Tuesday, April 19, 2011

What is Operations Analysis?

For the past ten years, I have spent my days working as an operations analyst. When I was in college studying operations management, I had a clear idea of what the field was about. I enjoyed my core curriculum classes and looked forward to a career practicing what I'd learned. Operations management is about helping businesses operate more efficiently using concepts like total quality management, continuous improvement, and supply chain and logistics management. Unfortunately, I have yet to apply most of what I've learned to either of the jobs I've held since I've been out of college.

I now know that most businesses see operations analysts as generalists. People who can do just about anything the organization needs whether it coincides with the job description or not. I guess the same thing can be said for all jobs. I've also observed that corporations tend to use the word "analyst" in job titles even when the job requires little to no actual analysis. Although I can be bitter about it at times, I know my mistake was not choosing my jobs more carefully. It appears that the operations analysts who actually "analyze" the majority of the time are ones with specific titles like "IT Operations Analyst" or "Operations Research Analyst". I did not take ownership of my career and ended up working for good companies and with good people but doing work that I mostly hate and do not find challenging.

I have been busily trying to figure out how to correct this  and unfortunately, it looks like it involves going back to school and/or earning an expensive certification. A certification and another degree that have little to do with what I do currently. So, essentially, it would mean starting over. The thought of that does not excite me. I've invested ten years into this muddled career path. There's got to be a clearing. Or am I not seeing the forest for the trees?

1 comment:

KBalbify said...

I am also an operations analyst and a generalist. I worked 10 years as an embedded consultant for a fortune 500 company but now I am doing consulting work on my own, helping companies turn themselves around under the umbrella of lean/six sigma. To me, it is satisfying work, but yes I went back to school and got my MBA - that also took 10 years but I am glad I did it.