Operations Analyst

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Do you have strong maths and statistics skills and enjoy problem solving? Are you intrigued by the challenge of building solutions that can be used company wide? If so, a career as an operations analyst may be the path for you.

Are you interested in working as an operations analyst? Explore the management and business jobs available right now.

What does an operations analyst do?

Operations analysts or business operations analysts improve the efficiency of a business through analysing data and statistical forecasting. In this role, you solve internal problems in companies and implement strategies through the use of statistical modelling. Here are some examples of what working as an operations analyst day to day may look like: 

  • Liaising with clients to gain an understanding of what business goals a company has and what kind of operational improvement is required.
  • Analysing the existing operational procedures that are already in place.
  • Using statistical modelling such as example graphs and spreadsheets to analyse data about a company's sales and turnover figures, industry trends and customer demographics. 
  • Presenting data findings and giving recommendations to senior management.
  • Creating databases to store and maintain the data collected.
  • Monitoring the progress of the changes that have been implemented, and refining where necessary.

Operations analyst career path


Those looking to become an operations analyst often have several years experience working in a junior administrative or operational role within a business where they have the opportunity to develop some understanding of the business practises within their chosen industry. 

Having completed this, those aspiring to be operations analysts may also go on to work in another junior role, this time in analytics or statistics. Working in this kind of position is essential for developing the technical skills you will need to be a successful operations analyst. 

Career progression

To become a senior operations analyst it is usual for employers to require at least 5 years of experience working in analytics or statistics. In addition to this, it’s essential candidates demonstrate experience leading a team and designing and implementing company wide operational improvements. 

It can be beneficial for your career progression to gain some additional professional qualifications as you work your way up. Training programmes and courses to help boost your career can be found with the Operational Research Society (OR) or the Royal Statistical Society (RSS).

Future career

Operations analysts at the top of their game go on to work in a variety of senior positions. They might become operations managers, senior financial analysts, or vice president of operations within a company. 

Operations analyst salaries

  • At entry level as an operations analyst, you can expect to earn around £34,000 per year, depending on how much experience you’ve gained in the relevant sectors.
  • This may rise to around £42,000 per year for senior operations analysts.
  • Lead operations analysts at the peak of their career can earn around £44,000 per year. 

Qualifications and training 

Reaching the right level of qualifications and having great experience helps you secure a job as an operations analyst. Here is an idea of the education and training that you need to succeed:


To become an operations analyst, employers often look for a strong academic background in maths and statistics as well as evidence of competency in business studies or economics. Most candidates will need to have at least a 2:1 degree in a relevant subject such as maths, economics, business studies, statistics or data analytics. 

Work experience

As well as a strong academic background, you also need to have work experience. You can kick-start your career by applying for summer placements and internships while you’re still a student. Often companies will favour recruiting candidates from their own work placement schemes, so work experience could help you secure an entry level job in the relevant sector as well as providing vital training. Take a look at our current available internships in management and business

Placements and internships also provide an opportunity to network with existing employees and gain an idea of what kind of company you’d like to be a part of. Here is our Bright advice for networking successfully. 

Operations analyst skills

Education is an important building block on the road to securing a career as an operations analyst, but it is also important to consider the skill set required for the job. Here are some of the hard and soft skills that you need to flourish in your career: 

Hard skills

  • Maths and statistical skills. This role requires in depth experience with statistical modelling in order to efficiently record, process and present the data collected.
  • IT skills. To be an operations analyst, you must have excellent knowledge of computer software and databases, such as Excel or Google spreadsheets and CRM tools. 
  • Operational policy knowledge and terminology. Through experience, you develop excellent understanding of how companies operate. This includes understanding of trading and manufacturing processes, supply chains and company workflows. 

Soft skills

  • Analytical thinking. As an operations analyst, you’ll need to process and interpret huge quantities of data to come up with innovative solutions to improve workforce efficiency. 
  • Communication. Once you have developed plans to improve efficiency, you’ll need to be able to collaborate with teams across the company to implement your solutions. This will involve explaining complex and detailed data feedback in an easy to understand and practical format. Effective communication is also essential for gathering data through conducting interviews with clients, employees and customers. 
  • Problem solving. Operations analysts need to develop strategies that work best for the company they’re working in. If it appears a strategy isn’t working as expected, they need to be flexible and creative to adapt their models for a better outcome. 

Pros and cons of being a operations analyst

A career as an operations analyst can be incredibly rewarding. However, it’s not necessarily suited to everyone. Here are some pros and cons to help you consider whether life working in this sector might be right for you: 


  • There are many opportunities for this kind of work in organisations and business as most employers want to ensure their company functions efficiently, as it reduces their costs and expenses.
  • Because operations analysts are in demand, there is opportunity to earn an attractive income, especially as you become more senior in your position. 
  • Using computer modelling and coming up with innovative solutions is interesting and creative work, and it can be very rewarding to have multiple departments in a company thanking you for improving how they work. 
  • Operations analysts combine a variety of skills on a day to day basis which makes for a well rounded career. There’s the technical side where you’ll work with data and statistical modelling, but you’ll also have the chance to collaborate with teams and give presentations. 


  • To become an operations analyst, you need a strong academic background and multiple years of experience in the field. Progress can be slower than in other careers because of the level of expertise required. 
  • Your working life does tend to be office based, with long periods of time spent working on a computer. 
  • You are often required to balance the needs of multiple different departments and be available to multiple people in large companies. This can make for a pressured environment as you’ll have a lot of responsibility. 

Work-life balance

Traditionally, operations analysts will work between the standard hours of 8-6pm. Your day may consist of meetings with different departments in the company or giving presentations to provide feedback on the data you have collated. Much of the job relies on using digital tools so it is likely most of your time will be spent in an office at corporate headquarters. Depending on the industry you’re in, you may need to travel to warehouses or specific sites to oversee how your solutions are being implemented. 

However, your role is reliant on the departments you’re working with, and some companies run 24-hour operations which involve shift work. This means you may be required to be on call outside of traditional office hours. 

Typical employers hiring operations analysts

As there is a wide variety of careers available in this sector, there are many different types of employers looking to take you on. Below is an idea of the types of companies who have positions operations analysts: 

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More information

Are you interested in becoming an operations analyst and would like to find out more about pathways into this sector? Why not read about the first hand experiences of Ishika, a student on the Business Operations Graduate Programme with Baillie Gifford.

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