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What does the job of a computer systems analyst entail?

I would like to get a more detailed description of what it means to be a systems analyst. Is it feasible to work as a freelance contractor? What industries/Offices can you work in? What are examples of the systems to be analyzed? Does it require/involve proficient knowledge of programming languages? Any suggestions of companies that would be a good fit for this field?


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Rachel’s Answer

From my experience, a systems analyst can mean many different things. In my case, when I worked in a job with this title I was responsible for tasks related to a customer facing website:
1. Monitoring system health
2. Reporting on system health (response times, availability, etc)
3. Reporting on transaction volumes on the website
4. Analyzing customer sessions on the website to find any issues that may impact customer experience
5. Analyzing customer reviews of the website to find underlying issues
6. Incident management - review and address issues that affected single users
7. Defect management - review and document issues that require development work to fix

I'm sure the list could go on and on, but that is at least a good overview. Also, depending on the system for which your analysts skills would be needed, the actual output could differ as well. While extensive knowledge of programming languages was not necessary to be successful in this job, some knowledge and a willingness to learn at least the basics did come in handy when trying to figure out problems on my own.

I have done this type of work both on site with companies as well as in a remote worker situation. Since the majority of the work involves reviewing, analyzing, and reporting on data a face to face work environment is not always necessary. However, depending on the company you work for, additional project work could be involved in the position which could necessitate more in person meetings.

Thank you so much for answering my questions! Now I am more encouraged about going into this field. Precious E.

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Daniel’s Answer

A computer systems analyst is an information technology (IT) professional who specializes in analyzing, designing, and implementing information systems. Computer systems analysts assess the suitability of information systems in terms of their intended outcomes and liaise with end users, software vendors, and programmers in order to achieve these outcomes.

A computer systems analyst is a person who uses analysis and design techniques to solve business problems using information technology. Computer systems analysts may serve as change agents who identify the organizational improvements needed, design systems to implement those changes, and train and motivate others to use the systems.

Although they may be familiar with a variety of programming languages, operating systems, and computer hardware platforms, they do not normally involve themselves in the actual hardware or software development. A computer systems analyst may be responsible for developing cost analysis, design considerations, staff impact, and implementation timelines.

A computer systems analyst is typically confined to an assigned or given system and will often work in conjunction with a business analyst. These roles, although having some overlap, are not the same. A business analyst will evaluate the business need and identify the appropriate solution and, to some degree, design a solution without diving too deep into its technical components, relying instead on a computer systems analyst to do so. A computer systems analyst also will often evaluate and modify code as well as review scripting.

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Robert K.’s Answer

Hello Precious,
In short a systems analyst is the one who will be the planner and problem solver in terms of keeping the organization productive and up to date with their technologies. You will need to know the business side and the technology side. Learn the following systems: Java, SAP, Oracle, SQL and most certainly make sure you are able to communicate properly, research and collaborate effectively. Good thing is that most positions pay very well!

Thank you very much ! Precious E.

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Jim’s Answer

A broad term. Do you what to specialize in cyber security?; programming an EMR?; working for a gaming company?; or does industry matter?; a programming language? I would suggest finding an interest in a field that excites you, that allows you initially lateral movement between industries and then allows you the deep dive into what you were meant for. Best to you.