An Operations Analyst is a professional who solves problems internally and implements goal-oriented strategies in companies. This role also involves managing data, client reporting, and trade processes. An Operations Analyst’s job is to use mathematical and statistical methods to evaluate problems, calculate risks, and predict outcomes.
As an Operations Analyst, you have to work with the client support services manager and operations team. Your goal within the team is to make sure the company work flows smoothly.
Easier said than done. It’s a big task, so it makes perfect sense that this tech-driven role typically earns high compensation and great benefits. Let's talk about exactly what operations analysis entails, and what you’d have to do as an Operations Analyst.
Duties And Responsibilities
Regardless of the industry that you work in, here are some general duties and responsibilities that come with the role of an Operations Analyst.
Identify problems: As an Operations Analyst, identifying operational issues and potential concerns are major responsibilities. You need to discuss these concerns with stakeholders and clients. These problems can include cost and staffing concerns in supply and production. Your main role is to improve the overall efficiency of the company, so you need to be very observant to determine where the flaws lie.
Research issues: After you identify the problems, you'll resolve the issues through various modeling strategies. There are tons of software programs that you’ll use for data analysis and statistical modeling. This research phase involves predicting the results of the solution options presented before you. You want to find the best possible fit.
Suggest solutions: Based on your research and analysis, you need to make presentations and reports which suggest solutions to the problems and concerns. You'll prepare detailed reports which explain the entire solution in detail, along with the downside of implementing it. You’ll need to be able to explain your ideas well and communicate them effectively to others who may not have the same educational background as you.
Collaborate with the Team: Since these are not simple or small-scale projects, you can’t work alone to solve the issues. You need to work in teams and collaborate with colleagues like other analysts, researchers, and managers to properly implement the solutions. So, you’ll need to be a strong team-player.
Operations Analyst Vs Business Analyst: The role of an Operations Analyst can sometimes be confused with that of a business analyst. However, the skillset required, the responsibilities, the perspective of looking at things, and packages of both these job profiles are quite different. Here are some of those differences.
Responsibilities: These two roles can be distinguished based on job responsibilities. An Operations Analyst needs to take care of the internal problems and analyze them to find solutions. A business analyst, on the other hand, does market analysis. The area of focus in the latter is product lines and overall profits of the business.
Skills: There are some common skills that are required to handle these roles, but there are some job-specific skills as well. To become an Operations Analyst, you need to have analytical skills, communication skills, problem-solving skills, mathematical and statistical knowledge, and familiarity with CRM applications. On the other hand, the role of a business analyst requires skills like knowledge of SQL queries and business process models, statistical skills, financial planning skills, organizational skills, and managerial skills.
Qualification: Although both roles require analytical skills, different education is preferred by the recruiters for these roles. For the job of an Operations Analyst, you’re expected to be educated in Statistics and Operations Research. However, for the role of a business analyst, you should have an education in fields like information systems, business, accounting, or something similar.
Compensation: Although both fields are growing fast, you can expect a slight difference in the salaries. Business analysts usually earn more than Operations Analysts. According to Indeed.com, on average, Operations Analysts receive around $67,542 per year and business analysts make around $79,938 per year.
How to Become an Operations Analyst
If you’re wondering how to start your career as an Operations Analyst, we’ve got you covered. Here are some of the basic pathways you can take to learn the skills and apply them in the real world.
Education: An education in statistics and operations research or a similar field is needed. You can get educated at a traditional college or university, or you can choose new models like bootcamps and online courses. There are other related fields like data analytics, business administration, economics, finance, statistics, accounting, political science, and engineering that’ll help you succeed on this path.
Skills: There are a lot of skills that you need to have to fulfill your responsibilities as an Operations Analyst. Here are 4 of the most important skills that you’ll need to work on.
Analytical thinking: As an Operations Analyst, you’ll be required to work on huge amounts of data to identify problems within the organization. That’s where you need to use your analytical skills.
Computer skills: You’ll need to work with different software and databases. So, you should master word processing, spreadsheets, presentation, databases, and CRM software.
Math: This role includes complex calculations, calculus, statistics, and modeling to handle the data. Being sharp at mathematics will also be helpful.
Communication: You need to frequently collaborate with colleagues and other teams to implement and execute solutions. Communicating with them properly will increase the pace and efficiency of your work. It’ll also make it more enjoyable.
Certifications And Bootcamps: When you pursue a professional certification in this field, it will showcase your commitment to it. This will help set you apart from your peers and competitors. Some good options of certification courses are the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences’ Certified Analytics Professional credential. If you want to go more in depth with your knowledge, bootcamps like our Data Analytics bootcamp at Thinkful are great. Bootcamps are super in depth. You’ll also receive 1-on-1 mentorship and career counseling so you can land a job you actually want!
Internships And Practical Experience: Almost every company prefers candidates who have prior experience. So, internships can be helpful. Although many internships don’t pay well, and some might not pay at all, the experience you get is invaluable. As an intern you’ll learn directly from professionals; this will not only look good on your resume, but it’ll teach you some important principles and hacks for your future career. On the other hand, if you go the bootcamp route, you’ll have a lot of practical experience during your education. This means that right after you graduate, you’ll have a higher chance of finding a suitable job. 50% of the work in our bootcamps is practical work.
Junior Analyst Positions: If you’re short on practical work experience, then you might have to take an extra step before landing a job as an Operations Analyst. First, you’ll need to apply for the position of a junior analyst. This will get your foot in the door and provide you with some much-needed work experience and on-the-job training.
Why Are Operations Analysts in Demand?
As the job of an Operations Analyst involves identifying and solving issues related to the performance of an organization, every company needs them. Operations Analysts ensure that the company works efficiently.
There’s room for growth in this area because this position can lower the expenses of a company. That’s why experts and surveys have predicted an increase in the number of these positions soon. You can find jobs in this role in various industries like finance and insurance, manufacturing, scientific and technical services, the federal government, and more.
Because operation analysts are in high demand, you can earn good money, even in entry-level positions. Plus, you can grow to become operations manager, operations supervisor, senior financial analyst, or even vice president of operations with the right combination of experience and leadership skills.
Final Tips to Become An Operations Analyst
If you want to become an Operations Analyst, the journey can be smooth if you have a passion for it. Just like any other field, this field requires hard work and dedication. If you’re someone who doesn’t enjoy mathematical calculations and analytics, then you might find it difficult. So, make sure that you thoroughly grasp what’s required of an Operations Analyst before you move forward.
Operations Analysts need to work well in so many areas that include hard and soft skills, and it’s a very well-rounded career. If you’re someone who enjoys working in a team while also solving complicated problems, then this could be a great fit for you. If you’d like to know how our data analytics bootcamp can benefit you as an Operations Analyst, reach out to a member of our team.
There are plenty of exciting careers in the tech space, so if you want to explore your options, check out our YouTube channel. It’s full of useful information that can guide you to the career of your dreams. You’ll get free training from industry experts, which is great if you’re looking for new skills.