Modern business relies heavily on information technology as part of its operations. This makes business systems analysts an integral part of the modern corporation. Systems analysts design and develop new information technology systems and develop ways to use existing systems to accomplish a company’s goals. In addition, systems analysts help company leaders assess the financial feasibility of investing in new technologies. Although systems analysts work in most sectors of business, they share some common characteristics regardless of the specific industry in which they work.
Systems analysts generally have at least a bachelor’s degree, usually in a technical field, such as computer science, management information systems or applied mathematics, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Some technically complex systems management jobs may require a master’s degree in computer science or a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a concentration in information systems, the BLS added.
Because they work daily with hardware and software, developing information technology systems that meet the needs of the companies for which they work, systems analysts need excellent computer skills. They should be knowledgeable of hardware and software developments and keep up with the latest technology so that they can ensure that their employers remain competitive.
Effective systems analysts develop a company’s information technology in such a way that best serves the business’s needs, helping it to operate efficiently. Therefore, in addition to a college degree, many systems analysts have skills or expertise relevant to the business sector or industry in which they work. For example, a systems analyst employed by a hospital system will often have knowledge of health care management issues. Systems analysts employed by financial institutions will have knowledge of financial analysis and investments.
Business systems analysts should be able to concentrate, think logically, solve problems effectively and pay close attention to detail. The Bureau of Labor Statistics adds that although systems analysts often work independently, they may also work as part of large project teams. To succeed as team members, systems analysts need good personal skills, as well as the ability to communicate effectively with other team members and staff who may have only limited technical backgrounds.