Master of Efficiency
Certification Magazine|October 2020
A skilled operations analyst fine tunes processes to help organizations flourish
MARY KYLE

Author, critic, philosopher, and theologian G. K. Chesterton once said, “One sees great things from the valley; only small things from the peak.” His point, of course, is all about perspective. Where we stand, or rather, our view of the task to be performed, naturally influences our view of how the task should be performed. We think differently about possible problems, risks, and outcomes, along with potential solutions.

Often, our natural proclivities influence our viewpoint. We all know people who view the world from the mountaintop. Such individuals instantly see the “big picture” and regard those pesky little details are merely an annoyance, to be swatted away like flies. At the other end of the spectrum are those individuals who gravitate to the valley.

People who gravitate to the valley lose themselves in details so small that they may become bogged down in a quagmire of minutiae. Successful businesses need big picture people, of course, but equally important are those who have an eye to analytics and details. When you find that magic combination in one person, you just may have just found your organization’s next operations analyst.

What does an operations analyst do?

Operations analysts (frequently also called management analysts) bring a unique skill set to the organizations they support. Keenly analytical, good OAs possess the ability to see both the big picture as well as the small details.

This ability allows them to view organizational problems to be solved from multiple perspectives. This breadth of view helps a good OA identify areas for improvement in business processes and drive efficiencies within organizations. The result to the organization’s business? Cost reductions and increased profits.

To accomplish these goals, analysts first work with an organization’s management team to identify various problems to be solved, or processes to be improved. After a given problem set has been identified and refined, the analyst gathers information and conducts research related to the problem set.

This part of the process may include numerous activities such as interviewing subject matter experts or reviewing relevant financial data. Once all information has been gathered, analysts review the collected data and begin to generate and develop potential solutions. Possible solutions are evaluated and fine-tuned.

Finally, recommendations are made to the management team regarding the recommended course of action. Once a final course of action has been determined, analysts work with the business organization to ensure the proposed solutions are implemented and work properly.

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