What is a Business Systems Analyst?
A business systems analyst interprets and analyzes the organization and design of businesses and government agencies and determines how different technological issues can be best coordinated with particular business models, or vice versa. Basically, a business systems analyst helps with communication between IT and business departments.
Rather than two distinct mindsets (one technologically-based and one business-based) working separately on one project or problem, a business systems analyst helps see issues and design possibilities in terms of both technology and business. They can assist both sides of the aisle by studying business models and suggesting the best ways to implement them technologically, or by studying technological issues and figuring out how they may be overcome by more effective business practices.
Successful business systems analysts will have an understanding of business problem-solving on both a large and minute scale and the ability to communicate their ideas. They will also have an in-depth understanding of programming languages, computer hardware platforms and operating systems.
How to Become a Business Systems Analyst
Most business systems analysts have bachelor’s degrees in computer science, mathematics, software engineering or management of information systems. Experience or further studies in business, marketing or accounting are also highly desirable. Employers will prefer applicants who have wide-ranging experience and a broad knowledge base with computer systems and technology.
Many students who would like to pursue a career as a business systems analyst choose to take on an internship during college that will provide them with more hands-on experience with interpretation of business models and technological systems. Also, many firms have begun mentoring new hires as part of the evaluation process. So, an internship, either during school or after graduation, may be one of the best ways to get your foot in the door within this field.
Additionally, a business systems analyst will need to be able to handle abstract thinking and large-scale problem-solving. They must have excellent math, verbal, writing and logical thinking abilities. If you have these natural traits, make it very clear to future employers in order to become an even more desirable candidate.
Business Systems Analyst Career Outlook and Salary
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, systems analyst employment is expected to increase by 20% from 2008 to 2018. This is faster than the average for all occupations nationwide, which makes a career as a business systems analyst a very attractive prospect.
Because organizations will only continue to integrate technology into their business practices, this availability of options within this field will continue to grow as well. With the explosive growth of wireless devices, businesses are in need of people with knowledge of systems development and integrations. In addition, as more and more secure information is processes online, there is a growing need for workers with an understanding of technological security systems.
The Bureau reports that the median annual wages for systems analysts in May 2008 were $75,500, and the middle 50% of employees held a salary between $58,460 and $95,810 a year. The lowest 10% of workers earned a salary falling below $45,390, with the highest 10% holding an income of over $118,440.