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Systems Analyst Job Description: Top Duties and Requirements

A Systems Analyst, or Business System Analyst, helps businesses to operate their computers and online systems efficiently and safely. Their duties include managing and maintaining a company’s computer systems, carrying out upgrades, troubleshooting problems, and providing training to other employees on how to use computer systems.

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Systems Analyst duties and responsibilities

Systems Analysts program computer systems, monitor their performance, locate problems and weaknesses, and carry out fixes. Other duties of a Systems Analyst include:

  • Designing new computer systems to a firm’s specifications
  • Upgrading existing systems to improve performance
  • Creating plans to combat security risks
  • Identifying and troubleshooting technical problems
  • Writing manuals or guidelines to explain how a system works
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Systems Analyst Job Description Examples:

What does a Systems Analyst do?

A Systems Analyst programs and tests the computer systems of a business to ensure they run smoothly. They conduct upgrades to the system as needed so it can use the latest features and security protections. In a business that is not yet using a computer system, the Systems Analyst designs and builds one to meet the firm’s needs. Another important part of the role is helping the company’s employees understand how their computer systems work. A Systems Analyst writes instruction manuals and delivers training sessions for their colleagues.

System Analyst skills and qualifications

A Systems Analyst needs to have good attention to detail, problem solving skills, effective communication skills, and project management skills. Systems Analysts also need to be comfortable responding to serious risks in a timely manner to protect a company and its systems. Other important skills may include:

  • Ability to plan and manage a variety of projects
  • Excellent understanding of data modelling and management
  • Competency in responding quickly and effectively when problems arise
  • Capacity to apply critical thinking to avoid common mistakes and risks
  • Communication skills to explain systems to other employees in a way that is easy to understand

Systems Analyst experience requirements

An entry-level Systems Analyst generally does not need prior professional experience but needs to have knowledge of computer programming tasks. Since many people take up programming in their spare time, projects undertaken by a candidate as a hobby or voluntary position can be considered. They will also benefit from experience in project management or business administration. For a senior role, the applicant is generally expected to have three to five years work experience as a Systems Analyst or in a related IT position.

Systems Analyst education and training requirements

A Systems Analyst does not always require a formal qualification for the job. However, having a degree or college diploma in computer sciences, IT, or business administration creates an advantage for the candidate. Various IT courses touch on important aspects of a Systems Analyst role, such as systems design, project management, and technical support. A candidate may also have computer programming certificates obtained from a college or less formal training course.

Systems Analyst salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for a Systems Analyst in Canada is $70,941 per year. This varies depending on experience, industry, and location of the company.

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Systems Analyst job description FAQs

Is there a difference between a Systems Analyst and an Operations Analyst?

While a Systems Analyst is responsible for maintaining and improving a company’s computer systems, Operations Analysts have a broader remit. They examine all company procedures and operations to make sure they are running smoothly, and determine if they can be made more efficient. Operational Analysts also ensure that a company is complying with relevant standards or regulations. As part of this role, an Operational Analyst carries out audits to identify problem areas and makes recommendations to tackle them.

How do you choose the best candidate for a Systems Analyst position?

Review resumes to identify those with the most relevant experience and qualifications. They should be able to demonstrate a knowledge of computer programming, whether through a formal qualification or experience gained in a professional setting. When shortlisted candidates are interviewed, ask them to complete analytical programming tests to demonstrate their practical skills. This will give you the opportunity to see how they perform under pressure, and whether they have the required skills to be a Systems Analyst.

How many hours per week should a Systems Analyst work?

This will depend on the requirements of your business. Systems Analyst positions can be either full-time or part-time. Regardless of how many hours a Systems Analyst works, working hours are often flexible because an analyst may need to respond to urgent matters that can arise outside of regular working hours. For example, they may need to oversee the upgrading of a system on a weekend to reduce disruption or react to a security threat in a timely manner to prevent damage.

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