The Role of System Analyst

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INTRODUCTION
Rapid and revolutionary changes in technology have created an increasingly information-centric global economy and has impacted the nature of system development and the environment in which the system must function. “The last decade has seen technologies and tools like the World Wide Web and object oriented analysis rapidly change the very nature of system development “ 1. Developments in Information Technologies (IT) have been one of the major underlying forces that have contributed to the reshaping and reinvestigation of the knowledge and skills for the system developer mainly the system analyst. Factors such as rapid technology changes, business and organizational demand, information centric economy and up-to-date users requirement offer more challenges and opportunities for system analyst career development. Needless to say, system analyst therefore have to be closely following advances in the factors mentioned to stay relevant and being part of the global development. System Analyst must equip themselves with the latest knowledge and skill to catch up with ever increasingly complex and ill structured problem. This paper is organized as follows. First, a brief background on knowledge and skills of a system analyst is presented. Second, the knowledge and skills of the SA are discussed in detail using 3W (what, when and why) and 1H (How) together with the tools and examples. Lastly, concluding comments are presented.

BACKGROUND
(Misic and Graf, 2004) defined a System analyst as a problem solving specialist who works with users and management to gather and analyse information on current and/or future computer based systems. ____________________________________________________________

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1. Misic, Mark M and David K Graf. "System analyst activities and skills in the new millenium." The Journal of System and Software (2004): 31-36.

With this information, the system analyst, working with other IS personnel, defines the requirements that are used to modify an existing system, or to develop a new system.

Many companies and organisation that have an information technology department hire employees into the role of a system analyst. According to the American Bureau of Labor Statistics projections for the period 2000-2010, of the 10 fastest growing occupations, computer-related occupations occupy eight of the top ten positions: software applications engineers, support specialists, systems software engineers, network and systems administrators, network systems and data communications analysts, desktop publishers, database administrators, and systems analysts.

However, currently there is no clear and complete documentation on knowledge and skills for system analyst is produced for reference or requirement for applying job as system analyst. (Noll and Wilkins, 2002) explained in their case study that while the reported need for an increased supply of information system workers (system analyst) is clearly documented, the identification of specific skills required for the variety of positions (including system analyst) is not as clear. (Noll and Wilkins, 2002) also stated that the Information Technology industry will demand for system analyst or information System Professionals who can lead organizational information system activities and possess not only technological skills, but also business operations, management, and interpersonal skills.

(Vongsavanh and Campbell, 2008) in their research suggested a skill sets for a System Analyst be illustrated as triangle in figure 1. Those skill are most likely to be associated with a system analyst are located at the higher points to the right hand end of the triangle. Technical specialist

Solution Designer
Miscellanous task
Mediator
Technical
Problem Solving
Creative Thinking
Business Knowledge
Communication
Leadership
Presentation
SYSTEM ANALYST
SKILL SET

Figure 1: The skill set of the system analyst suggested by...
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