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.
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.
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What Does an Operations Analyst Actually Do?
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 some of your most important responsibilities. You need to discuss these concerns with stakeholders and clients. These problems can include logistical constraints, like determining 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.
Recommend solutions: Based on your research and analysis, you need to make presentations and reports that support your recommended solutions to the identified problems and concerns. You'll prepare detailed reports that 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 a strong background in operations or data analysis.
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. But the skillsets required, responsibilities, and the overall business perspectives of both job profiles are quite different. Here are some of those differences.
These two roles can be distinguished first and foremost according to 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. Their area of focus is product lines and overall profitability of the business.
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.
Although both fields are growing fast, you can expect a slight difference in 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.
What Does A Typical Day Look Like?
As an Operations Analyst, you’ll probably start your day with lots of meetings. Others in the organization will lean on you for data about how their teams are performing, so expect to deliver presentations and offer recommendations about how to improve. As you earn trust in the company and gain experience, you’ll take on even more authority: Operations Analysts often become the source of truth when it comes to streamlining routine activities.
You’ll round out your afternoon by pulling reports and setting up dashboards for others in the organization. Expect to spend a decent amount of time in front of a computer, since you’ll be collecting data and drawing it together to tell a story about the organization’s processes.
Of course, your day-to-day may change significantly based on the industry. Companies in every sector employ Operations Analysts, so depending on your chosen role, you could be more heavily involved with warehouse operations, budget reporting, customer-facing solutions, or a number of other niche areas of the job.
Hours: Most Operations Analysts work traditional 9-5 hours. You’ll often collaborate with other teams and senior leaders, so you’ll need to be available during normal business hours.
Tools: Most of your tools are digital. You’ll become very familiar with software like Excel, PowerPoint, SalesForce, and probably a number of other specialized reporting and data visualization programs.
Working Conditions: This is an office gig, so you’ll likely work at corporate headquarters, or even from the comfort of home if you’re lucky enough to land a remote job.
How to Become an Operations Analyst
If you’re wondering how to start your career as an Operations Analyst, we’ve got you covered. It all starts with choosing the right education. Then you can hone your skills as you gain hands-on experience through internships and your first entry-level Operations Analyst job.
An education in statistics and operations research or a similar field will serve as a strong foundation for a career as an Operations Analyst. There are also other related fields like data analytics, business administration, economics, finance, and accounting that’ll help you succeed on this path. You can enroll in a traditional college or university, or you can choose a faster, more flexible approach like a bootcamp.
Online Certifications And Bootcamps
When you pursue a professional certification, it shows potential employers your commitment to a career in operations analysis. This will help set you apart from your peers and competitors.
A certificate is a great add-on to your resume, but not every certification course will properly prepare you to thrive in the field.
If you want to go more in depth with your knowledge, online courses like our Data Analytics bootcamp are great. The curriculum is constantly evolving with the needs of the job market, so you know you’ll be a strong candidate for the most in-demand roles. You’ll also receive 1-on-1 mentorship and career counseling so you can be confident that your education will result in a job offer.
There are a lot of skills that you need to have to fulfill your responsibilities as an Operations Analyst. Here are four of the most important skills that you’ll need to work on, both in your chosen course and on the job when you land your first role.
- 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 to parse through the information that’s meaningful, and filter out the data you don’t need.
- Computer skills: You’ll need to work with different software and databases. So you should master word processing, spreadsheets, presentation software like PowerPoint, databases, and CRM tools.
- Math: Your role may lean on a knowledge of calculus, statistics, and modeling to handle the data. Being sharp at math will serve you well throughout your career.
- 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 help the organization stay motivated and on-track.
Internships and Practical Experience
Almost every company prefers candidates who have prior hands-on experience. So internships can take you far.
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.
If you go the bootcamp route, you’ll gain a lot of practical experience during your education. This means that right after you graduate, you’ll have a higher chance of finding a job in your new field.
Entry-Level Operations 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 a fast increase in the number of these positions. 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 Operations Analysts are in high demand, you can earn good money, even in entry-level positions. Plus, you can grow to become an Operations Manager, Ops Supervisor, Senior Financial Analyst, or even VP of Operations with the right combination of experience and leadership skills.
Tips to Become an Operations Analyst
Just like any other field, this career path requires hard work and dedication. If you’re someone who shies away from math and spreadsheets, then you might find it frustrating to excel in this role. So read up on the skills you need to thrive, and make sure it’s the right path for you.
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 bootcamp can help you launch your career, reach out to a member of our team.
What’s a typical Operations Analyst job description?
Most Operations Analyst job descriptions will include some version of the following duties: Identify areas of improvement within the organization Report on performance in different areas Recommend solutions to make processes more efficient or profitable Analyze expenses and routine processes Gather data about the organization’s activities and financial health
Is Operations Analyst a good job?
The role of Operations Analyst is a solid career choice because it typically comes with high salaries, job satisfaction, and the potential to move up in the organization. If you’re looking for a stable career, and want to learn skills that will be needed for years to come, then this is the right place to start.
How much do Operations Analysts make?
According to salary.com, Operations Analysts typically start off making around $70,000 per year. As you build experience and earn a couple promotions, you can expect to make upwards of $90,000 per year. And because Operations Analysts are directly involved with helping companies become more efficient and profitable, it’s often a stepping stone to even higher-level leadership roles.
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