Computer systems analysts improve existing computer systems. They also plan and develop new systems.
Systems analysts help organizations redesign their computer systems. Sometimes they add or design new software programs to make better use of computers. They often specialize in:
- Business systems
- Science systems
- Engineering systems
Systems analysts discuss an organization's needs with its managers and staff. Analysts clarify goals and determine if they need to design a new software system. They prepare charts and diagrams that show how the parts of the system will work together.
Analysts prepare budget reports that discuss the costs and benefits of a new computer system. Managers use these reports to help decide if the proposed system is worth the cost.
Systems analysts coordinate the upgrade or installation of the computer system. Some systems analysts write programming code. They test nearly completed systems on users. They observe staff as they use the system to make sure it performs as planned. They also review computer reports and programs relating to the system to find problems. They change the programs to correct those problems.
Analysts set up computer systems and train staff how to use them. They write manuals that describe how to use the system. They write documentation for the people who will maintain the system.
Some organizations do not employ programmers. A single worker called a programmer-analyst is responsible for both systems analysis and programming.
Change happens quickly in the computer field. Systems analysts read books, blogs, and websites to keep their knowledge up to date. They may also take classes.