Business Operations Analyst

IDEO, Palo Alto, CA

A global design company creating positive impact through design

In a nutshell:

IDEO is in search of a Business Operations Analyst for its Palo Alto office who will assist with various finance and operations-related tasks, both for internal operations and for our design projects.

Operations at IDEO is highly cross-functional; touching finance, legal, business development, and project management as required, and sits at the intersection of business and design, both for our clients and for IDEO itself.


Why is this role important for IDEO’s work?

BizOps plays a critical role at IDEO: we ensure the successful winning, execution, and delivery of our projects by providing a cross-functional perspective; we enable the smooth operation of the entire studio and global business; we help protect and foster our unique culture by managing risks and creating business processes; we work with creative leadership to communicate best business practices.

Once here you will:

  • Oversee the financial health for the business, interfacing regularly with Project Leads to ensure they’re well supported and that commitments are being met in a timely manner.
  • Enable our project teams and finance department to achieve financial objectives such as: delivering projects on time and on budget, limiting IDEO’s exposure through timely invoicing and collections and spotting scope change and preparing change orders for additional fees and documentation. You may also connect with clients should they have any needs or questions during the course of a project.
  • Work closely with our Business Development Team; assist in drafting statements of work, pricing project opportunities, shepherding the legal process, creating expense estimates and constructing invoicing schedules.
  • Prepare weekly and/or monthly financial reporting for our studios: including but not limited to things like business development data, timecard reports, credit card reports, and be comfortable with sharing a narrative that compliments the data.
  • In collaboration with the Business Operations Lead, track our location’s performance, both in the weeds and above the trees. You’ll assist with much of the ongoing reporting that goes to senior leadership and constantly rev these based on our business needs.
  • Provide thoughtful analyses of our core business. You’ll marry disparate pieces of info from finance, legal, and design teams to provide a holistic perspective that informs thoughtful decision-making.
  • Continually seek opportunities to help us work smarter via new/refined tools and processes, and be able to identify the places where measurement matters most.
  • Collaborate with others on special projects as needed.


What does IDEO offer you?

IDEO is a place unlike any other. It’s a place where you can solve diverse, complex challenges for the organization, alongside thoughtful, intelligent individuals who lead with curiosity, empathy, and optimism. Sure we work hard, but we also intentionally craft moments that allow our community to pause, create, and connect. We encourage our community to bring their whole selves to work, respect the need for work-life balance, and allow for autonomy in the design process and your career.


Relevant experience and mindset:

This job is suited to someone with 3-5 years of work experience in a strategic planning, operations, or finance role, preferably at a creative agency, studio, or consulting services firm. It requires someone with comfort in both business and design and an interest in translating between the two. Opportunities abound at IDEO, and there couldn’t be a more ideal place to grow and stretch your skills and creativity.

  • You’re a strategic and analytical powerhouse. You don’t need to be an ex-banker, but you must be very comfortable in Excel, model well, and have a command of finance and accounting. Familiarity with Tableau and a business or accounting degree is preferable.
  • You construct stories from data. You make solid, actionable recommendations and focus on the “so what” behind the numbers.
  • You can manage several projects with high impact and quality. You’re flexible, hyper detail-oriented, and have exemplary time management and organizational skills.
  • You are dynamic. Our pace is fast, our process fluid, and our environment is less than traditional.
  • You’re articulate. You’re a confident communicator and even better listener who has experience managing peers and senior leaders to make sound financial decisions.
  • You’re collaborative. You have strong interpersonal skills and are able to build relationships.
  • You have exemplary discretionary skills and demonstrate sound judgment in dealing with confidential dialogs and information.


Application requirements and instructions:

Is this you? If so, please send your resume and cover letter, tell us why you want to work at IDEO and explain what excites you about this role.


Pop quiz, Hot Shot:

What are the top 5 metrics you’d track in a creative consulting firm and why? (Bonus points if you provide something visual that helps tell the story!)

About IDEO

IDEO has roots dating back to 1978. Today, IDEO is an award-winning global design and innovation consultancy. We create positive impact through design by taking a human-centered approach to helping organizations in the public and private sectors innovate, grow, and bring to market new ideas. 

Want to learn more about IDEO? Visit https://www.ideo.com/