The job of a business systems analyst is a uniquely cross-functional one that plays a critical role in improving a company’s processes for better operational efficiency. A business system analyst role evolved from a need to correctly identify solutions for businesses having large and complex internal processes, or IT architectures, and also to ensure that a proposed solution is practical, aligned to actually solve the identified problem, improves operational efficiency, cuts work duplication and costs and finally improve revenue.
What is Business Systems Analyst?
Business systems analysts (BSA) are the professionals who examine a company’s operating system, procedures, and design improvements by using both business and technology tools with the aim to help a company operate more efficiently and productively by improving designing and implementing information technology systems.
A business system analyst role includes consulting with leaders and managers to understand the usage of emerging technologies that can benefit the company. Business systems analyst duties also include writing instruction manuals and analyzing costs and benefits related to technology.
Business System Analyst Importance
Companies and various institutions need Business Systems Analysts to help with the technological integration of business software and IT. Such software systems help to better run an organization’s business by improving analytics, transport and logistics, staff management and a host of other processes. Typically, business systems analysts work for a tech company that is contracted out by various other companies.
Business System Analyst Career Path
Career path does not necessarily include just moving up vertically, like the traditional path of moving up to higher-level roles. It can include lateral or horizontal moves as well from one position to another at the same level that enriches an employee with a variety of experiences and allows them to develop new skills.
The traditional upward journey includes moving from business analyst to senior business analyst to business architect, each stage requiring new skills and the ability to expand the knowledge like moving from a tactical to a strategic position to offer greater benefits to the company.
Nevertheless, the five common career paths of an experienced business systems analyst are:
1. Business Analysis Manager
A team-based leadership role, tilted more towards resource planning, line management and mentorship.
2. Relationship Manager
Involves talking, negotiating, understanding and persuading people, and building strong stakeholder relationships.
3. Business Analysis Competency Manager
The role, (tilted towards the theoretical aspect of business analysis rather than the practical approach of business system analyst responsibilities) focuses on business development, competencies analysis including frameworks, tools, systems and processes.
4. Business Architect
Good for someone who is already working as a senior business systems analyst. It is more of a strategic and holistic role focused to increase business efficiency and streamline business operations.
5. Project Manager
Project management plays a big role in the key responsibilities of a business systems analyst, hence becoming a project manager is a typical career move often taken by them. The role includes managing budget, timeframes and stakeholder expectations.
There are other opportunities for career enhancement depending on the kind of work, business or industrial sector and domain expertise.
Since business system analysis tends to be project-focused, these professionals often work with different types of systems analysis throughout. For example:
- Specializing in a particular industry sector, such as health care, manufacturing, or retail.
- Specializing in a specific business function, such as finance or human resources information systems.
- Specializing in a particular type of software application, such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) or customer relationship management (CRM).
- Working for a government or an agency.
- Working with a consulting firm delivering various information technology (IT) projects.
- Doing one’s own consultancy.
Business Systems Analyst Job Description
Business systems analysts are responsible for the assessment and improvement of systems in a company to ensure processes in business work in the most efficient way. Research, strategic testing, planning and implementation of new, optimized systems are the elements that they implement to achieve this.
Understanding how the trajectory of the company’s functions affects the future of the company and exploring ways of putting plans in place to cater for future needs and growth are also the job functions of business systems analysts. How the ‘Systems Development Life Cycle’ can influence the success of a business is one of the core functions of business systems analysis. They also explore ways to implement the right system at the right time so that the business moves forward in the direction of excellence.
What Does a Business System Analyst Do?
The duties of a business systems analyst might differ from business to business, depending on the organization, the project, or the team, and whether they work in-house for a company or as consultants.
Business systems analysis includes analysis of all of the systems, protocols, and processes in a company, evaluating aspects of the business with regards to what works well and what does not and therefore require changes in the systems and their removal altogether. Business system analysts, therefore, take care of the practical work aspects of a business focusing on improving methods and making the systems more efficient. Besides, they also explore the wants and needs of the clients and stakeholders of a business and aim at productive and innovative ways to meet them. Some courses, like an Entry Certificate in Business Analysis training, helps in understanding the nuances of business analysis that helps in satisfying business system analyst role better.
Here is a quick scan list of a business system analyst’s duties:
- Understanding and analyzing customer requirements and other data/information.
- Analyzing current business processes and systems and suggesting improvements.
- Narrate the functional requirements.
- Designing solutions.
- Documenting technical requirements.
- Exploring, testing and implementing technology solutions.
- Doing research.
- Collaborating with stakeholders and collecting requirements from them.
- Identifying areas for improvement in the systems.
- Designing procedures to improve the existing systems.
- Assessing existing hardware and software scenarios, understanding the needs and providing recommendations for improvements.
- Suggesting best IT practices to be implemented.
- Training and support to users.
Business System Analyst Roles and Responsibilities
Broadly discussing, the roles and responsibilities of business systems analysts can be classified into technical and relational or cross-functional.
- Performing rigorous testing.
- Delivering data-driven reports.
- Developing new systems architecture.
- Understanding from leadership the strategic goals of the business.
- Translating these goals into achievable tasks for the IT team.
- Inter-departmental collaboration, communication.
- Project management.
The day-to-day responsibilities can include any or many of these:
- Understanding the business goals from the leadership to determine strategic goals.
- Communicating and collaborating with IT to design systems to meet strategic goals.
- Surveying, designing, and implementing a system to deliver the best user experience.
- Testing old and new systems through sampling and simulation.
- Discerning the cost-effectiveness of a new system as against the current one.
- Developing specifications and templates.
- Assessing risks of the legacy systems and suggesting the best options.
Business System Analyst Qualifications
Most business system analyst job description require a bachelor's degree in computer science, management information systems or information science in place of any other field of study. Employers often prefer candidates holding Master of Business Administration degrees with a specialization in information systems which may be more applicable to a senior business system analyst job description. Because expertise in business is just as important as computer knowledge as they need to deal proficiently with both information technology and business, a broad knowledge base is often preferred by employers.
The list of Qualifications for Business Systems Analyst
- A graduation degree (preferably in IT related) supplemented by an advanced degree (preferred).
- More than five years of experience in an IT management position.
- Previous work experience in systems integration.
- Experience and proficiency in modern script and coding languages.
- Ability to handle multiple projects, prioritize them and meet all deadlines.
- Team building, managing and leadership competency.
- Superb organizational and communication skills.
A few qualifications are explored here in detail:
1. Problem solving
Often business analysts need to identify the challenges existing within a company system and implement relevant procedures and processes as a solution to them. Therefore, interest in and willingness to face challenges and offer solutions is a very crucial skill required.
Upgrading, troubleshooting and implementing new hardware programs is one of the crucial technical requirements apart from their technical background of formal education. Some technical expertise needed are C, COBOL, Software Design, Software Documentation, Software Development Process, Software Requirements, Analyzing Information, Software Maintenance etc.
3. Project management
Business system analysts often need to be involved in multiple projects, prioritizing and meeting deadlines. Proficiency in organizational and time management skills is a must to handle such situations. Business Analyst courses bring the capabilities to understand customer requirements, identify stakeholders, find the right solutions, and play an instrumental role in developing and deploying those solutions.
Business system analysts are continuously required to communicate with various teams, stakeholders and team members. They need to have both verbal and written communication proficiency.
Organizations prefer candidates with Certified Business Analysis Professional training undergoers, pursued from any reputed institution as a professional attestation to their skills. The two certifications that are widely recognized are:
- Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP) from the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA) requires a minimum of 7500 hours of experience in the field and 35 hours of professional development training.
- IIBA Agile Analysis Certification (AAC) is for those who wish to improve their abilities in successful Agile projects. The certificate is a testimony to the employers that the owner can deliver successful projects effectively collaborating with agile teams.
Business Systems Analyst Job Description Examples
Business system analyst roles and responsibilities differ from business to business and so do the employer expectations. Business system specialist job description, therefore, varies accordingly as also with the seniority level. A lead business systems analyst job description, for example, will be different from a junior business systems analyst job description.
Indeed gives a couple of business systems analyst job duties examples. Below is an example of a senior business systems analyst job description.
XYZ is a leading company in our industry in the region of XXXXX. Our employees’ Glassdoor rating is 4.0. We have a vacancy for an experienced Business Systems Analyst to help our business. We are looking for dedicated and ambitious individuals willing to work in a fast-paced environment with teams of professionals from across the world. If you are interested in challenging yourself and are looking for an excellent place to grow your career, apply immediately.
- Interact with all new clients’ heads of the technologies departments to gain an understanding of current systems and structures.
- Identify issues, inefficiencies and other loose areas to be eradicated.
- Work with our internal development team and also with the clients’ technologies teams to design effective programming and the needed software changes.
- Deploy and integrate new software and/or hardware changes seamlessly to clients’ networks.
- Watch and identify all current and potential failure areas.
- Maintain an excellent user experience at all times.
- Log all technology developments without fail in company records to be utilized in future client projects.
- A bachelor's degree in computer science, management information systems or information science. A master’s in business management would be preferred though not essential.
- Three to five years of experience in an IT management position.
- Prior experience in systems integration is a must.
- Adept in the latest script and coding languages.
- Ability to prioritize multiple projects and meet deadlines.
- Powerful organizational and communication skills
- Extremely strong team building and leadership skills.
Business System Analyst Salary Information
The role of a business systems analyst differs from company to company. In some companies, a business systems analyst may be responsible for evaluating and improving existing business processes while in others it may mean someone specializing in designing and implementing new business systems.
Some of the job titles similar to business systems analyst and the average annual base salary are:
- Management analyst: $69,881
- IT business analyst: $77,029
- Computer systems analyst: $73,715
- Information systems manager: $94,755
* Sourced from Glassdoor
As per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the business system analyst and similar job career is expected to grow 7 per cent from 2020 to 2030.
Business System Analyst Jobs
Employment opportunities as business systems analysts and related fields are in demand in the technical and banking sectors. Globally, this career is one of the fastest-growing career choices. For anyone who is seeking to enter this field, this is the right time.
How to get Business System Analyst Jobs
Here are some tips that may help in starting a business system analyst job:
- Customizing the resume: highlighting the relevant training and skills that are asked for in the job description. Employers prefer technical degrees for this position. Mentioning the projects done during the study would be a good idea. Also mentioning any relevant training gives the resume a better competitive edge. For example, an online Bootcamp in data analytics would definitely bring both business and technical skills and that should be highlighted in the resume to ensure the hiring official notices it.
- Attending training: plenty of Bootcamps and other online courses are available now for aspiring business system analysts. Attending them will increase the knowledge and skill sets required, understand the business systems analyst job responsibilities, and also impress prospective employers.
- Getting certified: We have already covered the certifications that are highly valued by employers earlier in this article. Certification not only increases the credibility in the eyes of the employers but also possessing a certificate benchmarks the holder with the ability to bring the best and standard outcomes to justify the hiring.
Business System Analyst Job Titles
Business systems analysis is connected closely with IT, the two career paths (business and IT) often mix and match. It is a dynamic and multi-faceted role with a focus on different aspects related to system and business both.
Some of such job titles are:
- Business Analyst in IT
- Requirement Analyst
- Functional Analyst
- Functional Architect
- Business Analyst
- Business Consultant
- Business Architect
- Business Processes Analyst
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Hopefully, we have covered all the major portions of a business system analyst job, business systems analyst skill set, business systems analyst job requirements and tips to fast-track a career in the field. Business systems analyst careers is a growing profession and with the outburst of technology and system advancement, the profession offers a lot of potential for future growth.