers to identify and solve a variety of problems and to clarify management objectives.
- Collaborate with others in the organization to ensure successful implementation of chosen problem solutions.
- Prepare management reports defining and evaluating problems and recommending solutions.
- Study and analyze information about alternative courses of action to determine which plan will offer the best outcomes.
- Specify manipulative or computational methods to be applied to models.
- Perform validation and testing of models to ensure adequacy and reformulate models as necessary.
- Define data requirements and gather and validate information, applying judgment and statistical tests.
- Analyze information obtained from management to conceptualize and define operational problems.
- Observe the current system in operation and gather and analyze information about each of the parts of component problems, using a variety of sources.
- Design, conduct, and evaluate experimental operational models in cases where models cannot be developed from existing data.
- Break systems into their components, assign numerical values to each component, and examine the mathematical relationships between them.
What Operations Research Analysts Should Be Good At
- Mathematical Reasoning - The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
- Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
- Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Fluency of Ideas - The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
- Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
What Operations Research Analysts Should Be Interested In
- Investigative - Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
What Operations Research Analysts Need to Learn
- Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
- Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
- English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Engineering and Technology - Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
- Production and Processing - Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
- Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.