The goal of operations management (OM) is to leverage mathematical models, algorithms, and analysis tools to understand and optimize key operations problems.
Examples include the scheduling of appointments at a healthcare clinic, supply chain planning for an online retailer, energy management for an electrical grid, matching supply and demand in a sharing economy, designing a product assortment on an e-commerce website, and last-mile delivery for on-demand services.
When data is readily available and used to address these types of problems, this is often referred to as business analytics (BA). Generally, OM and BA can rely on the use of many mathematical tools such as convex optimization, stochastic processes, mechanism design, machine learning, dynamic programming, and combinatorial optimization. The goal is to not only provide insightful and practical solutions, but to also provide a theoretical justification for their success.
Our faculty students often collaborate with companies through the Data Science Institute and the Columbia Business Analytics Initiative. Doctoral students working in this area often go on to work as faculty at top business schools or at companies such as Amazon, Uber, and Airbnb.