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A systems analyst is an IT professional who specializes in analyzing, designing and implementing information systems. System analysts assess the suitability of information systems in terms of their intended outcomes and liaise with end users, software vendors and programmers in order to achieve these outcomes.
Although they may be familiar with a variety of programming languages, operating systems, and computer hardware platforms, they do not normally involve themselves in the actual hardware or software development. They may be responsible for developing cost analysis, design considerations, staff impact amelioration, and implementation time-lines.
A systems analyst may:
The system development life cycle (SDLC) is the traditional system development method that organizations use for large-scale IT Projects. The SDLC is a structured framework that consists of sequential processes by which information system are developed.
Once a development project has the necessary approvals from all participants, the systems analysis stage begins. System analysis is the examination of the business problem that organizations plan to solve with an information system. The main purpose of the systems analysis stage is to gather information about the existing system in order to determine the requirements for an enhanced system or a new system. The end product of this stage, known as the deliverable, is a set of system requirements.
Perhaps the most difficult task in system analysis is identifying the specific requirements that the system must satisfy. These requirements often are called user requirements because users provide them. When the system developers have accumulated the user requirements for the new system, they proceed to the system design stage.
A computer systems analyst is an occupation in the field of information technology. A computer systems analyst works to solve problems related to computer technology. Many analysts set up new computer systems, both the hardware and software, add new software applications to increase computer productivity. Others act as system developers or system architects, but most analysts specialize in a specific type of system such as business systems, accounting systems, financial systems, or scientific systems.
As of 2011, the sectors employing the greatest numbers of computer systems analysts were state government, insurance, computer system design, professional and commercial equipment, and company and enterprise management. The number of jobs in this field is projected to grow from 487,000 as of 2009 to 650,000 by 2016.
The American humor publication The Onion consistently features a systems analyst on its (fake) panel of "American Voices," a spoof of man-on-the-street journalism. The systems analyst's take on the issue at hand is typically given next to two other individuals with absurd professions (such as "spelunking instructor").