How Systems Analsyts go about collecting the requirements of an Information System

22 Feb

There are many reasons for the failure of a new information system being incorporated into an organisation. Complex problems, unknown domains and non technical customers are some of the reasons however the main reason for failure is due to the failure of a systems analyst in tapping into what the users really need and want.

  • I am going to speak about how they actually collect the data from the users and how they establish the requirements.

1.  Personal Interviews: These are very useful as you can gain an insight into the users feelingsn and opinions about the currect system and get a grasp on how they would react to the implementation of a new system. The can give the analyst first hand explanations of experiences they have had and what they would like to see introduced through the use of open ended questions. This will reduce the mis-interpretation of information from other methods like surveys. The draw back to this is the fact that it is time consuming however worthwhile if it leads to a successful system.

2. Surveys: These can be extremely useful when an analyst is looking for information quickly and with large quantities of people. It is an effective way of gathering the requirements however it can be restricting in the way that people cannot elaborate on any ideas they may have for potential new systems. They can be done electronically or through hardcopy questionaires. They are a very quick method of data collection and also quite cheap. This is a traditional method and should only be used to back up information already found from interviews/observation as it can be an insufficient indicator as to what a system needs.

3. Observation: This is where a systems analyst would just observe the actions, emotions and attitudes of the users as they go about their daily routine. This will back up any information gathered in the surveys. There are some draw backs to this however as the users may act differently if they are aware that they are being watched.

  • If a systems analyst makes use of these methods, there will be a lot of feedback on which to base the structure of a new I.S.
  • It gives a comprehensive picture of how the users feel now and how they would feel about change.
  • It will reduce the risk of disappointing the users and most importantly should lead to the creation of a successful information system.

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