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Difference Between Business Analyst & Business Systems Analyst

Business analysts and business systems analysts may have similar titles, but the specific focus of their work differs greatly. This article explores some of the similarities and the differences between what these professionals do.

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Comparing Business Analysts to Business Systems Analysts

Business analysts are also known as management analysts, and they help companies make changes to reduce inefficiency in their procedures and eliminate unnecessary financial costs. Business systems analysts, also known as computer systems analysts, help develop computer systems to meet the needs of their clients.

Job Title Educational Requirements Median Salary (2016)* Job Outlook (2014-2024)*
Business Analysts Bachelor's Degree $81,330 (for management analysts) 14% (for management analysts)
Business Systems Analysts Bachelor's Degree $87,220 (for computer systems analysts) 21% (for computer systems analysts)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Responsibilities of Business Analysts vs. Business Systems Analysts

Business analysts and business systems analysts review information and make assessments before providing companies with recommendations, but the focus of their analysis is very different. While business analysts concentrate on finding ways to help companies improve their operations and save money, business systems analysts concentrate on the technological needs of their clients and the benefits of upgrading their existing systems. Business analysts may interview staff and management and draft recommendations, and then assess how effective the changes are once they've been made. Business systems analysts can design plans for a new computer network or programs for a company. As part of their duties they not only install equipment, but they may also teach staff how to use it.

Business Analysts

Business analysts can prepare for their career by earning a bachelor's degree. A master's degree and professional certification may help improve job prospects and increase opportunities to advance to senior positions. Business analysts help companies determine how to improve their operations, so it is important that they have the ability to solve problems. Their work can involve processing a lot of information related to business operations, so studies in economics, business administration and marketing are assets to those entering this career field. Practical experience in fields such as human resources is also an asset.

Job responsibilities of a business analyst include:

  • Identifying strategies to reduce costs
  • Reviewing procedures
  • Determining how company procedures can be improved
  • Identifying ways to increase profits
  • Talking to employees and managers
  • Assessing how effective their recommendations are once implemented

Business Systems Analysts

Business systems analysts assess and update the computer systems in place in an organization. They spend their career ensuring that their employer's technological needs are met. It can be possible to enter this field with computer programming skills but most employers seek applicants who have a bachelor's degree. Studying computer science or a comparable discipline is an asset, but those entering this field also benefit from having a background in business. It's possible for those in this field to move into management roles, which requires practical experience and leadership skills.

Job responsibilities of a business systems analyst include:

  • Identifying a company's technological needs
  • Determining what programs or equipment needs to be updated or replaced
  • Reviewing the financial implications of upgrading systems
  • Installing new software and equipment
  • Testing hardware and software that's been installed
  • Drafting instructions for how to use the new system

Related Careers

If you're interested in being a business analyst you may also want to consider being a financial manager, since financial managers also help companies improve their profits. If being a business systems analyst sounds more appealing, you may also want to consider a career as a computer networking specialist, since they also develop computer network designs.

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