Businesses and other groups that seek to increase their organizational and operational efficiencies can turn to management analysts, also known as management consultants, for help. Whether they specialize in inventory management or corporate structures and human resources, or in specific industries like finance or healthcare, management analysts share a common role. They show managers how to make their organizations more profitable through strategies and actions that help reduce costs and increase revenues.
The types of activities that help define the job are varied. Management analysts research and organize information about the issue or procedure in question, which includes talking to those involved or conducting audits to determine what is needed, whether it is methods, equipment or people, to address the issue. The position involves analysis of relevant data, including revenue, expenditure and employment reports. Management analyst professionals use the insights they gain to devise solutions and recommend changes, and they typically monitor the execution to make sure their recommendations are working as planned.
Various skills and qualities are expected from this position, as is the ability to analyze a broad scope of information to deliver clear and concise communication. Successful management analysts tend to exhibit professional interpersonal skills, given the need to work with client teams in understanding issues and putting their solutions into play. They often rely on problem-solving skills and time management as a function of completing projects on time and on budget.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), management analyst positions are projected to grow 14% from 2014 to 2024, faster than the national average for all occupations. Some work on staff for larger corporations, some are self-employed and others work for consulting companies. A vast majority of management analysts typically work in the management, scientific and technical fields, while a remainder of them are scattered among finance and insurance, the federal government, state and local government, and computer systems and related services.
The BLS cited a median wage for management analysts of $81,320 as of 2015, noting that the top 10% in the field earned more than $150,220 while the bottom 10% earned $45,970.
There are few formal education programs that focus on management consulting. Typically, a bachelor’s degree is the entry-level requirement for the field, while some employers may prefer to hire analysts who have a master's degree in business administration (MBA). Those with an interest in growing a relevant knowledge base should consider studies in such fields as business, management, accounting, marketing, economics, statistics, computer and information science and engineering.
Opportunities are usually more common in the public sector, which is often under pressure to reduce spending and operate more efficiently. International growth is another factor pushing demand for management analysis experts because of their ability to devise business expansion strategies for foreign markets.
The need to achieve organizational efficiencies, reduce costs and grow revenues will likely never cease, and professionals possessing the knowledge, education and experience can find themselves in high demand in this growing field.