Job Title: Business Systems Analyst
Type of Company: My company deals in insurance and annuities.
Education: High School
Previous Experience: I have been with the company many years and worked in telecommunications then with application management. I discovered I liked the application management and decided to apply for a position analyzing application processes and how to improve them.
Job Tasks: I work on product enhancements within the company. I receive requirements from a business area listing what their needs are and do analysis to ensure how the system(s) or application(s) will handle these new requirements. A typical day usually involves many meetings so I can identify any outstanding questions or concerns I may have with the users needs. I spend a lot of time looking at the current functionality of the existing application and what changes would needed to be made to accommodate the new requirements. Once I am comfortable with my findings, then I write up a functional requirements document. This document consists of various parts to help me lay out the new requirements. I have to include an overview of why I am making this change, any assumptions, restrictions that we need to comply with. I have to list users who are affected and provide a diagram of how the system works, showing both the current and future process. Then I break each of the requirements down into use cases. Each of the cases states what we are trying to achieve (managing a new account, for example) and what the business requirements are, as well as how they need to be set up. I have to describe any data changes that are needed to external systems to accommodate these changes as well. Once I've compiled all this information, I have to walk through your documents with the business/technical people/quality control people etc. to ensure I have captured everything and everyone understands what is trying to be achieved.
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is "most" of the people I meet with are very upbeat and dependable. I've found a project runs much more smoothly when you have a good team that can collaborate well.
The worse part of my job is it can be stressful. I deal with new products that need to be sold, so you are continually under a tight deadline. The documents I produce affect withdrawals and exchanges) and if I mess up it could cost the company money.
Job Tips: I would recommend that you take the necessary courses if you are pursuing this career. I basically came from little background or knowledge and it takes awhile to develop an analytical thought process. This type of job requires you to learn a lot about a company in a short period of time, including the company's terminology and what they do. It can be difficult trying to understand what others are saying when you don't have a good understanding of the type of company you work for (ex. annuities has very specific terminology for what they do). Take advantage of onsite/online classes that your company offers.
Additional Thoughts: I feel to be a good systems analyst, you need to go in with an open attitude. You may be overwhelmed in the beginning, but eventually you'll get there. Ask as many questions as you can, even if you feel they don't make sense. In the beginning I would sometimes just pretend I knew what people where talking about and I was clueless. Now I interrupt when I need clarification. It's impossible to go back and write requirements if you truly don't have a good handle on what you need to present.
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