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Details for Operations Research Analysts


Description

Formulate and apply mathematical modeling and other optimizing methods using a computer to develop and interpret information that assists management with decision making, policy formulation, or other managerial functions. May develop related software, service, or products. Frequently concentrates on collecting and analyzing data and developing decision support software. May develop and supply optimal time, cost, or logistics networks for program evaluation, review, or implementation.

Tasks

  • Formulate mathematical or simulation models of problems, relating constants and variables, restrictions, alternatives, conflicting objectives, and their numerical parameters.
  • Collaborate with others in the organization to ensure successful implementation of chosen problem solutions.
  • Analyze information obtained from management in order to conceptualize and define operational problems.
  • Perform validation and testing of models to ensure adequacy; reformulate models as necessary.
  • Collaborate with senior managers and decision-makers to identify and solve a variety of problems, and to clarify management objectives.
  • Define data requirements; then gather and validate information, applying judgment and statistical tests.
  • Study and analyze information about alternative courses of action in order to determine which plan will offer the best outcomes.
  • Prepare management reports defining and evaluating problems and recommending solutions.
  • Break systems into their component parts, assign numerical values to each component, and examine the mathematical relationships between them.
  • Specify manipulative or computational methods to be applied to models.
  • 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.
  • Develop and apply time and cost networks in order to plan, control, and review large projects.
  • Develop business methods and procedures, including accounting systems, file systems, office systems, logistics systems, and production schedules.

Interests

  • 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.
  • Enterprising - Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
  • Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Education, Training, Experience

  • Education - Most of these occupations require graduate school. For example, they may require a master's degree, and some require a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D. (law degree).
  • Training - Employees may need some on-the-job training, but most of these occupations assume that the person will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.
  • Experience - 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.

Knowledge

Skills

  • 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.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Mathematics - Using mathematics to solve problems.
  • Science - Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Operations Analysis - Analyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Systems Analysis - Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
  • 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.

Related Careers

  • Accountants
  • Auditors
  • Budget Analysts
  • Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialists
  • Cost Estimators
  • Economists
  • Management Analysts
  • Mathematicians
  • Statisticians
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