Systems Analyst: Roles and Responsibilities
In information technology (IT), systems analysis is an advanced concept. It primarily focuses on breaking down a system into its various components. Through this it identifies the system’s core objective. Next, it develops each component in such a manner that the system’s core objective is met. That is, the components must be developed to ensure that the system’s core objective is accomplished.
A systems analyst is a qualified professional who solves business challenges by employing the systems analysis approach. The systems analyst has to design solutions to solve business problems. This is done by studying the problem in detail and by developing a step-by-step approach to solving it.
Table of Contents
- What a system analyst does
- Understanding and defining what users need
- Deciding what to focus on
- Analyzing the root cause of a problem
- Distributing workflow intelligently
- Continuous evaluation and improvement
- Stay tuned with technology developments
- What a good systems analyst must be
- Great communicator:
- Problem solver
- Business and technical analyst
- Business leader
- People Also Ask
What a system analyst does
The role involves being responsible for a few aspects of systems analysis.
- Understanding and defining what users need: This part of the role requires conducting detailed interviews with users. The systems analyst must spend quality time observing users and make detailed notes of what the users require from a system.
The next step is to make sense of all this information to anticipate the future needs of users from a system. The systems analyst accomplishes this by reviewing the functioning of existing systems and through that analysis drawing up the requirements of new systems.
- Deciding what to focus on: An organization’s system may have many users. Some users may have needs that are very different from the needs of other users in the same organization. Many of a system’s requirements may be unmet because of resource constraints. The systems analyst’s primary role in this context is to decide what to focus on by way of finding a solution.
They must be good at prioritizing and meeting user needs based on available resources. To achieve this, systems analysts use social and analytical skills. This is how they are able to leverage maximum productivity from an existing system.
- Analyzing the root cause of a problem: Using data, and through detailed observation, a system analyst gets to know why the business problem exists in the first place. This process involves using technology and related tools to sift through all the information clutter and go to the heart of the matter. It is this part of the system analyst’s role that is very crucial for finding a solution to the problem on hand.
- Distributing workflow intelligently: For a system to work efficiently the workflow must be distributed to key people in an intelligent and effective manner. The systems analyst is tasked with this important responsibility. So, programming responsibilities must go to programmers and managerial responsibilities must be assigned to managers.
Basically, the roles and responsibilities of managing a system efficiently must be distributed to the relevant people in the system. This workflow must be documented in detail by the system analyst and everyone’s understanding must be sought. The documentation must be foolproof and all specifications must be listed out in detail. Only then will the system function efficiently.
- Continuous evaluation and improvement: One aspect of the system analyst’s role is surely about designing efficient systems. But another aspect involves evaluating how the system is functioning. This is to be done on a continuous basis. Only by doing this can the system be improved and made to function in a highly efficient manner. The systems analyst is also tasked with testing the system from time to time. A key evaluation parameter is to check if the system is working as per the original design and if it is working to meet a stated objective.
- Stay tuned with technology developments: To be productive and to successfully solve business challenges, a system analyst must keep themselves abreast of new technological developments. They must see their role as being champions of change in their organizations. Once they embrace new technology, they have to discard dependencies on old technologies from their system. They also have to educate and train their organization’s users on new technology. Only when they work with such clarity and agility can they ensure that the system that they are maintaining meets its objectives and delivers high productivity in the organization.
What a good systems analyst must be
Great communicator: Because the role involves working with people at various levels in the organization, the systems analyst must be very good communicator. Both with written communication and with verbal communication.
Problem solver: This very nature of the role of a systems analyst requires critical thinking and problem-solving skills. So, to be effective in the role, the systems analyst must be adept at analyzing a problem, go to its root cause to find a solution, develop a new system design and implement it.
Business and technical analyst: A system’s problem must be viewed from the context of the business that the organization is involved in. It must also be seen from the angle of the technological architecture in the organization. Therefore a systems analyst must also be a business and technical analyst. Only then can they be an asset to the organization in their role.
Business leader: On the face of it, the role may appear to be a tech-oriented one. After all, the system itself runs on technology. But dig deeper and you will see that a systems analyst is a key management resource. They are a business leader in their own right. So a good systems analyst will soon work towards thinking and working like a member of the management team. This will not only help the organization, it will also help the systems analyst grow in their career.
People also ask:
1. What are 3 skills of a systems analyst?
A systems analyst must be a good communicator, a problem solver and a be a business and technical analyst.
2. What are the qualifications of a system analyst?
C, COBOL, Software Design, Software Documentation, Software Testing, Software Maintenance, Software Development Process, Software Requirements, Teamwork, General Consulting Skills, Software Architecture
3. What tools does a system analyst use?
The tools used by a systems analyst are grid charts, system flow chart, decision tree, simulation, and decision tables.