Operations Research Group Manager Job Description

Operations Research Group Manager is responsible for applying the latest analytical techniques to business problems in order to optimize solutions. This role requires excellent leadership and communication skills, as well as a deep understanding of business processes, supply chains, and analytics methodologies. The job outlook for Operations Research Group Managers is very positive, with demand for these professionals increasing as businesses continue to adopt advanced analytical techniques to optimize their operations.

Operations Research Group Manager Overview

The Operations Research Group Manager is responsible for overseeing the daily activities of an Operations Research group, often comprising 5-15 analysts. This manager works with business leaders to identify important business problems and then use appropriate analytical techniques to recommend optimal solutions. The position reports directly to a Vice President or Senior Vice President of Operations or Supply Chain Operations.

Important Facts About This Occupation

Work Environment:

Typically reports to Vice President or Senior Vice President of Operations or Supply Chain Operation.

Median Salary:

$127,130 per year ($60.99 per hour)  according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (US Department of Labor) as of May 2015.

Work Schedule:

Regular hours with some flexibility are required due to the nature and size of the organization and the scope and responsibilities of job duties. Availability on nights and weekends is sometimes required for special projects.

Key Skills Needed:

The ability to apply analytical techniques in a timely manner is vital - communication skills are also essential, particularly when interacting with business leaders throughout an organization - other key skills include collaboration, leadership, and a keen understanding of relevant business processes.

Education Level:  

Bachelor's degree in an appropriate field is typically required, with majors such as Mathematics or Statistics being particularly well suited for this position. In lieu of a bachelor's degree, many businesses may consider candidates who have at least seven years of experience as a Senior Operations Research Analyst as being directly promotable to this position.

Common Career Paths:  

In addition to serving as a standalone role within an organization, Operations Research Group Managers frequently take the lead on strategic initiatives to optimize operational efficiencies through the use of advanced analytical techniques. After working in their current role for several years, these professionals often advance into senior-level chain management roles or switch over to an Executive role (Vice President or Senior Vice President of Operations).

Work Values:  

According to PayScale.com, important work values for this position include Flexibility & Work-Life Balance, Independence at Work, and Impact on Company Strategy.

Operations Research Group Manager Tasks

Typically oversees the daily activities of an Operations Research group including 5-15 analysts working on various projects/assignments

  • the manager works with business leaders to identify important business problems and then uses appropriate analytical techniques to recommend optimal solutions
  • sometimes serves as a mentor or coach to more junior staff members in order to help them develop their skills
  • typically develops new reports, models, dashboards etc. based on incoming requests from senior managers within the organization.

Operations Research Group Manager Duties:

  1. Develop reports, models, dashboards, etc. based on incoming requests from senior managers within the organization
  2. Participate in regular project team meetings to keep staff abreast of current progress and any issues or roadblocks that may need attention - identify training needs of group members and ensure they are met
  3. Provide guidance to staff as needed during execution of projects/assignments - provide feedback after completion of each project/assignment at key milestones (e.g., beta testing)
  4. Regularly track budgets, expenditures, hours worked, etc. for all projects/assignments to ensure costs are under control and expectations are being met
  5. Stay up to date with relevant information about new analytical techniques (e.g., new software, techniques) and advise staff on when/how they should be applied
  6. Attend relevant meetings with business leaders within the organization to discuss ongoing operational problems or opportunities that can be addressed by applying appropriate analytical techniques
  7. Analyze data/reports related to the production of key deliverables (e.g., customer service reports, sales reports, etc.) to ensure accuracy of information provided - recommend process improvements where necessary
  8. Ensure all protocols are followed appropriately for each project including limits on hours worked, budgets adhered to, etc.
  9. Compile and present periodic reports to owners/stakeholders within the business showing overall progress, future work plans, etc.
  10. Ensure all tools (e.g., software) required for the execution of projects are working properly and can be accessed by staff members as needed - recommend any changes that may help improve performance if problems exist
  11. Review deliverables produced by analysts to ensure quality; provide feedback where necessary; approve the release of final products to owners/stakeholders within the organization
  12. Work with subject matter experts across an organization to understand current processes and identify areas where improved efficiencies can be made using appropriate analytical techniques

What Kind of Education Do I Need To Be an Operations Research Group Manager?

  • Most employers require a minimum of a Bachelor's degree in Operations Research, Mathematics, Statistics, Computer Science, or a related field - however, many managers have an advanced degree (MS or PhD) in one of these areas
  • Previous experience in consulting or data analysis is beneficial but not necessary
  • Proficiency with various analytical techniques including business intelligence tools are critical to success in this role

Need To Be A Certified Project Manager?

While there is no specific certification required to become an Operations Research Group Manager, many employers prefer or even require employees in this role to be certified as a Project Manager (PMP). The PMP certification demonstrates that the individual has the knowledge and experience to manage projects effectively.

What Skills Do I Need To Succeed In This Role?

The key skills needed to be successful in this role include: 

  • Analytical thinking, problem-solving, communication, project management, teamwork, time management, budgeting/cost control, and data interpretation.
  • Strong computer skills and proficiency with Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) are also critical.
  • The ability to prioritize and manage multiple projects/assignments at one time while meeting deadlines and staying within budget guidelines is essential for success in this role.

What Types of Organizations Hire For Operations Research Group Manager Positions?

Organizations that hire individuals into Operations Research Group Manager roles include:

  • Consulting Firms
  • Technology Companies
  • Large Corporations
  • Insurance Companies
  • Banks /Financial Institutions
  • Healthcare Organizations
  • Retailers/Distributors

Are There Any Other Positions Within The Operations Research Field?

Yes, there are a variety of other positions within the Operations Research field including:

  • Operations Research Analyst
  • Quantitative Analyst
  • Industrial Engineer
  • Data Analyst
  • Business Analyst

What Will My Work Be Like?

The work of an operations research group manager is varied and can change on a day-to-day basis. Typical job duties include:

  • Leading and directing a team of analysts
  • Planning, organizing, and overseeing all analytical work within the organization
  • Developing and implementing processes to improve efficiencies in business operations
  • Analyzing data to identify trends and opportunities for improvement
  • Identifying areas where analytical techniques can be used to resolve problems or improve performance
  • Recommending any changes that may help improve performance if problems exist
  • Review deliverables produced by analysts to ensure quality; provide feedback where necessary; approve the release of final products to owners/stakeholders within the organization- Working with subject matter experts across an organization to develop data-driven solutions
  • Identifying and working with other departments within the organization to understand their needs and how the analytics team can support them
  • Interacting with clients/customers as needed to understand their business and what analytical services may be able to help them

What Is The Career Path For Operations Research Group Manager?

The career path for an operations research group manager can vary depending on the individual's experience, education, and goals. Some common career paths include:

  • Moving into a director position or senior management role within an organization
  • Becoming a consultant or independent contractor working with various organizations on a project basis
  • Becoming a professor at a postsecondary institution teaching future analysts about operations research methods and techniques
  • Becoming a research scientist for a private or government organization conducting operations research studies and investigations
  • Moving into another field that utilizes the skills and knowledge developed while working as an operations research group manager (e.g., systems analyst, business intelligence analyst, data analyst)

So what exactly is an operations research group manager?

This position typically entails leading and directing a team of analysts who are responsible for planning, organizing, and overseeing all analytical work within an organization. The goal of this work is to identify areas where improvements can be made in inefficiencies in business operations, using data to identify trends and opportunities for improvement. This role also requires strong communication, problem-solving, and project management skills in order to effectively collaborate with other departments and work alongside subject matter experts. In addition to leading a team of analysts, and operations research group manager typically interacts with clients and customers as needed to gather information on their business and how the analytics team can support them.

In summary, those who seek this type of position should have a strong background in data analysis and possess excellent communication, collaboration, and project management skills. The ability to work well under pressure and manage multiple projects simultaneously is also key.

What Is Involved In Being A Retail Operations Research Group Manager?

Retail Operations Research Group Managers Perform

  • Lead and direct teams of analysts responsible for planning, organizing, and overseeing all analytical work within an organization
  • Developing and implementing processes to improve efficiencies in business operations
  • Analyzing data to identify trends and opportunities for improvement
  • Identifying areas where analytical techniques can be used to resolve problems or improve performance
  • Recommending changes that may help improve performance if problems exist
  • Reviewing deliverables produced by analysts to ensure quality; providing feedback where necessary; approving the release of final products to owners/stakeholders within the organization
  • Interacting with clients/customers as needed to understand their business and what analytical services may be able to help them.

What Is Involved In Being A Senior Operations Research Group Manager?

Senior Ops Research Group Managers Perform

  • Developing short-term and long-term objectives for various teams within an organization
  • Facilitating staff meetings with department managers to discuss progress towards goals, potential roadblocks or problems that have emerged, and how to resolve them
  • Ensuring all work completed by the group adheres to organizational standards set out by the company
  • Identifying areas where improvement is needed in order to meet overall organizational goals; taking steps to resolve issues that are discovered
  • Assessing risks associated with proposed changes or resolutions of problems identified through analysis

Senior ops research group managers typically have at least five years of operational research experience, leadership experience in the field, and a master’s degree. They are often required to have strong analytical skills, expertise in specific areas of business operations, significant knowledge of organizations' activities, ability to identify problems or opportunities within an organization that can be resolved through data analysis.

An operations research group manager is responsible for directing all analytical work within an organization. They develop and implement processes to improve efficiencies in business operations, analyze data to identify trends and opportunities for improvement and recommend changes that may help improve performance if problems exist. They also review deliverables produced by analysts to ensure quality; provide feedback where necessary, and approve the release of final products to owners/stakeholders within the organization. In order to be a successful operations research group manager, one must have strong communication, collaboration, and project management skills. They must also be able to work well under pressure and manage multiple projects simultaneously. Finally, it is often required that they have a strong background in data analysis and possess expertise in specific areas of business operations. Those who are interested in becoming an operations research group manager should have a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field, such as mathematics, engineering, or computer science. They should also have several years of experience working in data analysis or business operations.

The Senior Operations Research Group Manager position is the highest rank within an organization’s strategic operations research department. These managers plan, organize and oversee all analytical work within an organization. They are responsible for developing short-term and long-term objectives for various teams within an organization. Additionally, they facilitate staff meetings with department managers to discuss progress towards goals, potential roadblocks or problems that have emerged, and how to resolve them. As part of their daily responsibilities they identify areas where improvement is needed in order to meet overall organizational goals; take steps to resolve issues that are discovered; assess risks associated with proposed changes or resolutions of problems identified through analysis, and ensure all work is completed by the group adheres to organizational standards set out by the company. Senior ops research group managers typically have at least five years of operational research experience, leadership experience in the field, and a master’s degree. They are often required to have strong analytical skills, expertise in specific areas of business operations, significant knowledge of organizations' activities, ability to identify problems or opportunities within an organization that can be resolved through data analysis.