Operations Research Analysts

Business Management & Administration > Operations Management

Projected Growth: Much faster than average

Projected Job Openings

Extensive Preparation Needed

Job Description

Your job is to 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.

Common job titles of Operations Research Analysts include:

Experience and Education

Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience are needed for these occupations. Many require more than five years of experience. For example, surgeons must complete four years of college and an additional five to seven years of specialized medical training to be able to do their job.

  • 70% said they needed a Master's Degree.

  • 30% said they needed a Bachelor's Degree.


    Present the results of mathematical modeling and data analysis to management or other end users.

    Design, conduct, and evaluate experimental operational models in cases where models cannot be developed from existing data.

    Observe the current system in operation and gather and analyze information about each of the parts of component problems, using a variety of sources.

    Break systems into their components, assign numerical values to each component, and examine the mathematical relationships between them.

    Define data requirements and gather and validate information, applying judgment and statistical tests.

    Collaborate with senior managers and decision makers to identify and solve a variety of problems and to clarify management objectives.

    Perform validation and testing of models to ensure adequacy and reformulate models as necessary.

    Analyze information obtained from management to conceptualize and define operational problems.

    Collaborate with others in the organization to ensure successful implementation of chosen problem solutions.

    Formulate mathematical or simulation models of problems, relating constants and variables, restrictions, alternatives, conflicting objectives, and their numerical parameters.

    Educate staff in the use of mathematical models.

    Develop business methods and procedures, including accounting systems, file systems, office systems, logistics systems, and production schedules.

    Specify manipulative or computational methods to be applied to models.

    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.

    Develop and apply time and cost networks to plan, control, and review large projects.


Personal computers

Mainframe computers

Laptop computers

Desktop computers


Apache Hadoop

Apache Hive

Apache Pig

Apple macOS



Dassault Systemes CATIA

All Technologies

Data entry software

ESRI ArcGIS software

Extensible markup language XML

Geographic information system GIS software


Google Docs

IBM Cognos Impromptu

IBM SPSS Statistics


Marketo Marketing Automation

Mathsoft Mathcad

Microsoft Dynamics

Microsoft Exchange Server

Microsoft SharePoint

Microsoft SQL Server

Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services

Microsoft Visual Basic Scripting Edition VBScript



National Instruments LabVIEW

NetSuite ERP

Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition

Oracle Hyperion

Oracle Solaris

Oracle Taleo

Practical extraction and reporting language Perl


Qlik Tech QlikView


Salesforce software

SAP Business Objects

SAP Crystal Reports


Shell script

Splunk Enterprise



Teradata Database

The MathWorks MATLAB



A mathematical programming language AMPL

Blackbaud The Raiser’s Edge

Business Forecast Systems Forecast Pro


Cisco Systems IOS

Claritas PRIZM NE

ESRI ArcExplorer

FileMaker Pro

Fund accounting software

General algebraic modeling system GAMS

Hewlett Packard HP-UX

Human resource management software HRMS

Hyperion Solutions Hyperion Intelligence

IBM Power Systems software


ILOG OPL-CPLEX Development System

Imagine That Extend OR

Insightful S-PLUS

Job control language JCL

Jupyter Notebook




Mesquite Software CSIM

Microsoft MapPoint

Mixed integer optimizer MINTO

Oracle Eloqua


Rockwell Automation Arena

SAP PowerBuilder

Stanford Business Software MINOS

Stanford Business Software SNOPT

StataCorp Stata

Strategic Reporting Systems ReportSmith

Sun Microsystems Java

Telelogic System Architect

The MathWorks Simulink

Veritas NetBackup

Wolfram Research Mathematica



Using mathematics to solve problems.

Critical Thinking

Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Complex Problem Solving

Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

Reading Comprehension

Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Active Listening

Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.


Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Judgment and Decision Making

Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Systems Evaluation

Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.


Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Active Learning

Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

Systems Analysis

Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.

Operations Analysis

Analyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.


Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.

Learning Strategies

Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.


Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.


Teaching others how to do something.

Time Management

Managing one's own time and the time of others.


Choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.

Cognitive Abilities › Quantitative Abilities › Mathematical Reasoning

Read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.

Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Written Comprehension

Combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Inductive Reasoning

Add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.

Cognitive Abilities › Quantitative Abilities › Number Facility

Communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.

Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Oral Expression

Apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Deductive Reasoning

Listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.

Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Oral Comprehension

Communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.

Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Written Expression

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).

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Information Ordering

Come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Fluency of Ideas

Come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Originality

Tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Problem Sensitivity

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