Operations Research Analyst Careers

Applied Operations Research is cross listed with Operations Management in Business

Operations research analysts use advanced mathematical and analytical methods to help organizations investigate complex issues, identify and solve problems, and make better decisions.  They may collect and analyze data and develop decision support software, services, or products. May develop and supply optimal time, cost, or logistics networks for program evaluation, review, or implementation.

Operations Research Analysts often perform the following duties:

  • Formulate mathematical or simulation models of problems, relating constants and variables, restrictions, alternatives, conflicting objectives, and their numerical parameters.
  • Perform validation and testing of models to ensure adequacy and reformulate models as necessary.
  • Collaborate with senior managers and decision makers to identify and solve a variety of problems and to clarify management objectives.
  • Communicate with colleagues, management and executives, present the results of mathematical modeling and data analysis to management or other end users.
  • Collaborate with others in the organization to ensure successful implementation of chosen problem solutions.

How to become a Research Operations Analyst:

Analysts typically have a degree in business, operations research, management science, analytics, mathematics, engineering, computer science, or another technical or quantitative field.


These positions require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in math, engineering, computer science or physics for entry-level. However, most positions require at least a master’s degree.

Due to the technical nature of the field, studies in linear algebra, calculus and statistics can be of benefit. As in many fields these days, interdisciplinary study in political science, economics and engineering may also make you more marketable.

 Important Skills and Abilities:

  • Mathematics — Using mathematics to solve problems.
  • Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • 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.
  • Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Mathematical Reasoning — The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
  • Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Number Facility — The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.
  • 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.

Technical Skills:

  • Analytical or scientific software — IBM SPSS Statistics; Minitab; SAS; The MathWorks MATLAB
  • Enterprise resource planning ERP software — NetSuite ERP; Oracle Hyperion; Oracle JD Edwards EnterpriseOne; Oracle PeopleSoft
  • Object or component oriented development software — Practical extraction and reporting language Perl ; R;; Scala ; Swift
  • Operating system software — Bash; Oracle Solaris; Shell scrip; UNIX Shell
  • Word processing software — Google Docs; Microsoft Word

Career Resources:

ACSM. The Association for Supply Chain Management

ACSM is the premier professional association for supply chain management. ACSM is known for our ability to develop supply chain talent and elevate  end-to-end supply chain performance. Nobody does this better than we do. From education and certification to benchmarking and best practices, ACSM sets the industry standard.

INFORMS.  The Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences

With over 12,500 members from around the globe, INFORMS is the leading international association for professionals in operations research and analytics. INFORMS promotes best practices and advances in operations research, management science, and analytics to improve operational processes, decision-making, and outcomes through an array of highly-cited publications, conferences, competitions, networking communities, and professional development services.

Student Union

The Operational Research Society

The OR vision is of a world improved by rigorous analysis and better, evidence-based decision-making. We are a charity set up to advance knowledge, interest and education in OR. Our goal is to see operational research used and acknowledged widely in all areas of industry, business, government, the community and the third sector.