Exploring the Management Analyst Career

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Analysts review data at workstation.

For individuals already working in finance, as well as those considering a career change, the management analyst role can attract attention. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a management analyst’s role is to examine an organization for ways to improve efficiency. Sometimes called management consultants, these individuals work with management teams within an organization to help improve various aspects of a business. Read on to learn more about the management analyst role.

What does a management analyst do?

As a management analyst, you will be expected to assist your assigned companies and projects in diverse ways. Most management analysts are expected to help their clients coordinate, plan, and direct programs. Your duties may include overseeing internal and external studies and surveys, as well as managing special projects. The role can may be client facing or may focus on a company’s internal operations.

Whether internal or external, your clients will depend on your research and recommendations to make budgeting decisions, manage resources, and evaluate business models. As such, you should know your client’s management goals and guiding principles. If you work with top-level management, executives will likely want to use your data to justify their business vision. When a company enacts a bold new strategy, often it is based on the information gathered and presented by a management analyst.

According to the Society for Human Resource Management, you can expect eight primary duties as a management analyst. These include:

1. Conduct a cost-benefit analysis: Helping a client understand the financial costs of workflow, specifically on a departmental level. Typically this means conducting a cost-benefit analysis to determine where resource usage can be improved and how financially successful an initiative is.

2. Research individual departments: Researching various programs and internal issues within a company. You may gather departmental input from the client for this data. This may be used to help form contracts with external third parties wishing to do business with your client, as you can provide a better understanding of internal procedures and strengths.

3. Orchestrate interdepartmental communication: Hold meetings between the various departments or client branches. As a management analyst, you can be in position to better explain the value of each department, highlighting how the company can more efficiently operate in tandem.

4. Develop a budget strategy: Be called upon to help clients formulate their budget strategy, including administration.

5. Measure and promote employee success: Help train and evaluate staff members within assigned departments, conducting an independent review to assist the client in determining which employees may be performing above or below expectations.

6. Manage interdepartmental projects: Coordinate large-scale projects between departments, including potential overhauls of business workflow and new initiatives to improve client productivity. You may be expected to provide your services to other projects as well.

7. Provide corporate oversight: Lend support to executive committees or department leader meetings and strategies as needed.

8. Create grant applications: Be called upon to prepare documents and data for grant applications, in accordance with any state and federal regulations. This may also extend to preparing contracts and other legally binding documents.

To summarize, a management analyst will work with a company to increase efficiency while helping the executive decision-makers to better align each department toward realization of corporate objectives.

How to prepare for a management analyst career

Management analysts are expected to be thorough, organized individuals who have the ability to focus on client priorities. Candidates can increase their chances of success in this profession with a financially oriented mind. Clients typically hire management analysts for their data-backed objectivity. This is a role where finding the bottom line is a valuable skill.

As O*Net Online documented, you may be expected to have a wide skill set. Management analysts are involved in many aspects of enterprise operations. On the technical side, you may need to be well-versed in database management and user interface software. You can also benefit from understanding enterprise resource management tools and web platform development solutions.

The top skills for excelling at this position include active listening and critical thinking. You may have to understand a client who may not be as refined in articulating their ideas or translating their ideas into workable strategies. The art of storytelling through data is another essential skill as you will have to help different departments communicate in a common language to facilitate faster and more effective communication.

Another essential skill that can improve success at the management analyst position is the ability to speak clearly and succinctly. If you can translate your client’s plans into cohesive, actionable content, then you may stand a better chance of having your advice valued at its proper level (as you may find yourself working with all levels of the organization at times). Remember that management analysts draw their conclusions from solid data. You should speak with the authority to reflect this objectivity.

How the management analyst job sector is expected to develop

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics provides an overall positive forecast for management analysts. The median pay in 2017 for this position was $82,450 per year. As of 2016, there were 806,400 registered management accountant positions. By 2026, this number is expected to grow to 921,600, a 14 percent growth rate. This increase is higher than the national average of 8 percent.

How to set yourself apart from the competition

While the job outlook is positive, you can still help further your career by building your qualifications. Many management analyst positions can be available with a relevant BA and several years of work experience. However, earning an Online Master of Science in Finance may help separate you from the crowd by preparing you with leadership skills, providing focused and experiential knowledge coupled with real world examples, and by giving you the agility to adapt within the financial industry.
The D’Amore-McKim School of Business at Northeastern University offers a 100% Online MSF that does not require you to report to class at a regularly scheduled time, enabling you to study while you work. To learn more about the Online Master of Science in Finance program and admission requirements, contact an enrollment advisor today.

Recommended Readings:

What the future of finance may look like
U.S. Department of Labor’s Fiduciary Rule: What Finance Professionals Need To Know
The current landscape of international trade

Sources:

Northeastern University’s Online MSF Program
O*Net Online
Society for Human Resource Management
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics