Systems analysis

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Any change in the existing policies of an organization may require the existing information system to be restructured or complete development of a new information system. In case of an organization functioning manually and planning to computerize its functioning, the development of a new information system would be required.

The development of any information system can be put into two major phases: analysis and Design. During analysis phase the complete functioning of the system is understood and requirements are defined which lead to designing of a new system. Hence the development process of a system is also known as System Analysis and Design process.

What is System Analysis and Design?

System development can generally be thought of having two major components: systems analysis and systems design.In System Analysis more emphasis is given to understanding the details of an existing system or a proposed one and then deciding whether the proposed system is desirable or not and whether the existing system needs improvements. Thus, system analysis is the process of investigating a system, identifying problems, and using the information to recommend improvements to the system.

System design is the process of planning a new business system or one to replace or complement an existing system.

Analysis specifies what the system should do. Design states how to accomplish the objective.

After the proposed system is analyzed and designed, the actual implementation of the system occurs. After implementation, working system is available and it requires timely maintenance

Role of a System Analyst

The system analyst is the person (or persons) who guides through the development of an information system . In performing these tasks the analyst must always match the information system objectives with the goals of the organization.

Role of System Analyst differs from organization to organization. Most common responsibilities of System Analyst are following

1) System analysis:

It includes system's study in order to get facts about business activity. It is about getting information and determining requirements. Here the responsibility includes only requirement determination, not the design of the system.

2) System analysis and design:

Here apart from the analysis work, Analyst is also responsible for the designing of the new system/application.

3) Systems analysis, design, and programming:

Here Analyst is also required to perform as a programmer, where he actually writes the code to implement the design of the proposed application.

Due to the various responsibilities that a system analyst requires to handle, he has to be multifaceted person with varied skills required at various stages of the life cycle. In addition to the technical know-how of the information system development a system analyst should also have the following knowledge.

  • Business knowledge: As the analyst might have to develop any kind of a business system, he should be familiar with the general functioning of all kind of businesses.
  • Interpersonal skills: Such skills are required at various stages of development process for interacting with the users and extracting the requirements out of them
  • Problem solving skills: A system analyst should have enough problem solving skills for defining the alternate solutions to the system and also for the problems occurring at the various stages of the development process

Users of System

The system end users of the system refer to the people who use computers to perform their jobs, like desktop operators. Further, end users can be divided into various categories.

Very first users are the hands-on users. They actually interact with the system. They are the people who feed in the input data and get output data. Like person at the booking counter of a gas authority. This person actually sees the records and registers requests from various customers for gas cylinders.

Other users are the indirect end users who do not interact with the systems hardware and software. However, these users benefit from the results of these systems. These types of users can be managers of organization using that system.

There are third types of users who have management responsibilities for application systems. These oversee investment in the development or use of the system.

Fourth types of users are senior managers. They are responsible for evaluating organization's exposure to risk from the systems failure.

Now we know what are systems and what is system analysis and design. So let us take a case in which we’ll apply the concepts we have learned in the chapter. The case would be referred to as and where necessary throughout the book and in this process we will be developing the system required.

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