A Business Systems Analyst (BSA) is an IT professional experienced in analyzing, evaluating, designing, and implementing IT systems to achieve a business outcome. They help discover, document and communicate specific, functional, and system requirements for the business.
Simply put, they’re conduits between the technology team and the business team. They’re also responsible for assessing and improving a company’s growth plan and strategy, designing systems to implement , training and expanding the organization, and navigating ways to increase profitability.
New to the IT Industry?
Business System Analysis and IT are complementary. If you come from an industry that isn’t tech-related, it can feel overwhelming. However, if you have a solid background in business, finance, and administration, it’s not that daunting. A vast knowledge of technical writing, accounting, or research, can also help you ace a position in this field. Polish up some essential BSA skills and you’re good to go.
People with a solid background in IT, software development, and project management can easily transition into BSA. Working on similar projects and understanding the possibilities of technology makes it easier to identify similar technology solutions that are business-oriented.
Duties and Responsibilities of a Business System Analyst
Now that we’ve established what a Business Analyst is, let’s talk about some of the responsibilities they do on a daily basis:
- Work with a team on projects that concerns implementation, enhancement, and integration of new systems.
- Meet with stakeholders and end-users to define business requirements and system goals.
- Perform system analysis, root cause analysis, and provide forward-thinking and long-term technical solutions.
- Identify system requirements by examining and evaluating the current systems.
- Conduct requirement analysis to gather, document, and develop business processes flow, requirements, and design.
- Provide training, guidance, and direction to end-users, and interface with users to track more requirements and features.
- Assist ongoing administration and other financial systems as part of a team effort.
- Prepare project status reports, project timeline, and project budget requirements.
- Constantly update knowledge about current technologies and technical developments
- Responsible for the review of business/functional requirement documents and also developing technical design documents
Although these are typically what a BSA would perform, most companies may add specific duties and responsibilities. This can be due to various factors such as company size, observation responsibilities, and duties in the company’s IT section.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who Does A Business Systems Analyst Report Back?
A Business Systems Analyst reports to the Chief Operations Officer or any other C-suite members. But, in a smaller organization, they report back to the organization’s head. BSA’s create technical documents about system performance, so they still end up reporting back to different people at all levels of the organization.
What Is The Difference Between A Business Systems Analyst And A Business Analyst?
As a Business Systems Analyst, your focus is on how computer systems work and how to convey and use the information to lead the IT environment. A Business Analyst looks at the entire company and its business policies and procedures, focusing less on the tech side of the organization.
What Is The Salary Expectation For A Business Systems Analyst?
According to Indeed salaries statistics, the average salary for a Business Systems Analyst in Canada is $72,214 per year, and in the United States, it’s $82,089 with a $5,000 cash bonus per year. Again, different companies also have their particular qualifications for business systems analysts. This all depends on their location, size, and what they need these professionals to handle and observe. Hence, the salary range might differ.
For example, Apple pays about $133,753 per year for its BSA. A new start-up may see that price as above budget. So, make sure to check with the organization you’re applying to concerning your salary expectations and benefits.
What’s A typical Day Like For A Business Systems Analyst?
A typical day for a business system analyst involves holding meetings with the management to determine and understand what the business system needs. They then design and develop a new system to achieve the strategic business needs and specify the needed inputs or outputs to meet users’ needs.
To specify both input and output for customer needs, a BSA will use specific techniques like sampling, model building, or structured analysis. This allows the development of requirements, specifications, diagrams, or flow processes for other IT staff to follow. While overseeing the process, they give principles, coordinate tests, and observe the initiation process of the developed system to ensure the solution is well tailored to both the user and the organization.
Business Systems Analyst Skills And Expertise
When hiring or applying for the business systems analyst role, there are specific skills, requirements, and expertise to consider.
What do you need to be a successful Business Systems Analyst?
A Bachelor’s degree in a computer-related field, business administration, and Information Systems are generally the traditional options. Other educational backgrounds like finance, project management, and accounting can also be done, but keep in mind that you’ll have to undergo intensive training or learn on the job, especially for an entry-level position.
At least two years of technical or professional IT experience is a must. You should also be comfortable with modern frameworks and technologies. Lastly, you must have experience in resolving complex business and application problems.
Strong technical knowledge of programming languages and system development is crucial.
- Experience with Windows Servers, Microsoft Office 365, Excel and embedded macros, and SharePoint. Cloud technology, collaboration, intranet, and platform configuration implementation experience (Workday, SAP, Siebel, Oracle, Peoplesoft, etc.) are essential.
- Practical knowledge of using databases, query optimization, debugging, QA functions, user-defined functions, views, and indexes is of core priority.
Technical writing skills are also essential as you’ll need to write functional and technical design specifications.
Communication skills: Excellent written and verbal communication skills are vital, especially when interfacing with end-users, stakeholder, and other teams. These skills are necessary in creating detailed business requirements. It helps BSA to translate system requirements and processes to functional design for ease of understanding.
Interpersonal skills: A Business system analyst has to establish and maintain a healthy working relationship with coworkers and business partners because their job involves working with and through others.
Collaborative skills: As a BSA, collaborating with business analysts, developers, and other IT professionals is a constant. Hence, you must know how to work in a team-oriented environment and collaborate with other professionals to achieve the desired result.
Prioritization and organizational skills: Business system analysts encounter stressful working conditions, hence, time management, prioritization, and organization are integral qualities to complete the various tasks associated with the job — whether as part of a team or a single project.
Other soft skills include attention to detail with emphasis on accuracy and quality, strong analytical and problem-solving skills, being a team player, and an entrepreneurial mindset with a sprinkle of intellectual curiosity.
Directions for Applying for a Business Systems Analyst position
Get a bachelor’s degree.
Having a bachelor’s degree in any computer and business field relevant to IT is the first step to take. If you don’t have a degree in any computer field and you’re thinking of transitioning into BSA, consider getting business systems analyst certifications like PMI-PBA or CBAP. Please note that any other BSA certification is okay, so long as it’s from credible and reliable institutions.
Revamp your resume.
Applying for business system analyst jobs means you should tailor your resume to fit the job position, experience, and requirement. Revisit your past work experiences and skills relevant to a BSA position and prioritize that in your resume. If you’re an entry-level, look for the project you’ve worked on and include the BSA roles you played by accident and the skills you adopted to ace that role.
Equip yourself with the right BSA skills.
So, you’ve checked through your work history, but you don’t have any relevant skills or job experience? It’s time you start learning new skills. You could give yourself at least three months to master the core BSA skills and work on small personal projects to gain experience.
Work in a related IT field.
If it’s hard getting a BSA position or working on smaller projects, you can consider applying for other BSA-related fields or any computer-related fields. These will give you the needed experience before applying for a business systems analyst position.
Start Job Searching.
When you know you have gained the necessary experience, skills, certification and you’ve tailored your resume to fit a BSA position, you need to put yourself out there. Apply for industry-specific jobs that fit your background. Make sure to use industry-specific keywords while writing your cover letter.
Prepare for your Interview.
Once called in for an interview, make sure to prepare and practice well. Look up questions that can pop up for business system analyst jobs and the right way to answer them. Prepare a situational story and the steps you took to ace that situation. Don’t forget to be honest and concise.
Application Requisites for a Business System Analyst role
There are no formal educational requirements to become a Business System Analyst. But, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a business systems analyst should have a bachelor’s degree in programs like computer science, information technology (IT), or a comparable discipline.
A business or non-tech degree could also be acceptable if merged with a certificate program or courses that provide the necessary IT industry knowledge. Some companies may also ask for a work portfolio or system design that you’ve implemented in the past.
To sum up,
Business systems analysts communicate business objectives and help management professionals understand technological solutions. As a BSA, you should be a creative and innovative thinker with a good eye for detail. Your technical knowledge of systems and software should also be sound.
Again, The BSA position accepts different backgrounds, provided that you have the relevant BSA certifications and skills to properly fit in. All in all, a business system analyst is a great career path with a bright future, especially with the world diving into tech.