What Operations Research Is

In a nutshell, operations research (O.R.) is the discipline of applying advanced analytical methods to help make better decisions.

By using techniques such as mathematical modeling to analyze complex situations, operations research gives executives the power to make more effective decisions and build more productive systems based on:

  • More complete data
  • Consideration of all available options
  • Careful predictions of outcomes and estimates of risk
  • The latest decision tools and techniques

A uniquely powerful approach to decision making
You’ve probably seen dozens of articles and ads about solutions that claim to enhance your decision-making capabilities.

O.R. is unique. It's best of breed, employing highly developed methods practiced by specially trained professionals. It’s powerful, using advanced tools and technologies to provide analytical power that no ordinary software or spreadsheet can deliver out of the box. And it’s tailored to you, because an O.R. professional offers you the ability to define your specific challenge in ways that make the most of your data and uncover your most beneficial options.

To achieve these results, O.R. professionals draw upon the latest analytical technologies, including:

  • Simulation Giving you the ability to try out approaches and test ideas for improvement
  • Optimization Narrowing your choices to the very best when there are virtually innumerable feasible options and comparing them is difficult
  • Probability and Statistics Helping you measure risk, mine data to find valuable connections and insights, test conclusions, and make reliable forecasts

Already at work around you
O.R. has enhanced organizations and experiences all around us. From better scheduling of airline crews to the design of waiting lines at Disney theme parks. From two-person start-ups to Fortune 500® leaders. From global resource planning decisions to optimizing hundreds of local delivery routes. All benefit directly from O.R. Shouldn't you?

To learn more about what operations research is and how it works, go to More Resources.

Ready to find out how O.R. can create significant value to you and your organization? Go to What It Can Do for You.