System Analyst: Part 1


The System Analyst is one who figure out how to use computers to get things done. He is the one who guides through the development of an information system. In performing these tasks the analyst must always match the information system objectives with the goals of the organization; this is the professional who, once requirements are clearly defined, creates the functional solution and, by working with the technical team (architect and developers), creates technical specifications and designs.

They must be involved in all the phases of system development life cycle i.e. from preliminary investigation to implementation. Success of development depends on skills and the dedication of Systems analysts. Analyzing, designing and implementing systems to suit organizational needs are the functions of systems analyst. The system analyst must have a solid understanding of computer hardware and software and should keep up-to-date on all the latest technologies.

Why Business need System Analyst?

Systems analysis and design, as performed by systems analysts. Systems analysis and design is used to analyze, design and implement improvements in the support of users and the functioning of businesses that can be accomplished through the use of computerized information systems as a computerized system enables an organization to provide accurate information and respond faster to the queries, events etc. The systems analyst frequently acts as a systems consultant to humans and their businesses and, thus, may be hired specifically to address information systems issues within a business. A communication gap has always existed between those who need computer based business solutions and those who understand information technology. Systems analyst bridges this gap.

Various Functional areas of System Analyst

There are various functional areas where there is a requirement for a System Analyst:

System Analyst in Traditional Business

In the traditional business, information services are centralized for the entire organization or for a specific location. In this organization, the staff of information services report directly to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO). The highest-ranking officer is sometimes called a Chief Information Officer (CIO) and the rest of information services are organized according to the following functions or areas:

  • System Development

    Systems analysts and programmers are organized into permanent teams that support the information systems and applications for specific business function. A system development unit includes a centre for excellence, which is a group of experts (experienced systems analysts, system designers, and system builders) who establish and enforce methods, tools, techniques and quality for all system development projects.
  • Data Administration

    In Data Administration, data and other Information Resources of the organization are managed, which includes databases that are used to support applications by system developers. Those analysts who are experts in data analysis can work here who are commonly known as Data Analysts. They analyze database requirements, design and construct (sometimes) the corresponding databases.
  • Telecommunications

    In Telecommunication, the computer networks are designed, implemented and managed which play a critical role in the success of any business. Here, Network analysts perform many of the tasks as applied to designing local and wide area networks that will ultimately be used by systems and applications.
  • End-user Computing

    The growing base of personal computers and local area networks in the end user community are supported. This provide installation services, training and help-desk services. Analysts also provides standards and consulting to end users that develop their own systems with PC power tools such as spreadsheets and PC database management systems. In this centre, analysts may work as End-user computing consultants.
  • Computer Operations

    Computer Operations include all of the shared computers including mainframes, minicomputers and other computers are put to operation and the same is coordinated. Systems Analysts may work as Capacity Analysts in this area.

Every analyst should know the management structure of a traditional information services organization.

System Analyst in Modern Business

In modern business, systems analyst may be reassigned to different projects at time to time. During the project, the systems analyst and other team members are directly accountable to the business unit for which the system is being developed. In this type of organization, the information services try to get closer to users and management to improve services and value. Today's analysts should also know about a modern information services organization.

In modern business, two new trends are used for software development: outsourcing and consulting. Outsourcing is the act of contracting an outside vendor to assume responsibility for one or more IT functions or services. Consulting is the act of contracting with an outside vendor to assume responsibility for or participate in one or more IT projects.

Role of a System Analyst

The system analyst role leads and coordinates requirements elicitation and use-case modeling by outlining the system's functionality and delimiting the system; for example, establishing what actors and use cases exist, and how they interact.

An information system development can be successful if the role of Systems Analyst is best. Among several roles, some important roles are described below:
  1. Change Agent

    Among all the roles of a system analyst, it is the most wide-ranging and responsible role. They are also known as the person who serves as a catalyst for change, develops a plan for change, and works with others facilitating the change. Analyst carefully plans, monitors and implements change into the user domain because people inherently resist changes. In the role of a change agent, Systems Analyst may use different approaches to introduce changes to the user organization.
  2. Consultant

    They are an agent to a business. They set as to address Information Systems issues with in a business. They can give you different perspective. They will also help you to understand organizational culture from other viewpoints.
  3. Intermediary

    The analyst tries to appease all parties involved while implementing a candidate system. People can improve acceptance of the system through Diplomacy in dealing. It is the goal of a system analyst to have the support of all the users. He represents their thinking and tries to achieve their goals through computerization.

  4. Architect

    The architect role of a system analyst is a liaison between the user's logical design requirements and the detailed physical system design. In this role he also creates a detailed physical design of candidate systems. On the basis of end user requirements a systems analyst makes the design of information system architecture. This design becomes the blue print for the programmers.

  5. Motivator

    The analyst's role as a motivator becomes obvious during the first few weeks after implementation and during times when turnover results in new people being trained to work with the candidate system. As the System acceptance is achieved through user participation in its development, effective user training and proper motivation to use the system.

  6. Investigator and Monitor

    A systems analyst as an investigator, investigates the existing system to find the reasons for the failure. His role is to extract the problems from existing systems and create information structures that uncover previously unknown trends that may have a direct impact on organization. And as a monitor, to undertake and successfully complete a project, the analyst must monitor programs in relation to time, cost, and quality. Of these resources, time is the most important. If time "gets away", the project suffers from increased costs and wasted human resources. Implementation delays also mean the system will not be ready on time, which frustrates users and customers alike.

  7. Psychologist

    Since systems are built around people, a System Analyst plays the role of a psychologist in the way he/she reaches people, interprets their thoughts, assesses their behavior, and draws conclusions from these interactions. In other words, understanding inter functional relationships is important.

  8. Salesperson

    Selling change can be as crucial as initiating change. Selling the system actually types place at each step in the system life cycle, however, Sales skills and persuasiveness, then, are crucial to the success of the system.

  9. Politician

    In implementing a candidate system, the analyst tries to appease all parties involved. Diplomacy and finesse in dealing with people can improve acceptance of the system. In as much as a politician must have the support of his/her constituency, so is the analyst's goal to have the support of the users' staff. He/she represents their thinking and tries to achieve their goals through computerization.
Continue to Part 2