Operations Research Analysts Career Video
Description: 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.
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.