• A system analyst is a critical member of an organization’s IT team responsible for ensuring that computer systems are working efficiently and effectively to support business objectives.


  • A system analyst is a professional person who analyzes, designs, and evaluates computer systems and processes to help organizations operate more efficiently and effectively.


  • System analysts are responsible for gathering and interpreting user requirements, designing and testing system prototypes, and implementing and maintaining computer systems.
  • They work closely with stakeholders, including users, management, and other technical personnel, to ensure that the system meets the needs of the organization.
  • A systems analyst deals with people, procedures, and technologies.

Tasks/Functions/Duties/Responsibilities of System Analyst

  • The major role of a systems analyst is to design an information system.
  • A systems analyst is a problem solver with unique skills. For this, an analyst must study the problem in depth and suggest alternate solutions to management. Problem-solving is the process of finding
    one or more ways to reduce these differences and then selecting the best approach for implementation. The problem-solving approach usually incorporates the following general steps:-
    • Identify the problem
    • Analyse and understand the problem
    • Identify alternative solutions and select the best solution.
  • The role of a system analyst includes understanding business needs, identifying opportunities for improvement, and developing technology solutions that can support those needs.
  • The role of a system analyst is to analyze an organization’s computer systems and procedures, identify areas for improvement, and make recommendations for changes to improve efficiency and productivity.
  • In addition to technical skills, system analysts must also have excellent communication and problem-solving skills, as well as an understanding of business processes and objectives.
  • System analysts play a critical role in the development and implementation of new technologies and are in high demand in industries ranging from healthcare to finance to government.
  • System analysts are responsible for analyzing and evaluating existing systems, identifying areas for improvement, and developing and implementing new systems to meet the needs of the organization.
  • The systems analyst also coordinates the efforts of all these groups of a system such as managers, users of the systems, and computer programmers who implement systems. to develop and operate computer-based information effectively systems.
  • System Analysts work with software developers, database administrators, and other IT professionals to ensure that the system is properly designed, implemented, and maintained.
  • The role of a system analyst is to help organizations improve their computer systems and procedures to meet their business needs.
  • A system analyst plays a critical role in ensuring that an organization’s computer systems are working efficiently and effectively to support the business objectives.
  • The duty of a systems analyst is to coordinate the efforts of all groups to effectively develop and operate computer-based information systems.
  • Some specific tasks and responsibilities of a system analyst are:-
    • Gathering and Analyzing Business Requirements(Defining Requirements):

      • A system analyst works with business managers and other stakeholders to identify the needs of the organization and determine the requirements for a new system or the modification of an existing one.
      • The most important and difficult duty of an analyst is to understand the user’s requirements. Several fact-finding techniques are used to define requirements like interviews, questionnaires, observation, etc.
      • In problem identification, a systems analyst compares the current situation in an organization to the desired situation. Problem identification involves measurement, not decision-making.
    • Prioritizing Requirements by Consensus:
      • There is a need to set priority among the requirements of various users. This can be achieved by having a common meeting with all the users and arriving at a consensus. This duty of systems analyst requires good interpersonal relations and diplomacy. 
    • Developing System Specifications(Analysis and Evaluation):

      • After gathering and analyzing requirements, a system analyst develops detailed specifications for the system, including the hardware and software components required, data structures, user interfaces, and system functionality.

      • A systems analyst analyses the working of the current information system in the organization and finds out the extent to which they meet user’s needs. Based on facts and opinions, systems analyst finds the best characteristics of the new or modified system that will meet the user’s stated information needs.

      • The specification must be precise and detailed so that it can be used by system implementers.

      • Designing and Implementing Solutions:

        • Once the specifications are accepted, the analyst designs the system. The design must be understandable to the system implementer. The design must be modular to accommodate changes easily.
        • An analyst must know the latest design tools to assist the implementer in his task.
        • An Analyst must also create a system test plan.
        • A system analyst works with software developers, database administrators, and other IT professionals to design and implement solutions that meet business requirements and technical specifications.
      • Testing and Validating Systems:

        • A system analyst performs testing and validation to ensure that the system meets the specified requirements and performs as expected.

      • Training, Support, and Evaluation:

        • System analysts may provide training to end-users on how to use new systems or features and provide ongoing support and maintenance to ensure that the system continues to function as intended.
        • System analysts troubleshoot issues with existing systems and work to resolve them in a timely and efficient manner.
        • An analyst must critically evaluate a system after it has been in use for a reasonable period. The time at which the evaluation is to be done, how it is to be done, and how user’s comments are to be gathered and used, must be decided by the analyst.

    Role and Responsibilities of System Analyst

    • The success of an information system development is based on the role of a Systems analyst.
    • The multiple roles require analysts to be orderly, logically approach a problem, and pay attention to details. They prefer to concentrate on objective data, seek the best method, and be highly prescriptive. They appear to be cool and studious. They focus on method and plan, point out details, and are good
    • Among several roles, some important roles of System Analyst are given below:-
      • As a Change Agent:
        • The analyst may be viewed as an agent of change. A candidate system is designed to introduce change and reorientation in how the user organization handles information or makes decisions.
        • For user acceptance, system analysts prefer user participation during design and implementation.
        • A System Analyst carefully plans, monitors, and implements change in the user domain because people inherently resist changes.
        • In the role of a change agent, a Systems Analyst may use different approaches to introduce changes to the user organization.
      • As an Investigator and Monitor:
        • A systems analyst may investigate the existing system to find the reasons for its failure.
        • The role of an investigator is to extract the problems from existing systems and create information structures that uncover previously unknown trends that may have a direct impact on an organization.
        • The role of a Monitor is to undertake and complete a project. In this role, analysts must monitor programs about time, cost, and quality.
      • As an Architect:
        • The analyst’s role as an architect is a liaison between the user’s logical design requirements and the detailed physical system design.
        • As an architect, the analyst also creates a detailed physical design of candidate systems.
        • A systems analyst makes the design of information system architecture based on end-user requirements. This design becomes the blueprint for the programmers. 
      • As a Psychologist:
        • In system development, systems are built around people. The analyst plays the role of a psychologist in the way s/he reaches people, interprets their thoughts, assesses their behavior, and draws conclusions from these interactions.
        • As a Psychologist, a System Analyst plays a major role during the phase of fact-finding.
      • Motivator:
        • System acceptance is achieved through user participation in its development, effective user training, and proper motivation to use the system.
        • 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.
      • Intermediary:
        • In implementing a candidate system, the analyst tries to appease all parties involved. Diplomacy in dealing with people can improve acceptance of the system.
        • The analyst’s goal is to have the support of all the users. S/he represents their thinking and tries to achieve their goals through computerization.

    Attributes of a System Analyst

    • Must know how organizations function,
    • Must know the latest developments in computer hardware and software,
    • Can get along with diverse people from top-level managers to the last level of employees,
    • Must be able to express himself and absorb information by being a good listener,
    • Must have an analytical mind, and
    • Must have a broad general knowledge.

    Skills/Qualifications of a System Analyst

    • The basic qualification of a system analyst must have:-
      • Working knowledge of information technology.
      • Computer programming experience and expertise.
      • General business knowledge.
      • Problem-solving skills.
      • Communication skills.
      • Interpersonal skills.
      • Flexibility and adaptability.
      • Thorough knowledge of analysis and design methodologies.
    • In other words, the broad range of Skills/Qualifications for a System Analyst includes –
      • Analytical skills:
        • Analytical skills include-
          • System study
          • About Organizational knowledge
          • Problem identification
          • Problem analysis and problem solving.
      • Technical skills:
        • In this, systems analyst must understand information technologies, their potential, and their limitations.
        • A systems analyst needs technical skills not only to perform tasks assigned to him/her but also to communicate with the other people with whom s/he works in systems development.
        • The technical knowledge of a Systems Analyst must be updated from time to time.
        • A System Analyst must know the Technical Skills of an Information System Such as
          • Knowledge of Microcomputers, workstations, minicomputers, and mainframe computers,
          • Knowledge of Programming languages
          • Knowledge of Operating systems, both for PCs and networks
          • Knowledge of Database and File management systems
          • Knowledge of Data communication standards and software for local and wide area networks
          • Knowledge of System development tools and environments (such as forms & report generators and graphical user interface design tools), and
          • Knowledge of Decision support systems and data analysis tools.
      • Management skills:
        • In Management skills, a System analyst needs to know the process of managing organizational resources in the most productive ways possible.
        • There are four categories of management skills:
          • Resource management
            • A systems analyst must know how to get the most out of a wide range of resources i.e. system documentation, information technology, and money.
            • Resource management includes the following capabilities:
              • Predicting resource usage (budgeting)
              • Tracking and accounting for resource consumption
              • Learning how to use resources effectively
              • Evaluating the quality of resources used
              • Securing resources from abusive use
              • Relinquishing resources when no longer needed and releasing the resources when they can no longer be useful.
          • Project management
            • Project management is the process of scoping, planning, staffing, organizing, directing, and controlling the development of an acceptable system at
              a minimum cost within a specified time frame.
            • In the role of project management by the project manager, s/he first needs to decompose a project into several independent tasks. The next step is to determine how the tasks are related to each other and who will be responsible for each task.
          • Risk management
            • Once, risks to the project have been identified, the project manager must be able to minimize the likelihood that those risks will occur. It also includes knowing where to place resources (such as people) where they can do the best and prioritizing activities to achieve better productivity.
          • Change management
            • Introducing a new or improved information system into an organization is a change process.
            • In general, people do not like change and tend to resist it. Therefore, any change in the way people perform their duties in an organization must be carefully managed.
            • Change management is a very important skill for systems analysts. The systems analyst must know how to get people to make a smooth transition from one information system to another, giving up their old ways of doing things and accepting new ways.
            • Change management also includes the ability to deal with technical issues related to change, such as obsolescence and reusability.
      • Interpersonal skills:
        • A system analyst works extensively with staff in key positions in an organization. So,
          interpersonal skills are necessary for the success of him/her.
        • These skills can be classified as:
          1. Communication skills
            • A Systems analyst should be able to communicate clearly and effectively with others. S/he must establish a good relationship with clients early in the project and maintain it throughout the project.
            • Communication takes many forms from written to verbal to visual.
            • The analyst must be able to master as many forms of communication as possible.
            • Interpersonal communication subjects are:
              • Business Speaking
              • Business writing
              • Interviewing
              • Listening
              • Technical discussion
              • Technical writing.
          2. Working alone as well as in a team
            • A Systems analyst must be able to organize and manage his/her own schedule, commitments, and deadlines because many people in the organization will depend on his/her performance, but a system analyst
              must work with the team toward achieving project goals.
            • To work together effectively and to ensure the quality of the product, the team must establish standards of cooperation and coordination that guide their work.
            • There are about 12 characteristics of a high-performance team that influence teamwork:-
              • Shared and elevated vision
              • Sense of team identity: Result-driven structure
              • Competent team members
              • Commitment to the team
              • Mutual trust
              • Interdependency among team members
              • Effective communication
              • Sense of autonomy
              • Sense of empowerment
              • Small team size.
          3. Facilitating groups
            • This skill is required when a systems analyst works in a Joint application development approach.
            • In this approach, systems analysts work with a group during system development.
            • Analysts use JAD sessions to gather systems requirements and to conduct design reviews.
            • Systems analysts can be asked to work as a facilitator. Facilitation necessarily involves a certain amount of neutrality on the part of the facilitator.
            • The facilitator must guide the group without being a part of the group and must work to keep the effort on track by helping the group resolve differences.
            • There are some common guidelines for a facilitator are given below:-
              • The purpose should be made clear
              • Make sure that the group understands what is expected of them and of you
              • Use physical movement to focus on yourself or the group
              • Reward group member participation with thanks and respect
              • Ask questions instead of making a statement
              • Wait patiently for answers
              • Be a good listener
              • Encourage group members to feel ownership of the group’s goal and of their attempts to reach those goals.
          4. Managing expectations
            • Managing expectations begins with the development of the business case for the system and extends through training people to use the finished system.

    Difference between a Programmer and a System Analyst

    • An excellent programmer is not necessarily an excellent systems analyst.
    • A programmer is given clear specifications (often in writing) and designs efficient and maintainable programs.
    • A programmer does not have good communication skills and interpersonal relations. S/he need not know about the functionality of organizations.
    • A programmer works with clear specifications whereas an analyst has to arrive at clear specifications from fuzzily stated requirements.



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