Systems analysts determine the configurations of an organization's computer systems by converting user requirements into functional specifications. The job starts with decisions regarding the initial purpose of each computer. To arrive at these decisions, systems analysts must understand the general goals of the business and each user's job needs so as to choose the best suiting systems to accomplish the aims of the business. They need concrete understanding of computer hardware and software and should always be up-to-date on emerging technologies.
As a systems analyst, you are a solution finder and must be able to work with people at all levels in the organization as well as vendors and customers. Computer proficiency must be of the strongest and vastest quality. You must be able to adapt to different roles, including supporting expert, consultant and agent of change, and sometimes you must balance two or more of these roles simultaneously. You will arrive at resolutions for the various issues you will encounter through techniques, tools and experience. Communication is vital, and you must relate to others over long periods of time. Also, self-discipline and motivation and ability to manage several projects at a time is essential.
Your primary objective as a systems analyst is the creation, design, development and installation of computer systems in an organization. This includes a detailed description of the system's functionality so as to meet the requirements of end users. In the system design phase, the details are transformed into a hierarchy of charts that define the needed data and every process required so that they can be expressed like computer instructions. Often, you will implement your new system by means of software adjustment, as opposed to custom-built programs.
Apart from the creation and installation of an organization's computer system, a systems analyst is equally responsible for the computer system's reliable functioning throughout its lifetime. This means that you will respond to any breakdowns, ensuring that the system is functioning at all times. Regular checkups are also necessary to prevent possible system failure, as are system improvements for technological trends. Changes might also be necessary as the organization grows or changes corporate objectives.
As a systems analyst, you may also find yourself serving as a network and systems administrator. Your responsibilities will then include operating computer networks as a member of the information technology department. A system administrator may be responsible for installation, support and maintenance of a networking system, responding to network failures, service outages and similar problems. Other duties may include project management for system-based projects. You may also provide scripts for small programs and serve as a consultant for computer technical problems beyond the know-how of technical support staff.
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