A systems analyst is very similar to a business analyst. A business analyst focuses on business processes and finding a solution to a problem from a stakeholder perspective. A systems analyst has more of a technical focus. This role was developed in a time when developing a system was far more technologically intensive than it is in today's world. The system analyst works with the client to develop user requirements, however, they focus on the technical requirements required for the solution to be created. Systems analysts will also advise the client on the ability of an existing system to support proposed change of an existing system.
Historically the systems analyst would advise the client if the required changes could be completed in light of the technical elements that were needed to make it happen.
Today, very few organisations employ systems analysts, as the need for this role has decreased with automated technological advances. The business analyst role now encompasses much of the historical system analyst responsibilities.
A systems analyst exhibits capabilities in line with the Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA) and the Queensland Public Service Workforce Capability Success Profile.
Within the SFIA profile, the systems analyst has level 4 and 5 capabilities, i.e. enables, ensures and advises on the skills outlined below.
Works under general direction within a clear framework of accountability. Exercises substantial personal responsibility and autonomy. Plans own work to meet given objectives and processes.
Influences customers, suppliers and partners at account level. May have some responsibility for the work of others and for the allocation of resources. Participates in external activities related to own specialism. Makes decisions which influence the success of projects and team objectives.
Work includes a broad range of complex technical or professional activities, in a variety of contexts. Investigates, defines and resolves complex issues.
Selects appropriately from applicable standards, methods, tools and applications. Communicates fluently, orally and in writing, and can present complex information to both technical and non-technical audiences. Facilitates collaboration between stakeholders who share common objectives. Plans, schedules and monitors work to meet time and quality targets. Rapidly absorbs new information and applies it effectively. Maintains an awareness of developing technologies and their application and takes some responsibility for driving own development.
SFIA Skill Code
SFIA Skill Level of Responsibility
SFIA Skills Level Descriptor
Takes responsibility for understanding client requirements, collecting data, delivering analysis and problem resolution. Identifies, evaluates and recommends options, implementing if required. Collaborates with, and facilitates stakeholder groups, as part of formal or informal consultancy agreements. Seeks to fully address client needs, enhancing the capabilities and effectiveness of client personnel, by ensuring that proposed solutions are properly understood and appropriately exploited.
Specifies and designs large or complex systems. Selects appropriate design standards, methods and tools, consistent with agreed enterprise and solution architectures and ensures they are applied effectively. Reviews others' systems designs to ensure selection of appropriate technology, efficient use of resources, and integration of multiple systems and technology. Contributes to policy for selection of architecture components. Evaluates and undertakes impact analysis on major design options and assesses and manages associated risks. Ensures that the system design balances functional, service quality, security and systems management requirements.
Programming/ software development
Designs, codes, tests, corrects and documents complex programs and scripts from agreed specifications, and subsequent iterations, using agreed standards and tools, to achieve a well-engineered result. Takes part in reviews of own work and leads reviews of colleagues' work.
Queensland Government roles align with the Queensland Public Service Workforce Capability Success Profile.
The success profile is a sector wide, one-government approach to the leadership behaviours expected of all public sector employees to support high performing workplaces. The profile describes three performance dimensions (vision, results and accountability) and 13 leadership competencies required against four role types:
- Individual contributor (manages self)
- Team leader (manages individuals)
- Program manager (manages multiple teams/projects)
- Executive (manages program managers)
When developing a Role Description, identify the role type and then focus on the most important attributes and create a balance between SFIA skills and leadership skills.
A degree level qualification in information technology is very highly regarded. Skills in programming and highly developed communication skills are essential in this role.
A diploma level qualification can helpful in gaining entry to a degree level course if the applicant does not have the required year 12 passes.
 The Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA) provides a common language that integrates with an organisation’s way of working, to improve capability and resource planning, resource deployment and performance management. This role profile quotes extensively from the SFIA, under licence from the SFIA Foundation. Information about the SFIA can be found at http://www.sfia-online.org/en
 The Queensland Public Service Workforce Capability Success Profile plays a key role in translating the government’s ‘talent management requirements’ into clear behavioural terms, while at the same time delivering organisational change and growth. The success profile is being utilised to align sector-wide talent management strategies, including workforce planning, talent acquisition, leadership development, capability development, performance management, career management and succession planning. See http://www.psc.qld.gov.au/includes/assets/PSC_Workforce_Capability_Success_Profile.pdf