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What are the duties of a system analyst?

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Quick Answer

The typical duties of a systems analyst include computing the cost efficiency of infrastructure upgrades, consulting with business managers to establish the role of an IT system, and developing new ways of using a company's existing computer systems. They also plan system flows and perform system testing.

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There are a few personal qualities required for the position. Since the analyst acts as a liaison between management and the IT staff, good communication skills are a must. The statuses of complex technical issues need to be conveyed in simple enough terms for both sides. Systems analysts also need good analytical skills for understanding technical data gathered from different sources. This data analysis is used for deciding the next big step in a project. Being creative and “thinking outside the box” are important, since the analyst is expected to design effective and innovative systems while following imposed constraints.

Systems analysts design and test computer systems in order to meet specific business goals. Some of them handle general purpose tasks, while others specialize in areas such as quality assurance, programming and accounting. They tend to work closely with business analysts, who focus on finding the needed business solutions without creating full technical plans. Systems analysts are mostly full-time workers. They received a median annual wage of $79,680 in 2012 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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