In this day and age, most companies have both research and development and marketing departments. Unfortunately, these departments do not always work in harmony reason being that the skill sets used by the two sections are different. The product that is developed is sometimes not what was expected and thus the blame game is tossed back and forth on who did not do their job properly. To fix this problem, a business systems analyst is called into action.
The analyst is able to effectively communicate with both departments because they are well versed in business and programming skills. What the business systems analyst does is to study the business model and breaks it down to the programmers in a language that they can understand.
Who Is the Business Systems Analyst?
This is an individual that utilizes their programming skills by use of the organization’s IT resources to achieve the company’s strategic business vision. They do this by analyzing the proposed business model’s requirements and creating the appropriate programs that achieve the set objective.
The analyst usually has a higher education in the computer sciences plus a degree in business. This skill-set results into them being some hybrid of sorts that is able to decipher the proposed projects and offer the most cost effective and efficient technological solutions.
Key Roles of the Business Systems Analyst
- Studying business models and gathering the necessary data required by the system’s operative functions. The analyst also evaluates the requirements.
- Decides the best software to use in terms of efficiency, speed, costs of business and ease of usability in designing the program.
- Uses the information derived from the collected data to design flowcharts that help in the construction of new computer programs that simulate the proposed business model.
- Revising the designed programs to troubleshoot for problems and improving the areas that have bugs to improve the systems’ performance.
- Offers solutions to problems by designing better procedures.
- Takes control of the project by forming a design team, projecting important milestones in the product development process and proposing the required budget.
- Tracks the project development process by monitoring action, offering solutions to problems, writing progress reports and offering advice.
- Takes care of systems functions by regularly writing new algorithms and updating them.
- Is in charge of writing the user manual and teaching new users how to go about the system.
- Ensures that each system’s user confidentiality clause is not breached.
- Observes trends in system use and records this information.
- Ensures that both departments are well updated in new trends in each industry to confirm that there is harmony among them whenever a new design is to be developed.
The business systems analyst will perform all the above roles for your company. But in case you feel that you really need to be convinced first before you could permanently hire one, consider the following options.
Business Systems Analyst as a Consultant
The analyst will act as the intermediary between the systems used in your business and the business. They will act on any issues within your business’s information systems.
If you do not have an analyst, hiring one to address these problems is a positive thing. This is because they will bring a fresh angle of looking at things that individuals already working in the organization may likely not have.
Business Analyst as a Support Expert
If you feel that your company is quite capable of harmoniously performing its functions without the need of an analyst, try hiring one on a more laid-back role; an informational resource.
The analyst will not take charge of the project; rather they will give their support in areas that your team might overlook. It’s always good to have an expert’s opinion if you want to produce a faultless product.
Systems Analysts as Advocates of Change
A business systems analyst will gradually implement change by changing how things are done within the organization. The business department and IT departments will spend less time on a collision course and more time developing new concepts and ideas.
The smooth effect the analyst will have on your organization will save a great deal of time, money and effort used to complete a task.
Key Advantages of Having a Business Systems Analyst
- Reduction in costs of business: An analyst understands well what the developers of the business model have in mind. The analyst will ensure that the project doesn’t suffer from many false starts since the programmers did not understand well the requirements of the business model. The business analyst will also work actively towards finding the most efficient solutions to reduce costs.
- Increase in business value: An analyst will innately understand the requirements of the business and will prioritize the most strategic steps to ensure that the goal is met. They will also ensure that they are on the lookout for newer solutions to integrate the two warring departments.
To the Sum
The role of a business systems analyst has for long been overlooked. In the modern age of business, the analyst’s role has never been more pivotal; literally. Companies that do not have analysts generally tend to have dysfunctional relationships between IT and business departments. During the course of these conflicts, both sides will work extra to try and make up for the errors resulting in the project development due to in-congruence. The economic resources that are wasted could end up crippling the organization.
Business systems analysts will look at the business model, understand and internalize it. Then, they document it in a way that the IT department will understand it coherently. The fact that they are well versed in both areas will ensure that there is harmony in the company, time and resources are saved, and that the business serves its core purpose; to make profit.
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