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Become A Functional Analyst

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Working As A Functional Analyst

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

  • Repetitive

  • $96,540

    Average Salary

What Does A Functional 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 A Functional 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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Functional Analyst jobs

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Functional Analyst Career Paths

Functional Analyst
Senior Business Analyst Information Technology Project Manager Director Of Information
Chief Information Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Data Analyst Information Technology Manager Director Of Information
Director Information Technology Infrastructure
13 Yearsyrs
Senior Analyst Business Analyst/Project Manager Business Systems Manager
Director Of Business Systems
12 Yearsyrs
Functional Lead Project Manager Senior Manager
Director Of Enterprise Architecture
14 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Program Manager Senior Manager
Director Of Information
10 Yearsyrs
Functional Lead Senior Business Analyst Information Technology Manager
Director Of Information Technology Services
12 Yearsyrs
Senior Business Analyst Senior Consultant Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Director
10 Yearsyrs
Project Leader Business Analyst Information Technology Project Manager
Manager, Project Management Office
12 Yearsyrs
Project Leader Principal Consultant Practice Manager
Practice Director
12 Yearsyrs
Senior Consultant Subject Matter Expert Business Analyst
Product Owner
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Consultant Senior Manager Director Of Information
Senior Director Of Information & Technology
13 Yearsyrs
Systems Analyst Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager
Senior Information Technology Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Functional Consultant Senior Consultant
Senior Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Functional Consultant SAP Consultant Senior Consultant
Senior Project Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Systems Analyst Quality Assurance Analyst Quality Assurance Manager
Senior Quality Assurance Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Senior Analyst Project Leader Solutions Architect
Solutions Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Data Analyst Senior Systems Analyst Director Of Information
Vice President Information Systems
10 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Information Technology Project Manager Director Of Information
Vice President Of Information Technology
12 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Systems Analyst 3.4 years
Senior Analyst 3.3 years
EDI Analyst 3.1 years
Business Analyst 3.0 years
Analyst Lead 2.9 years
Design Analyst 2.8 years
Developer Analyst 2.5 years
ERP Consultant 2.5 years
Functional Lead 2.5 years
Analyst 2.4 years
Solutions Analyst 2.4 years
SAP Consultant 2.3 years
Oracle Consultant 2.3 years
SAP Analyst 2.1 years
Functional Analyst 2.0 years
Top Employers Before
Consultant 6.5%
Analyst 4.6%
Top Employers After
Consultant 7.3%

Functional Analyst Demographics

Gender

Male

56.2%

Female

42.2%

Unknown

1.6%
Ethnicity

White

65.1%

Asian

20.9%

Hispanic or Latino

8.2%

Unknown

4.6%

Black or African American

1.2%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

39.6%

French

9.4%

Portuguese

5.7%

Hindi

5.7%

Arabic

5.7%

German

3.8%

Kannada

3.8%

Russian

3.8%

Korean

3.8%

Chinese

1.9%

Czech

1.9%

Mandarin

1.9%

Dari

1.9%

Persian

1.9%

Dutch

1.9%

Urdu

1.9%

Tamil

1.9%

Hmong

1.9%

Italian

1.9%
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Functional Analyst Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

19.8%

George Mason University

10.1%

Strayer University

10.1%

University of Maryland - University College

5.6%

Troy University

5.2%

University of Washington

5.2%

American University

4.4%

Webster University

4.0%

George Washington University

3.6%

University of Maryland - College Park

3.6%

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

3.2%

Community College of the Air Force

3.2%

University of Texas at Arlington

2.8%

Cochise College

2.8%

University of Houston

2.8%

Park University

2.8%

Auburn University-Montgomery

2.8%

Saint Leo University

2.8%

New York University

2.4%

National University

2.4%
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Majors

Business

26.8%

Computer Science

9.2%

Accounting

6.7%

Computer Information Systems

6.2%

Information Technology

6.0%

Finance

5.2%

Management

4.6%

Electrical Engineering

4.5%

Information Systems

4.1%

Management Information Systems

3.6%

Human Resources Management

3.4%

Computer Engineering

2.9%

Supply Chain Management

2.9%

Engineering

2.6%

Computer Applications

2.2%

Marketing

2.1%

Project Management

1.8%

Psychology

1.8%

Mechanical Engineering

1.7%

Political Science

1.6%
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Degrees

Bachelors

45.2%

Masters

32.2%

Other

12.5%

Associate

4.3%

Certificate

3.4%

Diploma

1.6%

Doctorate

0.7%

License

0.1%
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Real Functional Analyst Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
SAP Functional Analyst Neoforte Solutions Group, LLC Oxnard, CA Jul 01, 2015 $244,179
Functional Analyst C&T Information Technology Consulting, Inc. Austin, TX Oct 11, 2015 $156,000
Functional Analyst Cignex Datamatics, Inc. Santa Clara, CA Jul 30, 2015 $153,000
BPC Functional Analyst Servicenow, Inc. Santa Clara, CA Aug 26, 2016 $148,331 -
$191,400
ERP Functional Analyst Ciber, Inc. Bellevue, WA Jan 09, 2016 $145,000
Functional SYS Analyst Staff Juniper Networks Sunnyvale, CA May 08, 2016 $145,000
SAP Functional Analyst PVH Corp. Bridgewater, NJ Aug 22, 2016 $145,000
Principal ERP Functional Analyst Ciber, Inc. Carlsbad, CA Aug 22, 2016 $142,500
Oracle Techno Functional Analyst Elipsiq Incorporation Pleasanton, CA Jul 12, 2016 $142,500
Principal ERP Functional Analyst Ciber, Inc. Collegeville, PA Aug 31, 2016 $142,500
Oracle Functional Analyst Elipsiq Incorporation Pleasanton, CA Oct 17, 2016 $142,500
Functional Analyst Populus Group LLC Bellevue, WA Nov 23, 2015 $141,916
ERP Functional Analyst Ciber, Inc. Miami, FL Jul 18, 2016 $140,000
Functional Analyst Luxoft USA Inc. Jersey City, NJ Nov 14, 2016 $104,936
Functional Analyst (SME) CGI Technologies and Solutions Inc. New York, NY Aug 09, 2016 $104,936 -
$151,900
Gbas Functional Analyst Vishay Intertechnology, Inc. Malvern, PA Mar 22, 2016 $104,754
Oracle Functional Analyst Expedia, Inc. Bellevue, WA Dec 21, 2015 $104,550 -
$130,000
SAP CAS Functional Analyst Accenture LLP Kansas City, MO Jul 15, 2016 $104,291
SAP CAS Functional Analyst Accenture LLP Smithfield, VA Jul 15, 2016 $104,291
SAP CAS Functional Analyst Accenture LLP Eden Prairie, MN Jul 15, 2016 $104,291
SAP CAS Functional Analyst Accenture LLP Saint Charles, IL Jul 15, 2016 $104,291
Functional Analyst (M) Hudson Data LLC Jersey City, NJ Sep 23, 2016 $84,198
SAP Functional Analyst Paccar Inc. Renton, WA Aug 27, 2015 $84,032 -
$108,500
Functional Analyst Luxoft USA Inc. Bellevue, WA Dec 18, 2015 $84,032
Functional Analyst Luxoft USA Inc. Seattle, WA Feb 11, 2015 $84,032
SAP Mm/Wm Functional Analyst Bizit Consultants, Inc. PA Sep 20, 2015 $84,000
Associate, Functional Analyst, Corporate Banking & Services Db Global Technology Cary, NC May 17, 2016 $84,000

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Top Skills for A Functional Analyst

ModulesBusinessProcessBusinessRequirementsProceduresSetupCustomFinancialTestScriptsGLUATInterfacesPl/SqlAssetOrderManagementRequirementGatheringLedgerUserAcceptanceHRPeoplesoftPayroll

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Top Functional Analyst Skills

  1. Modules
  2. Business Process
  3. Business Requirements
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Worked extensively with MM and SD modules through everyday support and as part of project implementations/configuration.
  • Coordinated completion of requirement's document, GAP Analysis, design, and configuration specifications for all the impacted business processes.
  • Analyzed and translated business requirements into system specifications utilizing Agile and Waterfall methodology.
  • Demonstrated proficiency in typing and maintained media data in accordance with standardized procedures.
  • Understand and modify Oracle Application configurations as required (includes system setups, flex- fields, profile options etc.).

Top Functional Analyst Employers

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