Organizations want to deliver quality products and services and create maximum user satisfaction. They carry out review of systems and processes to provide quality offerings that meet user needs effectively.
A systems analysis also known as information systems analysis is the process that IT professionals use to identify problems and offer suggestions for improvement related to the systems used by organizations in their daily operations.
A system is a set of components working together to achieve a common goal. Systems analysis includes the review of a technological system that might include a software package. Usually, the main aim behind systems analysis is troubleshooting, development, or making improvements to the existing package. Systems analysts carry out an in-depth analysis to uncover errors in the underlying code or design incompatibilities or other issues like accessibility problems for the end users.
For effectively analysing a system the analysts must have expert knowledge related to that particular system like a software package. A system analysts’ job is very different from that of a system administrator. The focus of the system administrators is on daily maintenance whereas the focus of the systems analysts is on the viability of the overall product. It allows them to make improvements to the system or fix any problems.
In order to develop an effective system or fix any problems, it is essential to consider the system’s goals.
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Processes and techniques used for systems analysis:
There are several tools and techniques that are commonly used for systems analysis. However, to develop solid solutions, it is important to keep the end users and end goals of the system in mind. Some of the most effective techniques analysts can use to approach a problem are as follows:
UI or User Interface mock ups are like mock up exercises to check out how a real user interacts with the system. The analysts need to visualize the system from an end user’s perspective which can be done with the help of prototyping tools or simply with the help of a dashboard sketch. A UI mockup can also be understood as a visual representation of a final product’s screen. Since UI Mockups are only visual representations, they do not have any functionality which means nothing is clickable like the final product. These mock up tests are also highly effective when you are working with a team. They can help develop new ideas and improve team communication.
Define system usage patterns:
While conducting systems analysis, it is important to define user actions and patterns within the system. In general usage patterns means a user’s behavioral patterns on a website or app. By outline the system usage patterns, the analysts can focus on the important aspects of the system that might have higher usage compared to the others. Analysts need to identify how various types of users access the system and provide targets for expected usage. This will help ensure smooth functioning of the system and also that the system supports the goals of the end user.
Doing a feasibility analysis:
Systems analysts must do a feasibility analysis in order to find out the impact of a system on an organization and its workability. Analysts consider several factors when doing a feasibility analysis. Cost is among the most important factors considered in a feasibility analysis. Other important factors considered during a feasibility analysis include the user experience and impact on an organization. Analysts must consider all these areas to prepare a comprehensive analysis.
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Importance and advantages of systems analysis:
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Improved user experience:
Effective systems analysis requires looking at the system from the perspective of an end user. Providers must maintain systems that are accessible and meet the requirements of the end users. Once you analyse the systems from an end user perspective, it allows you to easily identify any potential problems related to the software that the end user might face during use. Systems must be easy to navigate and analysts must consider navigation during analysis so that the end users do not face any difficulty. Analysts might discover errors that disallows the end users from successfully accomplishing certain tasks. Once they have discovered these errors they can fix them or make adjustments that allows the software or the given product to function smoothly.
Reduces errors or inefficiencies:
A systems analysis usually focuses on the efficiency of the system. It helps find out if the system is efficient and viable. Analysts need to look at the overall framework to assess its performance. This will allow them to make suggestions to make improvement to the functionality of the system and improve its operation.
Identify any potential issues in the code:
Usually, an in-depth analysis of the system’s code is performed as a part of the systems analysis. Commonly, the errors or problems related to a system have their root in its code. Bugs in a program can cause it to function improperly or to crash. Programmers can find the source of these errors in the code of the program. This helps them remedy bugs or fix any inconsistencies in the code of the program/ software.
Improving the system for higher efficiency:
Businesses need to continuously improve systems in order to gain higher efficiency and improve their productivity. Sometimes they might need to hiring external analysts to assess their systems and suggest improvements. The improvements they suggest can help businesses improve efficiency and keep their systems functioning smoothly. Companies can also reduce the costs associated with downtime and troubleshooting. In this way, businesses can also improve their system for various factors like usability, performance and overall impact on business.
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How to conduct systems analysis effectively
Adopt the user’s perspective:
It is important to consider the end user in your systems analysis. User experience and user goals are of utmost importance and you should make them your priority in your analysis. So, approach the analysis from the user’s perspective and address usage patterns and user requirements as well as system functionality.
Consider the system goals:
Another important thing to keep in mind is the goals of the system. This will help you approach the analysis from a perspective that allows you to create a product that achieves what the owners of the system are trying to offer through it. You should start the analysis by outlining the top targets of the system and keeping in mind functionality, efficiency and viability. You would be able to focus your efforts on the particular problem by working within a set framework and in this way create a better product.
Evaluate the specific solutions against set goals:
Once you have developed a solution or improvement for the system, it is important to evaluate that solution against the user goals and system goals. Several times you can come against different possible solutions. However, it is only one or few that suits the system and matches the expected objectives and end user goals. Even if you are analyzing different components, you should keep a consistent perspective on the entire system to ensure that your analysis contributes to an improved system that offers better functionality.