Operations research, is a discipline that deals with the application of advanced analytical methods to help make better decisions. It is often considered to be a sub-field of mathematics. The terms management science and decision science are sometimes used as synonyms.

Employing techniques from other mathematical sciences, such as mathematical modeling, statistical analysis, and mathematical optimization, operations research arrives at optimal or near-optimal solutions to complex decision-making problems. Because of its emphasis on human-technology interaction and because of its focus on practical applications, operations research has overlap with other disciplines, notably industrial engineering and operations management, and draws on psychology and organization science. Operations research is often concerned with determining the maximum (of profit, performance, or yield) or minimum (of loss, risk, or cost) of some real-world objective. Originating in military efforts before World War II, its techniques have grown to concern problems in a variety of industries.


Because it makes sense to make the best use of available resources. Today’s global markets and instant communications mean that customers expect high-quality products and services when they need them, where they need them. Organisations, whether public or private, need to provide these products and services as effectively and efficiently as possible. This requires careful planning and analysis – the hallmarks of good OR. This is usually based on process modelling, analysis of options or business analytics.

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