Systems Analyst Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

A Systems Analyst, or a Business Technology Analyst optimises an organisation’s IT systems and infrastructure for improved efficiency and productivity. Their duties include investigating current systems, identifying organisational and operational issues and developing innovative IT solutions.


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Systems Analyst duties and responsibilities

The duties of a Systems Analyst depend on factors like the type of organisation and a client’s requirements. Often, companies enlist the services of a Systems Analyst to improve specific business functions/systems, for example to implement changes in an Oracle database management system. Generally, their main duties and responsibilities include:

  • Identifying potential solutions and preparing proposals for modified or replacement systems
  • Working closely together with technical staff, such as Developers to ensure the technical viability of solutions
  • Designing and overseeing test specifications and conducting rigorous testing before rolling out live systems
  • Determining budgets and time frames for implementation of proposed solutions
  • Ensuring that implementation projects remain within agreed-upon budgets and time frames
  • Providing regular progress reports to management
  • Identifying and managing risks and issues that impact business outcomes 
  • Training users and creating instruction manuals for new or improved systems
  • Researching and evaluating emerging technologies, including both hardware and software


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What does a Systems Analyst do?

A Systems Analyst ensures that an organisation’s IT system aligns with its business needs. Companies hire Systems Analysts to assist them with various IT systems and processes, such as the development of more effective payment systems, information storage solutions or client records management processes. Organisations with large IT departments may opt to employ their own internal Systems Analysts. 

Systems Analysts interview employees and work closely together with a management team to determine the company’s requirements. They collaborate with Programmers and Developers to design and implement IT systems that address these requirements. 


Systems Analyst skills and qualifications

Apart from working with systems, Systems Analysts constantly liaise with a company’s employees and managers. To effectively gauge the requirements of stakeholders, collaborate with various teams and clearly verbalise ideas, so they need excellent communication skills. They also need the ability to work well in a team and motivate different stakeholders to work towards a common goal. A successful  Systems Analysts candidate will have various prerequisite skills and qualifications that typically include:

  • Technical expertise and a thorough understanding of current business practices
  • Working knowledge of relevant applications and programming languages such as SQL, SAP, C++ and Java
  • A solid understanding of how organisational processes work
  • Creative thinking to develop new and innovative solutions
  • A methodical approach and attention to detail to ensure the development and implementation of effective solutions
  • Strong business analyst skills to accurately determine business requirements


Systems Analyst experience requirements

Depending on the position, Systems Analysts may need experience in working with specific software, such as SAP systems or SQL databases. They may also need experience in a specific field, such as software development or cloud computing. Experience in project management, including change control and risk management can be beneficial. In addition, Systems Analysts need a solid understanding of business practices and organisational processes.


System Analyst education and training requirements

To obtain an entry-level position, Systems Analysts typically need a degree in IT or business. Relevant subjects include computer science, information management systems, business information systems, information technology and mathematics and operational research. Some universities offer a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology Management for Business, which focuses on the development and implementation of technology solutions for businesses.  Candidates can also develop their skills and knowledge in the field by obtaining professional qualifications. The Chartered Institute for IT, for instance, offers qualifications like a Practitioner Certificate in Business Analysis Practice or a Professional Certificate in Business Architecture. 


Systems Analyst salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for a Systems Analyst in the UK is £34,493 per year. Salaries will differ, depending on variables like location and employer.


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Systems Analyst job description FAQs


What are the hours of a System Analyst?

A Systems Analyst typically has a normal Monday to Friday, 40-hour work schedule. However, the job requires working overtime during periods such as meeting deadlines or dealing with urgent technical issues. 


What companies can benefit from hiring Systems Analysts?

Systems Analysts provide valuable services for diverse companies in a wide range of sectors, including financial services, software and systems houses, global investment banks, the service industry, the insurance sector, commercial firms and manufacturing companies.


What is the difference between a Business Analyst and a Systems Analyst?

Systems Analysts often collaborate with Business Analysts to identify where organisational improvements are needed. While Business Analysts identify the appropriate solutions to address business needs, Systems Analysts design and oversee the implementation of these solutions.

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