What is the scope of operational research? To answer this, we will first have to understand what operations research means. Operational Research can be simply formulated as the science of rational decision-making along with the study of the synthesis of intricate problematic situations. Thus, the nature of operations research is purely scientific as it aims at determining the systematic behaviour and hence optimizing the results. The scope and applications of operations research empower decision-making in those business aspects where there is a larger concern of allocation of scarce resources especially like capital, investment, labour, etc.
This Blog Includes:
- Scope and Application of Operations Research
- Nature of Operations Research
- Limitations of Operations Research
- Characteristics of Operations Research
- Phases of Operation Research
- Where is Operation Research Used?
- Roles & Responsibilities in Operation Research
- Career Scope of Operation Research: Employment Areas
- Scope of Operational Research: Job Profiles
Scope and Application of Operations Research
Operation Research centrally focuses on simplifying complicated business problems into well-defined mathematical constructs and works specifying expected behaviour as well as goals. The key application of Operations Research is that it facilitates decision making in those aspects of a business where resource allocation is paramount, i.e. capital, labour, time and other business resources. Given that it is rooted in computer science and analytics, there is an immense scope of operation research in every business enterprise.
Here are the key areas of the scope and application of operations research:
- Healthcare Management and Hospital Administration
- Financial Management, Budgeting and Investments
- Government Development / Public Sector Units
- Energy and Environment
- Marketing and Revenue Management
- Telecommunication Networks
- Military Defences
- Supply Chain Management
- Purchasing / Procurement / Logistics
- National Plans / Budgets
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Nature of Operations Research
When it comes to the nature of operations research, business experts and scholars describe it as a science as operations research takes a mathematical and scientific approach to decision-making and problem-solving. Let’s understand the nature of operations research through these key definitions:
- “Operations Research is a scientific approach to problem-solving for executive management.” – H.M Wagner
- “Operations Research is the systematic, method oriented study of the basic structure, characteristics, functions and relationships of an organization to provide the executive with a sound, scientific and quantitative basis for decision making.” – E.L. Arnoff and M.J. Netzorg
- “Operations Research is an aid for the executive in making his decision by providing him with the needed quantitative information based on the scientific method of analysis.” – C. Kittel
- “O.R. is an experimental and applied science devoted to observing, understanding and predicting the behavior of purposeful man-machine systems and operations research workers are actively engaged in applying this knowledge to practical problems in business, government and society.” – Operations Research Society of America
Limitations of Operations Research
There are certain limitations and disadvantages of operations research that you must also know about. Here are the limitations of operations research:
- Operation Research can be costly in terms of implementation as well as using the best technology and tools for simulations.
- Operation Research also requires a team of analysts or experts to carry out every step of the process and thus needs a team of properly qualified professionals to find the best results and solutions.
- Operation Research also relies heavily on technology as software applications and tools play an imperative part in data analysis and predictions.
Characteristics of Operations Research
Given below are the 3 main characteristics of Operations Research, i.e. Optimization, Stimulation and Probability & Statistics.
The objective of Operations Research is to provide better performance in any given situation. The process of doing this involves a lot of data collection and analysis of possible outcomes. The process of optimization involves a critical analysis of all the available options and selecting the highly relevant ones.
Before you move on with selected options or methods to improve the overall result, you must be sure that the selected method is going to be beneficial. This part is ensured by the process of simulation.
Probability and Statistics
Mathematical algorithms are the best way to evaluate potential risks and predict the possible outcomes beforehand. Thus, Operation Research involves intensive use of statistical and mathematical approach to cover all the circumstances.
Phases of Operation Research
There are three phases in an operation research study –
- Judgement phase:
- Determining the operation and objectives
- It also includes determining the effectiveness of different steps, the type of problem, its origin and the causes behind it.
- Research phase:
- Formulating the hypothesis and models
- Next step is analyzing the information collected and verifying the hypothesis.
- The last step in this phase is the production and generation of results and considering all the other alternatives.
- Action phase:
- Giving recommendations for the solution to the problem including the assumptions, scope, limitations and other alternatives.
- Lastly, the solution has to be put to work.
Where is Operation Research Used?
Here are the most common problems that can be solved by Operation Research:
|Research and Development||i. Areas of concentration for R&D
ii. Reliability and alternate decisions
iii. Determination of time-cost trade-off and control of development projects
|Personnel Management||i. Mixes of age and skills
ii. Recruiting policies
iii. Job assignments
|Production Management||i. Physical distribution: Location and size of warehouses, distribution centres and retail outlets, distribution policies.
ii. Facilities Planning: Number and location of factories, warehouses etc. Loading and unloading facilities.
iii. Manufacturing: Production scheduling and sequencing stabilisation of production, employment, layoffs, and optimum product mix
iv. Maintenance policies, crew size
v. Project scheduling and allocation of resources
|Purchasing||i. Buying policies, varying prices,
ii. Determination of quantities and timing of purchases,
iii. Bidding policies
iv. Replacement policies
v. Exploitation of new material resources
|Finance and Banking||i. Product selection, competitive actions,
ii. Number of salesmen, frequencies of calling on
iii. Advertising strategies with respect to cost and time
When operation research is carried out in a business enterprise, there are three major steps followed to complete the OR process. These steps are:
- Judgement: At this phase, the clarification of the problem happens. First, the problem is defined in a simple manner and then the objectives and ways for measuring the final results and success are also determined.
- Research: Once you have defined what the problem is, the research phase carries out the accumulation of data about the problem and then determining the hypothesis, validating the hypothesis and then developing the model(s) and thus making possible predictions.
- Action: After getting the predictions, results are incorporated and the necessary improvements and changes take place.
Roles & Responsibilities in Operation Research
If you imagine yourself working in the field of Operational Research, there are many essential responsibilities that you will be expected to handle. Hence, you need to be well-versed with the qualities and attributes required to apprehend critical situations and problems. So, before moving to the scope of Operation Research, take a look at the following roles and responsibilities that you will be carried out under varied career profiles.
- To analyze and devise the plan using statistical analysis, predictive modelling, simulations and methods to exempt the organizations from business problems.
- To help organisational teams with in-depth research on various topics.
- Collect the required information for the company from co-workers and utilize it in situations to come up with decisions.
- Preparing reports by performing critical analyses of the key matrices.
- Support the company with advantageous financial decisions while comprehending the budgets.
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Career Scope of Operation Research: Employment Areas
With a degree in Operation Research or its related field, candidates can enter many employment areas. These leading job destinations can carve your career and provide you with a high-end growth ahead. To help you understand the scope of operation research, let’s elaborate some of the top-notch job-sectors that you can explore.
- Defence Services
- Industrial Sector
- Logistics and Supply Chain Management
- Marketing Management
There are several departments in the defence services like administrations, training, supply etc. which involves in-depth knowledge of operations. To perform warfare tasks in the Army, Navy, Air Force with promptness, there is always a constant demand for candidates with a degree in operation research. Thus, in the defence services, there is a wide scope of operation research as candidates get the opportunity to work in a dynamic environment and under higher roles facilitating the formulation of policies and strategies.
Being brought up in a country like India where agriculture is a colossal part of the economy, we often think that this domain is only for farmers or rather scientists. But, with the dire need to ensure optimum utilization of resources, there is a greater scope of operation research in this field. With sky-rocketing population, operation research can ensure optimization in agriculture and potential graduates in this field can avail the opportunities to work as research assistants under this domain.
In the advent of globalization, the industrial sector is experiencing an upheaval across the globe. To frame and handle the ever-rising demands of the organizations, candidates with brainstorming abilities are selected for various profiles in operation research. You can also opt for a specialised role like an Operational Research Analyst, who is expected to tackle the upcoming discrepancies in a business.
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Scope of Operational Research: Job Profiles
In the above-mentioned sectors, there is a multitude of career profiles available for those wanting to kickstart their career in operation research. Below we have brought you some of the key job roles which depict the varied scope of operation research:
- Operations Analyst
- Research Analyst
- Business Analyst
- Operation Research Analyst
- Project Manager
- Data Analyst
- System Analyst
- Senior Analyst
- Operations Officer
- Project Analyst
- Quality Assurance Analyst
It is the research process from which management provides support for their decisions. While the name of this method is relatively new, the method used for this is not a new one. Operation Analysis is concerned with applying the concepts and techniques of science to strategic issues.
In its latest years of organized growth, O.R. Several research proceedings for the military, government and industry have been successfully resolved. In most developing countries in Asia and Africa, the underlying issue is that poverty and hunger should be removed as soon as possible. There is also a tremendous opportunity for economists, statisticians, managers, politicians and technicians working in a team to address this issue through an O.R. Approaching.
Over the next ten years, the employment of operational research analysts is expected to rise by 25 percent, far faster than the average for all occupations. As technology progresses and businesses are pursuing efficiency and cost savings, the market for analysis of operations research should continue to rise. Therefore, it is a good career option
Here are the advantages of Operation Research –
1. Effective Decisions
2. Better Coordination
3. Facilitates Control
4. Improves Productivity
Hence, we hope that this blog has helped you understand the career scope of operation research as well as an array of opportunities that you can discover in this specialised domain. If you are allured by the fascinating above-listed job profiles and want to start a career in this field, then you should definitely opt for an academic degree to understand the intricacies of this domain. Take the help of Leverage Edu’s AI-based tool to browse through a plethora of specialised programs in this field and find the best course and university combination that can equip you with the required knowledge and exposure to establish your career in Operation Research.