Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Roles and Characteristics of a System Analyst

Being a system analyst is a challenging job. It has certain requirements that a person needs to meet in order to perform his role well. For starters, a system analyst's job requires one to be computer-literate. However, merely being able to turn on the computer and create documents is not enough. He has to know deeper and wider about how the computer works and how its capabilities can be harnessed to solve a particular problem or improve a system. In other words, he should be a well-rounded individual.

I categorized the scope of what a system analyst has to know into three major categories: Technical, Management, and Strategic. In the following paragraphs, I will explain each of them briefly.

Technical

Based on experience, a system analyst's training starts with knowing the basics of technology. This involves knowing and understanding different programming languages, hardware and software, and other computer science fundamentals.

The technical role of a system analyst involves planning a system from scratch, designing the system and software architecture, and even designing the database.

In the academe, I believe that the problem-solving skills of young system analysts are developed significantly by the technical training that they receive in school. When they are taught programming, they are given situations and problems that they need to solve programatically. Generally, technical skills are already acquired by a person even before becoming a system analyst.

Management

Any system analyst has to possess management skills, which can prove to be very important especially since his tasks involve project management, working with a team, testing, and even software documentation.

Good leadership skills are also needed for a system analyst to be able to lead and unite a team of developers. Coupled with this, good communication skills are also crucial since he will be interacting more with the clients than the programmers will do. During his interaction with the clients, he has to have the right skills that will enable him to extract the system requirements and make this into a system development plan that is efficient and timely.

Strategic

Finally, a good system analyst must be able to keep the technological solutions aligned with the business objectives - therefore, he needs a strategy. This includes knowledge about marketing strategies, sales promotion, SWOT analysis, etc.

It is also a good characteristic as an analyst to be creative. Why? That is because the job of a system analyst requires one to be able to come up with strategies that not only would answer the needs of their clients but reduce costs if possible, too. To be able to come up with quality solutions while reducing costs takes creativity and initiative.
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With these three skill categories, I believe an individual can become a good system analyst. You cannot become a system analyst overnight - getting there may take time, a lot of trainings, and a handful of experience.

1 comment:

  1. The role of experience is pretty weighty for the career of System Analyst. I guess somebody who has graduated in Commerce and Information Technology will find it more comfortable to develop as a system analyst. On the one hand he needs to have a sound knowledge of business processes, organization and on the other he should be well informed and skilled in technology and programming.

    I guess the creer is not a starting point but rather a gradual developed into. Being a programmer, debugger and with sufficient experience can grow as an analyst, isn't it? Am I right if I say you can't start system analyst directly?

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