A business systems analyst (BSA) helps a business come up with the right systems to help them achieve their strategic goals.
They’re the bridge between a business’s management team and its Information Technology (I.T.) department.
It’s fast becoming a highly sought-after industry and pertinent to why companies should invest in employing a business system analyst or even a team of analysts.
A Business Systems Analyst in a Nutshell:
Basically, business systems analysts have to make business processes work as efficiently as possible by implementing the right technological systems.
What makes their roles so crucial in a company is their ability to marry strategy and technology. They’re given the responsibility of determining the full potential of a business and coming up with ways to realise it. It helps that they’re fluent in communicating and understanding management and I.T’s professional languages to help get both parties on the same page with their demands and needs.
However, to achieve all of this involves strenuous research, planning, strategic testing, and a myriad of other responsibilities.
The Responsibilities of a Business Systems Analyst:
Earlier we learned that a business systems analyst acts as a bridge between management and I.T. departments.
This means that they have to take on the role of a ‘tech-translator’, by explaining technological systems to management and helping I.T. members understand business objectives.
So, it’s clear that their main responsibilities can be placed into two categories: people and systems.
Business systems analysts have to:
- Liaise with management and leadership about their strategic goals.
- Convert these goals into a concrete plan for the I.T. department to accomplish.
- Communicate with field experts and researchers to come up with the best solutions for achieving these goals.
- Request regular feedback from managers in different departments to ascertain whether the new systems are working.
Business systems analyst have to:
- Conduct careful system testing.
- Perform data analysis to recognize trends.
- Design technological systems using data modeling
- Draw up documentation for I.T. professionals to consult when building systems.
- Train and write instruction manuals for users on how to navigate the new systems
These responsibilities are unique to a business systems analyst, yet it’s easy to confuse the role with that of a business analyst.
The difference between a business analyst and a business systems analyst:
People often confuse a business systems analyst with a business analyst. Yes, both are analysts operating in the business sector, but there are clear differences between the two roles.
- Focus on business requirements.
- Have a wider scope of business problems solutions that can’t always be solved with technology. For example, solving issues around organizational structure and business policy.
- Engage with a wide range of business stakeholders.
- Use business analysis related models and diagrams like role reporting relationships and organizational structure diagrams.
- Usually have a broader knowledge on business domains and functions.
Business systems analysts:
- Focus on business systems requirements.
- Have a narrower scope that focuses on working with subject matter experts to come up with technological systems to solve business problems.
- Engage with both business stakeholders and the technical community.
- Use systems analysis related models and diagrams like user stories and activity diagrams.
- Usually do not have as broad knowledge on business domains and functions as business analysts, but this is fast changing.
These differences mean that business systems analysts have to adopt certain skills to perform their job well and become an asset to their company.
The skills you need as a business systems analyst:
The role of a business systems analyst is a very technical one, which requires them to have a unique combination of skills.
They need to have a grasp on data analytics, Structured Query Language (SQL), software development, and understand the fundamental logic behind all of these processes. It’s not just enough to have the technical I.T. knowledge and skills; a business systems analyst also needs to be able to communicate and interact well with stakeholders, managers, team members, and customers.
The nature of a business systems analyst’s role requires them to have excellent organizational skills. So, it’s imperative that they know how to manage their time and resources.
When you are recruiting for a business systems analyst, these are the skills you need to look for or if you are thinking of becoming one these are the skills that you need to have.
How to become a business systems analyst:
Most business systems analysts have technology-focused bachelor’s degrees in programmes such as computer science and information systems.
However, if you have a business or non-technical degree and basic I.T. skills, you can always enroll for a short course in business systems analysis that will teach you the foundational knowledge and skills you’ll need to fulfill the role.
Once you’ve gained enough experience in the industry, you can pursue the International Institute of Business Analytics’ (IIBA) Certification of Capability in Business Analytics (CCBA). Business analysts with a CCBA from the IIBA earn significantly more than those without this certification.
Business systems analysts are crucial for any business.
The role of a business systems analyst is clearly crucial if a business wants to meet and grow beyond its strategic goals.
They are the only ones able to blend business and technology to enhance a company’s business processes. They can determine the needs of a company before it even knows what it needs.
This is why every company should have one or a few business systems analysts in their ‘arsenal’.