A reader asks:
Do you find the systems analyst profession and business analyst and business systems analyst profession to be different? I have been doing research and it seems this all points to pretty much the same profession–bridging the gap between end user’s and IT professionals, software developers, software engineers, etc. I suppose it depends what company you work for where minor things may change.
Let’s look at this question from multiple perspectives.
Is There a Line Between Business Analyst and Systems Analyst?
The line between business analyst role and systems analyst role is not a clear one and I’ve found that the business systems analyst role sits right in between. As a profession, we might choose to distinguish the roles, giving the business analyst domain over the business and functional requirements and the systems analyst domain over the details of the system implementation.
We’ll look at commonly applied definitions for systems analysts and business analysts and then discuss the role that misleading job titles play in answering this question.
What Does a Systems Analyst Do?
In general, I’ve seen systems analyst roles that require a stronger technical skill set and often involve systems design responsibilities. Systems analysts tend to dig into the details of how a requirement might actually be implemented in code. This is still “bridging the gap” but it is bridging the gap at a different level of detail. They tend to start “bridging” with a set of good business requirements and stop when they’ve spec’d out a system design plan.
What Does a Business Analyst Do?
On the other hand, a business analyst might start “bridging” further up the stream in terms of business needs and problems and stop “bridging” at the functional requirements specification or at what the system will do and leave it to a systems analyst or a senior developer to determine how to do it.
How are the Business Analyst and Systems Analyst Job Titles Used?
But then job postings with requirements and qualifications that don’t meet the professional guidelines come along and skew the answer. For example, early in my career, I held a “Systems Analyst” position that was really mostly a business analyst position with a few light systems analyst responsibilities. Last time I checked, that team was still made up of “systems analysts” even though they hold many BA responsibilities. I’m sure this is not an isolated instance. (And this is why I’m often a proponent of tweaking your job titles in your business analyst resume). Then there is also the “BSA” or “Business Systems Analyst” role, which blends both professions into one role.
>>Find Out More About Business Analysis
Click one of the links below to learn more about the business analyst profession:
- What Skills Are Important for a New Business Analyst?
- The Business Analyst Job Search Process: 5 Steps to Getting Hired
- What Requirements Specifications Does a Business Analyst Create?
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