Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Characteristics of a Systems Analyst

Since we are talking about characteristics here, I would like to start this post with a quote from Samuel Johnson (an English author) that says: “Curiosity is one of the permanent and certain characteristics of a vigorous mind .”

Systems Analysis?
Systems Analysis is a process of understanding in detail what a system should accomplish. It is about understanding the goals and strategies of the business and defining the information requirements that support those goals and strategies. Most importantly, systems analysis is not about programming.

Now, what is the key role of a Systems Analyst?
A Systems Analyst serves as a business professional who uses analysis and design techniques to solve business problems using information technology. As we all know information technology is the study, design, development, implementation, support or management of computer-based information systems, particularly software applications and computer hardware, which deals with the use of electronic computers and computer software to convert, store, protect, process, transmit, and securely retrieve information. The typical problems a systems analyst solves are:
Arrow Customers want to order product anytime of the day.
Arrow Suppliers want to minimize inventory holding costs.
Arrow Marketing wants to know customer needs better.
Arrow Management want to analyze financial information more efficiently.

Systems Analyst Required Skills
Understanding the goals and strategies of a business and defining the information requirements that support those goals and strategies are a mighty hard task done by a Systems Analyst. This task requires specific skills and these are: Technical Knowledge, Business Knowledge and People Knowledge.

Technical Knowledge and Skills
Arrow A Systems Analyst should have technical knowledge and skills in both tools and techniques. When we say technical knowledge and skills in tools, he/she should be acquainted or has knowledge with computers / peripheral devices (hardware) ,communication networks and connectivity, database and database management systems (DBMS), programming languages (for example, VB.NET or Java), operating systems and utilities, software productivity packages, integrated development environments (IDEs) for programming languages, and CASE tools, testing, documentation support, reverse engineering, configuration management. On the other hand, when we say technical knowledge and skills in techniques, he/she should be acquainted or has knowledge with project planning, systems analysis, systems design, database design, network design, construction, implementation, and systems support.

Business Knowledge and Skills
Arrow A Systems Analyst’ primary task is to solve business problems, thus he/she should know the business functions performed by the organization. Some of these are:
-Strategies, plans, traditions, and values of the organization
-Organizational structure
-Organization management techniques
-Functional work processes

People Knowledge and Skills
Arrow Systems analysts need to understand how people think, learn, react to change, communicate, and work (in a variety of jobs and levels). Interpersonal and communication skills are crucial in obtaining information, motivating people, getting cooperation, understanding the complexity and workings of an organization in order to provide necessary support.

Characteristics of a good Systems Analyst
Allow me to relate this element to my very first sentence of this post, which is one of the quotations of Samuel Johnson. In his quote, he pointed out that curiosity is a characteristic to have a vigorous mind. Being a Systems Analyst, in my point of view, needs a vigorous mind hence I would say that a Systems Analyst have to be curious or inquisitive. Remember that a Systems Analyst needs to obtain the organizations’ goals and objective and define the information requirement, in defining the information requirements one needs to be inquisitive, that proves the importance of the said characteristic on being a Systems Analyst. However, let me show you Yahoo! Answer’s result on the question ‘Explain five characteristic of a good system analyst?’:

1. The system analyst must be able to communicate in writing and orally.

2. The analyst must easily get along with people.

3. The analyst must be a good listener and be able to react to what people say.

4. The analyst must be knowledgeable of technology. The analyst is not expected to know the intricacies of programming, but a decent general knowledge of concepts and terms are essential.

5. The analyst must be knowledgeable of business. The analyst is not expected to be an expert in business but a decent understanding of the client's world is required.

After I have read the aforementioned answers, I was actually a bit bewildered with the terminology ‘skills’ and ‘characteristics’ because it seems that the required skills of a Systems Analyst was also brought up in the characteristics of a Systems Analyst. For that reason, I decided to consult Encarta and define the two terminologies. Below are the results:
Skills – ability to do something well.
Characteristics – a feature or quality that makes something or somebody recognizable.

After defining the two terminologies, I now understand why some of the mentioned skills are also brought up in the characteristics. Because the skills of a System Analyst are indeed a part of characteristics or the feature that a Systems Analyst should obtain.
Therefore, I have come up with my list of the characteristics of a System Analyst based on my understanding on Chapter 1 Sharing, a Systems Analyst should be/have:
Arrow Technical Knowledge and Skills
Arrow Business Knowledge and Skills
Arrow People Knowledge and Skills
Arrow Inquisitive
Arrow Critical/Logical Thinker
Arrow Able to adjust to rapidly changing technology
Arrow Patient
Arrow Perseverance
Arrow Methodical
Arrow Broad-minded

I could have written more but I think it will be redundant because the first three characteristics actually sums up the characteristics of a Systems Analyst. Many computer systems analysts have a bachelor's degree in computer science, information science, or management information systems. Some analysts get college degrees in other subjects. Then, they take computer classes and get computer experience. Some analysts also have a master's degree in business. This helps them to understand the types of computers that businesses need. Analysts need to understand computers, math, and planning. They need to know math so that they can solve problems and figure out how much computer power different systems would use. Logical thinking skills are also important. Analysts need good speaking and writing skills, too, so that they can explain their systems and give good instructions.

Characteristics I have as a good system analyst
I am currently still studying the required skills of a System Analyst. The good thing though is that while I am still learning the three knowledge and skills, in the process my patience, perseverance, curiosity, flexibility, and critical thinking are also being honed. Through the help of project proposals which are checked meticulously and through giving us other brain and attitude honing projects.


parmeshawar said...

it is nice blog with help of this i get the roll and require kill of system analyst. thank you ..

atul goyal said...

the explanations are not proper..

Karen Palero said...

@atul goyal

I would like to know how my explanations seem to be not proper for you. Your input would be very helpful in my development.

Musbau Aroyehun said...

Good piece.

Haja Deen said...


Haja Deen said...


ramachandran said...


Peter Solomon said...

Thank you I was inspired.

yosef kadane said...

are u craze what is this I think u don't know about Characteristics of a System ok

Moses Muriuki said...

the first man to climb up mt kenya was mr.munyao and left the national flag there.

tomymiah said...

thanx for the knowledge sharing ...

Yogesh Bhattarai said...

Good but I don't feel it best or better.

Anyway thank.

Yograj Pandeya said...

Good for another website but better again

Digvijay Chaudhary said...

I found this blog interesting. Contents over here are so informative. Hope you would also like to see Introduction, task and attributes of System Analyst

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