System Analyst: Definition, Roles & Responsibilities

System analyst is a computer specialist, who is involved in analyzing, designing, implementing and evaluating computer based information system to support the decision making and operations of an organizations.

Roles and Responsibilities of the System Analyst:

Among the system development professionals, the job of system analyst is important one as the system analyst is involved in conducting system study. She/He studies the existing system by conducting interviews with the user. She/He may also employ other methods such as observation of system activities and going through the documents of organization. Thee system analyst should have high communication skill and writing ability. Some role of system analyst is:

  • Defining Requirement: It involves understanding user’s requirements by interviewing users and finding out what information is being used in current system,, how it being used and what is their expectations towards the proposed system.
  • Prioritizing requirement by consensus: Each user in the organization has some special information needs. It may not be possible to satisfy needs of every one due to lack of computing capabilities, availability of programmers. Thus, there is a need to set priorities among the requirements of various users. This responsibility of the system analyst requires good interpersonal relations. She/He must be able to convince all the users about the soundness of group discussion and obtain their cooperation.
  • Gathering data, fact and opinion of user:¬†Having determined the information need and their priority, the system analyst must develop the system with the active and willing cooperation of all the users.
  • Analysis and Evaluation: The system analyst analyses the working of current information system in the organization. He then shifts through the facts and opinions gathered by him and find the best characteristics of a new modified system.
  • Solving Problems: A system analyst must suggest study the problem in depth and suggest alternate solution to the management. The relative difficulties in implementing each of the alternatives and benefits of each must be considered¬† so that a manager can pick what analyst considered as the best solution.
  • Drawing up Specification: A key job of a system analyst is to obtain the functional specification of the system to be designed in a form which can be understood by users. The specifications must be non-technical so that the users and managers can understand it. The specification must be precise and detail so that it can be used by system implementer. It must also take into account for expansion into near future.
  • Designing System: Once the specification is accepted, the system analyst designs the system. The design must be understandable to the system implementer and it must be modular to accommodate changes easily.
  • Evaluating System: A system analyst must evaluate a system after it has use for reasonable period of time. The time at which evaluation is to be done, how it is to be done, comments of the users are to be gathered and used must be decided by the system analyst.