Difference Between Systems Analyst and Business Analyst


Many run into the problem of differentiating between a systems analyst and a business analyst. The differences in some organizations do not exist. In other companies, the comparison is almost an insult. Depending on the business or corporation, there are many differences. The job title is not the only thing with which to compare these two separate roles. The problem occurs when the title is not so conclusive. The business systems analyst or the systems business analyst can actually be one or the other or both. Job description is the only way to tell when this happens. There are differences, though.

A systems analyst is capable of looking at a program or utility and see the code. They can go in and pinpoint where changes need to be made. They can incorporate the new data into an existing program for benefiting the company. The systems analyst can collect data and transform it into usable code for a new project or program. They can recognize where problems may lie in the code itself. They can rewrite this code to alleviate the problem. Usually, the systems analyst can consult with other IT members in technical jargon foreign to the business stakeholders. The stakeholders are just grateful the job is being done.

The business analyst has a more complicated position. He or she must not only understand the way IT speaks but also how the stakeholders speak. The business analyst is more of a people person. He or she acts as a liaison between management and IT. A business analyst will be able to look at all aspects of the company and discover underlying causes for system failures. He or she may not be able to write the code to fix the issue. The business analyst can at least come up with the concept of what the code is supposed to do.

The business analyst can retrieve reports and data from IT and transform it into reports needed to develop a project plan or program. Further development and research may be needed from another department which the business analyst is capable of doing. This is not to say the systems analyst can not do the job. The systems analyst is more black and white when it comes to this. The true business analyst is more creative and more flexible.

The business analyst is one who can pull teams together to focus on the outcome of a project. He or she will be good at heading up meetings to present information in an easily understood language. The business analysis will be motivational, a driving force behind the project plan.

Both are essential for good business. The systems analyst may need the business analyst to determine what is needed for the code to work effectively. The business analyst needs the systems analyst to make the code work effectively. Working together, these two people can accomplish great things for the company. There are certain companies who have both needs met with one person or a team of people. It is all a matter of choice. Trying to decide between the two may cause more headache than just hiring two people, or one who is qualified, to get the task at hand done.

Author: Tony de Bree 

Tony de Bree has been a part-time freelancer since 1985. Besides his work on projects with large Global companies and small companies, he writes (e)books and articles and organises workshops on how you can earn money by being different from the rest as a part-time or full-time freelancer.  You can reach him at www.onlinefreelancingsecrets.com.

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marlene1020 posted on Thursday, March 2, 2017 7:30 AM
This is interesting. I've worked in IT for 30 years and became a systems analyst in 1989. I still am one today although I'm doing network administration and security, project management and development when needed. I'm also asked for analytical reports, budget advice, sox and pci compliance and many other things not listed here. And I would be insulted if someone called me a Business Analyst.
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