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Systems Analyst : Knowledge

10 Mar

Knowledge is power as the old saying goes. In order for a systems analyst to fulfil their role properly an extensive inventory of information is required.  The knowledge a systems analyst must posses includes a vast know how of:

Computer Electronics:  A knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment. Up to date understanding of computer software and hardware, including executing applications and programming.

Customer and Personal Service : A knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This will include customer needs assessment and evaluation of customer satisfaction. An analyst must also meet quality standards for services provided.

Mathematics: Systems analysis requires a broad understanding of the mathematical principles of calculus, statistics, arithmetic,geometry  and their applications in information systems.

Engineering and Technology: Knowledge and the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various systems and programs.

Design: Knowledge of design techniques and tools. Knowledge of the principles involved in production of precision technical plans. Ability to create  blueprints, drawings, and models.

Education and Training: Knowledge of principles and methods for training and curriculum design. An aptitude for teaching and instruction for individuals and groups. The monitoring and evaluation of training effects on user or employee performance.

Communications and Media: Knowledge of media production, communication, and the dissemination techniques and methods of. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, or visual media.

Clerical : Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.

With all this information a good systems analyst is an intelligent well rounded employee who can be relied on and trusted.

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Systems Analyst: Budgeting

9 Mar

Another role that a systems analyst occupies is financial budgeting. It is the responsibility of the analyst to make sure that budgets and spending are adhered to. As for any business activity or strategy it is important to prepare a budget. A systems analyst should have the necessary skills to create one and to be able to estimate the cost of building and implementing different types of information systems. Budgeting skills are keenly sought in today’s job market. Even before the recession hit a majority of systems would come in over budget with a sometimes worrying culture of spending developing.

Hence financial forecasting and good planning are all desirable traits in a systems analyst. It is the role of a systems analyst to examine past budgets in order to get a clearer insight on how costs can be managed. A systems analyst should also analyse accounting records to determine the financial resources required to implement a program or new system. The analyst should also submit budget recommendations as to where funding should be  allocated in the implementation of the system. A systems analyst also researches, analyzes, and selects appropriate equipment and construction systems which meet the system requirements

Systems Analyst: Feasibility Studies

7 Mar

An important role of the systems analyst is the feasibility study. A feasibility study is simply the analysis and evaluation of what a project can potentially deliver and if it’s financially worthwhile. The study tends to be based on in depth research of  of the proposal. The aim is to determine quickly,at a reasonable cost, if the problem can be solved and if it is worth solving. Minor bugs may not be worth the investment to be solved. On the other hand technological constraints may prevent the solution of more major difficulties and are unfortunately,unachievable. There is quite a degree of skill involved in conducting feasibility studies. An analyst cannot compromise quality over cost or vice versa. Lack of a feasibility study will result in disaster and will either end up wasting company funds or not solve the problem at all. It is a major risk to not undertake a feasibility study

 

Developing a new system is like an investment. As with any investment there is a risk of failure. Therefore in terms of an IS it makes sense to investigate the likelihood of success. The success of any system depends on the skill of the analyst involved and that success is easier to determine with a thorough feasibility study. The point of the feasibility study is to determine, at a reasonable cost, if the problem is worth solving. Thus the cost of the feasibility study should represent a tiny fraction of the estimated cost of developing and implementing  the system,generally less than ten percent of the scope. Assuming that a feasible solution exists, the analyst must prepare a feasibility study report that identifies several alternatives and recommends a course of action. A good systems analyst should be able to come up with several solutions to any problem that presents itself.

Sources

http://www.hit.ac.il/staff/leonidm/information-systems/ch13.html

Systems Analyst: People Skills

6 Mar

In general systems analysts require good people skills in order to successfully carry out their projects. Unlike regular computer programmers who spend many isolated hours compiling code systems analysts require good verbal, listening and communication skills in order to deal with clients. There is a strong need to build an effective relationship with the client so as a combined vision is created.

A lack of basic people skills will probably result in disaster for any Information System. A major problem may be that a client is not entirely sure what they want and the IT jargon used leaves them bewildered. An inability to get the information they need from the customer can cause some analysts to become frustrated and angry at their customers. People skills are required for other reasons too. Sometimes clients can be reluctant to give out certain information and its up to the analyst to figure out why or to coax them in to releasing the information. An analyst must be discreet as this information may be sensitive. Maybe the client/employee is used to working a certain way and does not want things to change, or perhaps its some sort of ego issue. The analyst must find a way to get this information without destroying their relationship. A straightforward blank aggressive “give it to me” approach probably will not work in most cases and so people skills are required.

A final use of people skills by a systems analyst is through negotiation. An analyst must negotiate a firm consensus on the exact requirements of all customers and stakeholders. By setting out this plan they avoid having to compile an extra workload or go over budget on projects. This skill can also be used to clarify a number of outstanding issues or to avoid various misinterpretations.

What is the role of a systems analyst?

28 Feb

A systems analyst designs various IS programmes with the overall goal of improving efficiency within the organisation. A systems analyst should be able to diagnose areas where the potential for greater efficiency exists and suggest ways in which  processes can be improved. Part of a systems analyst’s role  is to specify to the customer/client what the system will actually do and how the data will be viewed by the end user. In order to do this they are required to work closely with the client in order to find out exactly what they want or need. They also produce a cost analysis of the implementation of the system in order to determine whether a system is financially viable or not.

Other functions of a systems analyst include:

1.  Analysing the customers’ current systems

2. Presenting proposals to the customer

3. Ensuring that budgets are adhered to and deadlines are met

4. Writing user manuals for the system

5. Giving training to customers and employees who will be using the system

 

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