Operations research analysts are mathematical experts who use their skills to solve problems and make decisions that affect the short and long-term success of their organization.
They have many responsibilities which include identifying problems, collecting and examining information, and using statistical analyses and simulations to analyze the data in order to develop practical solutions. Operations systems analysts must weigh the advantages and disadvantages of various solutions before advising managers and decision makers on the different potential courses of action.
To be efficient, analysts must first identify and understand the problem to be solved or the processes to be improved. These analysts are involved in all aspects of an organization and must collect relevant data from which to make their analysis. They compile and analyze data from many sources, including databases, reports, customer feedback, and employee surveys. Once collected, operations research analysts help managers decide how to allocate resources, develop production schedules, manage the supply chain, and set prices.
Operations research analysts use sophisticated computer software such as databases, statistical programs, and modeling packages, to analyze and solve problems. These mathematical programs are used to simulate current and future events and evaluate alternative courses of action. They also break down problems into their various parts and analyze the effect that different changes and circumstances would have on each of these parts.
Operations research analysts employ techniques from other mathematical sciences, such as mathematical modeling, statistical analysis, and mathematical optimization to ensure corporations arrive at optimal or near-optimal solutions to their complex problems.
Because of its emphasis on multi-faceted problems, human-technology interactions, and practical solutions, operations research analysts are typically part of a team made up different specialist. This means communication and cooperation in addition to technical expertise are key to success.
21st Century Skills required for this profession:
- Use data to analyze and predict future trends
- Analyze multi-faceted scenarios
- Run cost/benefit analyses
- Work with company management to determine goals and priorities
- Coordinate effectively with other team members about responsibilities, timelines, and analyses
- Integrate other departments’ reports into your analyses
- Clearly communicate analyses
- Create visual, verbal, and written reports
- Identify advantages and disadvantages to each solution
- Provide multiple solutions
- Determine optimal strategies to maximize outcomes
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