System analyst

What is a system analyst?

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A system analyst is an IT professional who specializes in analysing, designing and implementing information systems.
They may be responsible for developing cost analysis, design considerations, staff impact, amelioration and implementation time-lines.


Role and contribution

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Their role is to liaise with the end user and gather complete understanding of:

  • the system they want delivered
  • what they want the system to be able to do
  • what their current problems are with the current system
  • the current processes that they use

They will initially conduct a feasibility study to find out whether the system can be developed:

  • with the skills of the team available
  • within budget
  • within time-scale

They will also determine whether the project will bring a significant benefit to the business in terms of increased productivity, cost savings or efficiency.

This data is fed to the project manager where a decision will be made whether to go ahead with the project or not.
Once the project is given the ‘go ahead’, the analyst conducts an investigation into the current system to find the problems with it and also how the users use it for day to day work.


Data collection

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They will use various methods and a range of information-gathering techniques to collect information:

  • interviews
    • one-to-one interviews
    • group interviews
  • questionnaires
  • observations (response of user to latest system)
  • paper trails (the system has own documentation, e.g. FAQs)
  • collecting documents
  • letters, emails and the phone

The systems analyst will then go back to the project manager, designers and programmers to find out what is feasible and how long it will take to deliver.


Links

http://www.teach-ict.com/as_a2_ict_new/ocr/A2_G063/331_systems_cycle/roles_project_team/miniweb/pg3.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Systems_analyst