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Operations Research Analysts
SOC Code: 15-2031.00

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.

Sample of reported job titles: Advanced Analytics Associate, Analytical Strategist, Business Analytics Director, Business Insight and Analytics Manager, Decision Analyst, Operations Research Analyst, Operations Research Director, Operations Research Group Manager, Operations Research Manager, Optimization Analyst

Tasks

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Analyze information obtained from management to conceptualize and define operational problems.
  • Study and analyze information about alternative courses of action to determine which plan will offer the best outcomes.
  • Prepare management reports defining and evaluating problems and recommending solutions.
  • Define data requirements and gather and validate information, applying judgment and statistical tests.
  • 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.
  • Design, conduct, and evaluate experimental operational models in cases where models cannot be developed from existing data.
  • Educate staff in the use of mathematical models.
  • Specify manipulative or computational methods to be applied to models.
  • Develop and apply time and cost networks to plan, control, and review large projects.

Technology Skills

  • Access software - Citrix
  • Accounting software - Fund accounting software
  • Analytical or scientific software - Minitab ; Stanford Business Software SNOPT; StataCorp Stata ; Telelogic System Architect (see all 24 examples)
  • Backup or archival software - Veritas NetBackup
  • Business intelligence and data analysis software - IBM Cognos Impromptu ; MicroStrategy ; Qlik Tech QlikView ; Tableau (see all 5 examples)
  • Communications server software - IBM Domino
  • Computer aided design CAD software - Dassault Systemes CATIA ; Mathsoft Mathcad
  • Customer relationship management CRM software - Blackbaud The Raiser's Edge ; Oracle Eloqua
  • Data base management system software - Apache Hadoop ; Apache Hive ; Apache Pig ; Teradata Database
  • Data base reporting software - Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services ; SAP Crystal Reports ; Strategic Reporting Systems ReportSmith
  • Data base user interface and query software - Data entry software ; FileMaker Pro; Microsoft Access ; MySQL (see all 6 examples)
  • Development environment software - C ; Microsoft Visual Basic ; Microsoft Visual Basic Scripting Edition VBScript ; National Instruments LabVIEW
  • Electronic mail software - IBM Notes
  • Enterprise application integration software - Extensible markup language XML
  • Enterprise resource planning ERP software - Oracle Hyperion ; Oracle PeopleSoft ; SAP ; SAP Business Objects (see all 5 examples)
  • Enterprise system management software - IBM Power Systems software ; Splunk Enterprise
  • Financial analysis software - Business Forecast Systems Forecast Pro; Oracle E-Business Suite Financials
  • Graphics or photo imaging software - Microsoft Visio
  • Information retrieval or search software - LexisNexis
  • Map creation software - ESRI ArcGIS software ; Geographic information system GIS software ; Microsoft MapPoint
  • Network monitoring software - Wireshark
  • Object or component oriented development software - C++ ; Practical extraction and reporting language Perl ; Python ; R (see all 7 examples)
  • Office suite software - Microsoft Office
  • Operating system software - Apple macOS ; Job control language JCL ; Linux ; UNIX (see all 6 examples)
  • Presentation software - Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Project management software - Microsoft Project ; Microsoft SharePoint
  • Spreadsheet software - Microsoft Excel
  • Transaction security and virus protection software - McAfee
  • Word processing software - Microsoft Word

Tools Used

  • Desktop computers
  • Mainframe computers
  • Notebook computers - Laptop computers
  • Personal computers

Knowledge

  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Engineering and Technology - Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.

Skills

  • 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.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • 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.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • 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.
  • Science - Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Instructing - Teaching others how to do something.
  • Learning Strategies - Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
  • Time Management - Managing one's own time and the time of others.

Abilities

  • 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.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Information Ordering - The ability to 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).
  • Fluency of Ideas - The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Originality - The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Category Flexibility - The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Flexibility of Closure - The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
  • Selective Attention - The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.

Interests

  • Interest code: ICE
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.

Work Context

  • Electronic Mail - 100% responded “Every day.”
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled - 100% responded “Every day.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions - 75% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Spend Time Sitting - 63% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions - 65% responded “Every day.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work - 55% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Duration of Typical Work Week - 74% responded “More than 40 hours.”
  • Telephone - 60% responded “Every day.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate - 50% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team - 45% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results - 40% responded “Very important results.”
  • Contact With Others - 53% responded “Contact with others most of the time.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making - 30% responded “Once a year or more but not every month.”
  • Time Pressure - 60% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others - 45% responded “Important.”
  • Level of Competition - 50% responded “Highly competitive.”
  • Letters and Memos - 37% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”

Education

Percentage of RespondentsEducation Level Required
70%Master's degree
30%Bachelor's degree

Work Styles

  • Analytical Thinking - Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • Integrity - Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Attention to Detail - Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Dependability - Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Innovation - Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
  • Achievement/Effort - Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Persistence - Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Initiative - Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Independence - Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility - Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Cooperation - Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Self Control - Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Stress Tolerance - Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
  • Leadership - Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.

Work Values

  • Achievement - Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
  • Independence - Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
  • Working Conditions - Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.

Wages & Trends

  • Median wages (2017)
    • $39.13 hourly, $81,390 annual
  • Employment (2016)
    • 114,000 employees
  • Projected growth (2016-2026)
    • Much faster than average (15% or higher)
  • Projected job openings (2016-2026)
    • 10,700

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