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Become An Applications Analyst

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Working As An Applications Analyst

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Processing Information
  • Getting Information
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Repetitive

  • $79,022

    Average Salary

What Does An Applications Analyst Do

Computer systems analysts study an organization’s current computer systems and procedures and design information systems solutions to help the organization operate more efficiently and effectively. They bring business and information technology (IT) together by understanding the needs and limitations of both.

Duties

Computer systems analysts typically do the following:

  • Consult with managers to determine the role of IT systems in an organization
  • Research emerging technologies to decide if installing them can increase the organization’s efficiency and effectiveness
  • Prepare an analysis of costs and benefits so that management can decide if IT systems and computing infrastructure upgrades are financially worthwhile
  • Devise ways to add new functionality to existing computer systems
  • Design and implement new systems by choosing and configuring hardware and software
  • Oversee the installation and configuration of new systems to customize them for the organization
  • Conduct testing to ensure that the systems work as expected
  • Train the systems’ end users and write instruction manuals

Computer systems analysts use a variety of techniques such as data modeling to design computer systems. Data modeling allows analysts to view the processes and data flows even before programs have been written. 

Once programs have been written, analysts conduct in-depth tests and analyze information and trends in the data to increase a system’s performance and efficiency.

Analysts calculate requirements for how much memory and speed the computer system needs. They prepare flowcharts or other kinds of diagrams for programmers or engineers to use when building the system. Analysts also work with these people to solve problems that arise after the initial system is set up. Most analysts do some programming in the course of their work.

Most computer systems analysts specialize in certain types of computer systems that are specific to the organization they work with. For example, an analyst might work predominantly with financial computer systems or engineering computer systems.

Systems analysts help other IT team members understand how computer systems can best serve an organization by working closely with the organization’s business leaders.

In some cases, analysts who supervise the initial installation or upgrade of IT systems from start to finish may be called IT project managers. They monitor a project’s progress to ensure that deadlines, standards, and cost targets are met. IT project managers who plan and direct an organization’s IT department or IT policies are included in the profile on computer and information systems managers.

Many computer systems analysts are general-purpose analysts who develop new systems or fine-tune existing ones; however, there are some specialized systems analysts. The following are examples of types of computer systems analysts:

Systems designers or systems architects specialize in helping organizations choose specific types of hardware and software systems. They translate the long-term business goals of an organization into technical solutions. Analysts develop a plan for the computer systems that will be able to reach those goals. They work with management to ensure that systems and the IT infrastructure are set up to best serve the organization’s mission.

Software quality assurance (QA) analysts do in-depth testing and diagnose problems of the systems they design in order to make sure that critical requirements are met. They also write reports to management recommending ways to improve the systems.

Programmer analysts design and update their system’s software and create applications tailored to their organization’s needs. They do more coding and debugging than other types of analysts, although they still work extensively with management and business analysts to determine what business needs the applications are meant to address. Other occupations that do programming are computer programmers and software developers.

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How To Become An Applications Analyst

A bachelor’s degree in a computer or information science field is common, although not always a requirement. Some firms hire analysts with business or liberal arts degrees who have skills in information technology or computer programming.

Education

Most computer systems analysts have a bachelor’s degree in a computer-related field. Because these analysts also are heavily involved in the business side of a company, it may be helpful to take business courses or major in management information systems.

Some employers prefer applicants who have a master's degree in business administration (MBA) with a concentration in information systems. For more technically complex jobs, a master’s degree in computer science may be more appropriate.

Although many computer systems analysts have technical degrees, such a degree is not always a requirement. Many analysts have liberal arts degrees and have gained programming or technical expertise elsewhere.

Many systems analysts continue to take classes throughout their careers so they can learn about new and innovative technologies. Technological advances come so rapidly in the computer field that continual study is necessary to remain competitive.

Systems analysts must understand the business field they are working in. For example, a hospital may want an analyst with a thorough understanding of health plans and programs such as Medicare and Medicaid, and an analyst working for a bank may need to understand finance. Having knowledge of their industry helps systems analysts communicate with managers to determine the role of the information technology (IT) systems in an organization.

Advancement

With experience, systems analysts can advance to project manager and lead a team of analysts. Some can eventually become IT directors or chief technology officers. For more information, see the profile on computer and information systems managers.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Analysts must interpret complex information from various sources and be able to decide the best way to move forward on a project. They must also be able to figure out how changes may affect the project.

Communication skills. Analysts work as a go-between with management and the IT department and must be able to explain complex issues in a way that both will understand.

Creativity. Because analysts are tasked with finding innovative solutions to computer problems, an ability to “think outside the box” is important.

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Do you work as an Applications Analyst?

Applications Analyst Jobs

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Applications Analyst Career Paths

Applications Analyst
Senior Consultant Senior Manager Director Of Information
Chief Information Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Senior Programmer Analyst Technical Consultant Customer Relationship Management Consultant
Customer Relationship Management Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Systems Analyst Systems Administrator Director Of Information
Director Information Technology Infrastructure
13 Yearsyrs
Senior Analyst Business Analyst/Project Manager Business Systems Manager
Director Of Business Systems
12 Yearsyrs
Data Analyst Project Coordinator Human Resources Coordinator
Director Of Human Resources
10 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Information Technology Project Manager
Director Of Information
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Consultant Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Director
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Applications Analyst Senior Software Engineer Senior Systems Engineer
Information Technology Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Software Engineer Senior Systems Engineer Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Systems Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Program Manager Marketing Manager
Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Senior Software Engineer Senior Project Manager Senior Product Manager
Principal Product Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Senior Business Analyst Project Manager
Program Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Business Analyst Information Technology Project Manager Director Of Information
Senior Director Of Information & Technology
13 Yearsyrs
Senior Business Analyst Senior Consultant Information Technology Manager
Senior Information Technology Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Project Manager
Senior Project Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Data Analyst Business Analyst Senior Systems Analyst
Senior Software Engineer
6 Yearsyrs
Senior Systems Analyst Information Technology Manager Director Of Information
Vice President Information Systems
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Applications Analyst Project Manager Senior Manager
Vice President Of Information Technology
12 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as an Applications Analyst?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Systems Analyst 3.3 years
Interface Analyst 2.7 years
Analyst 2.4 years
Solutions Analyst 2.4 years
Top Employers Before
Consultant 6.1%
Analyst 6.0%
Programmer 4.3%
Internship 3.6%
Top Employers After
Consultant 8.9%
Analyst 4.8%
Manager 2.8%

Do you work as an Applications Analyst?

Applications Analyst Demographics

Gender

Male

53.3%

Female

43.9%

Unknown

2.8%
Ethnicity

White

58.9%

Hispanic or Latino

13.2%

Asian

12.3%

Black or African American

11.2%

Unknown

4.4%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

27.1%

Chinese

11.4%

French

8.6%

Russian

8.6%

Mandarin

7.1%

Portuguese

4.3%

Cantonese

4.3%

Korean

4.3%

Vietnamese

2.9%

Amharic

2.9%

Carrier

2.9%

Thai

2.9%

Italian

2.9%

Swedish

1.4%

Tagalog

1.4%

Greek

1.4%

German

1.4%

Japanese

1.4%

Norwegian

1.4%

Urdu

1.4%
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Applications Analyst Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

26.4%

Northeastern University

6.8%

University of Houston

5.3%

University of Maryland - University College

5.0%

Colorado Technical University

5.0%

Southern New Hampshire University

4.3%

American InterContinental University

4.0%

Webster University

3.7%

Drexel University

3.7%

Strayer University

3.7%

Regis University

3.4%

University of Kansas

3.4%

Northern Illinois University

3.4%

George Washington University

3.1%

Pennsylvania State University

3.1%

University of Massachusetts - Lowell

3.1%

Walden University

3.1%

Bellevue University

3.1%

University of Pittsburgh -

3.1%

Indiana Wesleyan University

3.1%
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Majors

Business

23.2%

Computer Science

14.5%

Computer Information Systems

11.3%

Information Technology

6.6%

Information Systems

5.5%

Management Information Systems

4.2%

Accounting

3.7%

Management

3.3%

Finance

3.3%

Health Care Administration

3.2%

Project Management

2.9%

Nursing

2.5%

Electrical Engineering

2.4%

Computer Engineering

2.3%

Communication

2.0%

Computer Networking

1.9%

Computer Programming

1.9%

Education

1.9%

Psychology

1.8%

Mathematics

1.5%
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Degrees

Bachelors

43.8%

Masters

26.5%

Other

13.9%

Associate

9.7%

Certificate

4.0%

Diploma

1.1%

Doctorate

1.0%

License

0.0%
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Internship
Temporary

Real Applications Analyst Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Application Analyst Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP New York, NY Apr 15, 2016 $144,600
Oricle Application Analyst Vigilant Technologies LLC Huntersville, NC Nov 19, 2016 $138,000
Application Analyst Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP New York, NY Mar 09, 2015 $136,200
Principal Applications Analyst Herbalife International of America, Inc. Winston-Salem, NC Feb 04, 2015 $133,127
Principal Applications Analyst Herbalife International Winston-Salem, NC Apr 13, 2016 $133,127
Applications Analyst Ardagh Metal Beverage USA Inc. Chicago, IL Jun 29, 2016 $131,735 -
$149,000
Principal, Applications Analyst Herbalife International Torrance, CA Oct 23, 2015 $131,538
Applications Analyst Lumentum Operations LLC Milpitas, CA Apr 18, 2016 $131,269
Oracle Applications Analyst Jade Global, Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Oct 21, 2016 $130,471
ERP Application Analyst 3 Garmin International, Inc. Olathe, KS Apr 27, 2015 $130,000
Oracle Applications Analyst Thatone Company Santa Clara, CA Oct 06, 2016 $130,000
Oracle Applications Analyst Thatone Company Santa Clara, CA Jun 13, 2016 $130,000
SAP Applications Analyst Formac Inc. Brooklyn, OH Apr 09, 2016 $128,000
Oracle Applications Analyst Jade Global Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Feb 27, 2016 $127,400
Applications Packager Analyst Aclat, Inc. Arlington Heights, IL Mar 03, 2015 $89,981
Application Analyst IV Principle Solutions Group, LLC Charlotte, NC May 08, 2015 $89,544
Application Analyst III Data Systems Integration Group Inc. Dublin, OH Jun 23, 2016 $89,523
Application Analyst OKTA, Inc. San Francisco, CA Sep 12, 2015 $89,378 -
$100,000
Oracle Applications Analyst NLT Corporation Houston, TX Nov 15, 2016 $89,250
Oracle Applications Analyst NLT Corporation Houston, TX Jan 10, 2016 $89,250
Applications Analyst Tech Mahindra (Americas), Inc. San Jose, CA Nov 09, 2016 $89,149
Applications Analyst Caspio, Inc. Santa Clara, CA Oct 17, 2016 $89,149
Applications Analyst Analog Devices, Inc. Norwood, MA Nov 05, 2015 $74,740 -
$102,300
Applications Analyst Mast Technology Services, Inc. Columbus, OH Sep 22, 2015 $74,200 -
$111,000
Application Analyst Lantrasoft, Inc. Worthington, OH Oct 23, 2015 $74,194
Application Analyst Erp Analysts, Inc. Dublin, OH Oct 14, 2015 $74,194
Application Analyst Erp Analysts, Inc. Dublin, OH Oct 15, 2015 $74,194
Applications Analyst Tech Mahindra (Americas) Inc. Atlanta, GA Jan 08, 2016 $74,110
Applications Analyst Tech Mahindra (Americas) Inc. Atlanta, GA Jan 01, 2016 $74,110
Application Analyst Thomas Jefferson University Hospital Philadelphia, PA Nov 09, 2015 $74,000

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Top Skills for An Applications Analyst

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  1. Pl/Sql
  2. Data Analysis
  3. Procedures
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Developed complex database objects like Stored Procedures, Functions, Packages and Triggers using SQL and PL/SQL in Oracle 11gR2 RDBMS.
  • Assisted in implementation of PeopleSoft Interface which required system alterations, new request processes and data analysis.
  • Implemented Stored Procedures, Triggers and Functions for database optimization.
  • Work with Business and Conversion Units to create Functional Requirement Documents, Business Requirements and Technical Specifications.
  • Provided technical support and analysis to determine system malfunctions or processor error and reported to Management daily.

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