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How the Best Operation Analyst Drives Business Success 2023

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the employment of Operation Analyst, which includes operations analysts, will grow 23% from 2023 to 2032, much faster than the average for all occupations. 

Now that we know that there’s a growing demand for this profession let’s answer questions like who is an operation analyst, what’s their job like, and what role do they play in the company’s growth. We will also discuss the learning paths you can take to become an operation analyst. 

Let’s start by imagining a business as a complex machine, with many different parts working together (the labor) to create a finished product or service. Operations analysts work behind the scenes to keep that machine running smoothly. 

Operations analysts primarily work in a tech-driven role and are responsible for analyzing data, identifying patterns, and finding ways to improve efficiency and maximize productivity within a company’s operations.

They work closely with client support services and operations teams. To understand their processes, identify bottlenecks, and develop solutions to streamline operations. It’s a role that requires strong analytical skills, problem-solving abilities, and a keen eye for detail. 

Operations analysts work in every industry, from manufacturing and logistics to healthcare and finance. They are the ones who make sure that products are delivered on time and to budget, that customers are satisfied, and that businesses are running as efficiently as possible.

So, I’ve wondered why your favorite online retailer is always able to get you your order in two days or how your local hospital is able to provide care to so many patients. In that case, you can thank an operations analyst. They are the unsung heroes of the business world, and they deserve our appreciation.

Day-to-Day Tasks of an Operation Analyst

Operation Analyst

While day to day tasks of an operation analyst can vary depending on the industry and organization, there are several general duties and responsibilities that they typically perform, regardless of their industry:

Data Analysis:

Collect, analyze, and interpret data related to the organization’s operations. This may involve using statistical techniques, data mining, and data visualization tools to identify trends and insights.

Process Optimization:

Identify inefficiencies in existing processes and workflows. Develop recommendations for process improvements, cost reduction, and increased productivity.

Performance Metrics:

Define and monitor key performance indicators (KPIs) to assess the effectiveness of operations. Regularly report on these metrics to management and provide insights on areas for improvement.


Investigate and address operational issues and challenges. Work with cross-functional teams to develop and implement solutions that enhance efficiency and resolve problems.

Technology and Tools:

Stay up-to-date with relevant software and technologies to assist in data analysis and process improvement. Utilize tools like Excel, data modeling software, and project management software as needed.

In addition to these general duties and responsibilities, operations analysts may also be involved in other tasks, such as:

  • Reporting on performance and making recommendations for improvement. 
  • Operations analysts may be responsible for managing projects to improve operations.
  • They may train employees on new processes and procedures.
  • They might work with vendors to ensure they meet the company’s needs.

Starting a Career as an Operation Analyst

Operation Analyst

Required Skills

Operations analysts need various technical skills to analyze data, optimize processes, and manage projects effectively. 

  • Data Analysis Tools: Proficiency in data analysis tools such as Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets, or data visualization platforms like Tableau is crucial for processing and visualizing data.
  • Database Management: Understanding how to work with databases, write SQL queries, and extract relevant data is often required.
  • Statistical Analysis: Familiarity with statistical analysis techniques and tools can help in making data-driven decisions and identifying patterns.
  • Project Management Software: Knowledge of project management tools like Microsoft Project or industry-specific project management software can be essential for overseeing process improvement projects.
  • Problem-solving skills: Operations analysts need to be able to identify problems and develop solutions. They should be able to think creatively and come up with innovative solutions.
  • Analytical skills: Operations analysts need to be able to think critically and analyze data to identify trends and patterns. They should be able to use this information to make recommendations for improvement.

Additional Skills

  • Programming Languages: While not always mandatory, knowing programming languages such as Python, R, or scripting languages can be valuable for automating tasks and performing advanced data analysis.
  • Quality Management Software: In industries like manufacturing or healthcare, knowledge of quality management software may be necessary.
  • IT Skills: Basic IT knowledge, such as an understanding of network structures, hardware, and system architecture, can be helpful when dealing with technical operations.
  • Automation Tools: Knowledge of automation tools like Robotic Process Automation (RPA) software can assist in streamlining repetitive tasks.
  • Data Security and Privacy: Understanding data security and privacy regulations and practices is important, especially when handling sensitive information.
  • Cloud Services: Familiarity with cloud platforms like AWS, Azure, or Google Cloud can be valuable for data storage and analysis.

Being comfortable with technology and having a good understanding of business operations can further enhance your capabilities as an operations analyst.

How to Become an Operation Analyst? 

There are three to four different education paths you can choose to become an operations analyst:

Online Courses and Certificates

You can start by taking online courses and earning certificates in relevant subjects like data analysis, statistics, and process improvement. 

Platforms like Coursera, edX, and LinkedIn Learning offer courses on these topics. This option allows you to acquire specific skills without pursuing a full degree.

Bachelor’s Degree

A traditional path involves earning a bachelor’s degree in fields like Business Administration, Finance, Management, or a related area. This option provides a well-rounded education and can open doors to entry-level positions.

Master’s Degree (Optional)

If you’re looking to enhance your qualifications and career prospects further, you can pursue a master’s degree in areas such as Operations Research, Data Science, or Business Administration (MBA). This option is not mandatory but can offer more advanced knowledge and opportunities.

Certifications and Short Courses

Another alternative is to focus on obtaining industry-recognized certifications and taking short courses in areas like Lean Six Sigma, Certified Analytics Professional (CAP), or other relevant fields. These certifications can help you specialize in specific aspects of operations analysis.

On-the-Job Learning

Many operations analysts learn by doing. Start in an entry-level role related to operations or data analysis and work your way up. You’ll gain practical experience that way.

Your choice among these options should depend on your circumstances, career goals, and the specific requirements of the job market you are interested in.

Career Paths For Operation Analysts

Operation Analyst

To become an operations analyst, it’s often beneficial to start in entry-level positions that allow you to gain relevant experience and build the skills necessary for the role. 

Here are some beginner roles that can serve as a stepping stone toward a career as an operation analyst:

Internships or Junior Operations Analyst Roles:

Some organizations offer internships or junior operations analyst positions that provide a direct entry into the field. These roles often involve working closely with senior operation analyst and gaining practical experience in the responsibilities of the job.

Data Entry or Operations Support Roles:

Starting with data entry or operations support roles can help you gain familiarity with an organization’s processes and systems. This foundational experience can be beneficial as you progress in your career.

Data Analyst:

Data analysts work with data to extract insights and trends. They may perform data cleansing, data visualization, and basic statistical analysis. This role helps you develop essential analytical and data manipulation skills that are valuable for an operation analyst.

Business Analyst:

Business analysts focus on understanding an organization’s business processes, identifying areas for improvement, and proposing solutions. This role requires strong problem-solving skills and a good understanding of how businesses operate, which is crucial for an operation analyst.

Quality Assurance Analyst:

Quality assurance analysts are responsible for testing and ensuring the quality of products or services. This role involves process evaluation, attention to detail, and identifying areas for process improvement, all of which are relevant skills for an operation analyst.

Process Improvement Coordinator:

Process improvement coordinators work on identifying and streamlining inefficient processes within an organization. This role can provide hands-on experience in process optimization, which is a key aspect of Operation Analyst.

Supply Chain Analyst:

Supply chain analysts focus on optimizing the supply chain operations, including inventory management, demand forecasting, and logistics. This role provides valuable experience in analyzing and improving operational processes.

It’s important to remember that your career path may vary based on the industry and organization. Look for roles that align with your interests and the specific sector you want to work in as an operation analyst. 


Operation Analyst play a vital role in improving efficiency within organizations. They analyze data, optimize processes, and solve problems. The career is in high demand, with diverse roles across industries.

To become an operations analyst, you can take online courses, pursue a bachelor’s degree, consider a master’s degree, or gain certifications. Entry-level roles like data analyst or business analyst provide a pathway to this career.

Skills needed include data analysis, problem-solving, and technical proficiency. Operations analysts are essential for ensuring businesses run smoothly and meet their operational goals.



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