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Become An Information Analyst

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Working As An Information Analyst

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

  • Repetitive

  • $101,780

    Average Salary

What Does An Information 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 Information 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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Information Analyst jobs

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Information Analyst Career Paths

Information Analyst
Systems Analyst Information Technology Manager Director Of Information
Chief Information Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Specialist Technical Consultant Customer Relationship Management Consultant
Customer Relationship Management Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Information Specialist Project Manager Director Of Information
Director Information Technology Infrastructure
13 Yearsyrs
Senior Consultant Business Analyst/Project Manager Business Systems Manager
Director Of Business Systems
12 Yearsyrs
Data Analyst Senior Analyst Senior Manager
Director Of Information
10 Yearsyrs
Information Specialist Systems Analyst Information Systems Manager
Director Of Information Services
9 Yearsyrs
Systems Analyst Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Director
10 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Consultant Senior Consultant
Information Technology Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Software Engineer Senior Systems Engineer Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Systems Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Analyst Product Manager Senior Product Manager
Principal Product Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Director Of Information
Senior Director Of Information & Technology
13 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Product Manager
Senior Product Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Project Manager
Senior Project Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Data Analyst Business Analyst Senior Systems Analyst
Senior Software Engineer
6 Yearsyrs
Senior Software Engineer Information Technology Consultant Director Of Information
Vice President Information Systems
10 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager Director Of Information
Vice President Of Information Technology
12 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Program Manager Business Developer
Vice President, Business Development
13 Yearsyrs
Analyst Program Manager Technical Director
Vice President, Technology
11 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Programmer Analyst 4.0 years
Systems Analyst 3.4 years
Systems Developer 3.4 years
Computer Analyst 3.3 years
Production Analyst 3.3 years
Senior Analyst 3.3 years
EDI Analyst 3.1 years
Systems Consultant 3.0 years
Business Analyst 3.0 years
Analyst Lead 2.9 years
Design Analyst 2.8 years
Technical Analyst 2.8 years
Operations Analyst 2.7 years
Automation Analyst 2.7 years
MIS Analyst 2.7 years
Lead Data Analyst 2.7 years
Software Analyst 2.6 years
Developer Analyst 2.5 years
Associate Analyst 2.5 years
Database Analyst 2.5 years
Solutions Analyst 2.4 years
Analyst 2.4 years
Product Analyst 2.4 years
Support Analyst 2.3 years
Data Analyst 2.3 years
Assistant Analyst 2.1 years
Onsite Coordinator 1.9 years
Junior IS Analyst 1.5 years
Top Employers Before
Internship 6.0%
Consultant 5.5%
Programmer 4.4%
Analyst 2.7%
Top Employers After
Consultant 8.7%
Analyst 3.6%
Manager 3.1%

Information Analyst Demographics

Gender

Male

50.4%

Female

46.4%

Unknown

3.2%
Ethnicity

White

76.0%

Asian

11.1%

Hispanic or Latino

9.8%

Unknown

2.5%

Black or African American

0.7%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

36.9%

French

9.2%

Russian

6.9%

Mandarin

6.2%

Portuguese

6.2%

German

6.2%

Chinese

5.4%

Arabic

4.6%

Hindi

3.1%

Korean

3.1%

Tagalog

2.3%

Romanian

1.5%

Filipino

1.5%

Italian

1.5%

Japanese

1.5%

Swedish

0.8%

Telugu

0.8%

Turkish

0.8%

Dutch

0.8%

Sanskrit

0.8%
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Information Analyst Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

16.3%

University of Maryland - University College

5.7%

Purdue University

5.7%

Pennsylvania State University

5.3%

Rochester Institute of Technology

5.3%

University of Rochester

4.8%

Michigan State University

4.4%

Villanova University

4.4%

George Mason University

4.4%

University of Connecticut

4.4%

University of Houston

4.4%

American University

4.4%

State University of New York Buffalo

4.0%

Georgia State University

4.0%

Regis University

4.0%

American InterContinental University

4.0%

Northern Virginia Community College

4.0%

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

3.5%

Ferris State University

3.5%

Arizona State University

3.5%
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Majors

Business

26.6%

Computer Science

12.6%

Computer Information Systems

8.8%

Information Technology

5.6%

Management Information Systems

4.5%

Management

4.3%

Finance

4.1%

Accounting

3.7%

Health Care Administration

3.5%

Information Systems

3.2%

Marketing

3.1%

Psychology

2.7%

Electrical Engineering

2.5%

Economics

2.2%

English

2.2%

Political Science

2.2%

Education

2.1%

Mathematics

2.0%

Communication

2.0%

Biology

1.9%
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Degrees

Bachelors

43.4%

Masters

26.7%

Other

13.3%

Associate

8.8%

Certificate

4.4%

Doctorate

2.3%

Diploma

0.8%

License

0.1%
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Internship
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Real Information Analyst Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Information Secruity Analyst 4 Sutter Health Mather, CA Apr 06, 2015 $125,000
Information Analyst III The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Philadelphia, PA Aug 21, 2016 $115,350
Information Analyst III The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia PA Aug 21, 2016 $115,350
Lead Information Analyst NIKE, Inc. Beaverton, OR May 11, 2015 $115,000
Information Analyst III The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Philadelphia, PA Aug 21, 2015 $111,448
Information Analyst III (Business Intelligence) The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Philadelphia, PA Oct 28, 2015 $107,888
Information Analyst IV Dentaquest, LLC Boston, MA Sep 21, 2015 $105,560
Information Analyst III The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Philadelphia, PA Jan 09, 2015 $105,000
Information Analyst Dynatrace LLC Waltham, MA Dec 15, 2015 $102,200
Information Analyst IV Dentaquest LLC Mequon, WI Oct 01, 2015 $100,750
Information Analyst Citgo Petroleum Corporation Houston, TX Aug 20, 2016 $95,680
Information Analyst IV Dentaquest LLC Mequon, WI May 01, 2015 $94,053
Information Analyst IV Dentaquest, LLC Mequon, WI Jan 27, 2015 $94,053
Clinical Information Analyst-Biostats Alegent Creighton Health Omaha, NE Nov 08, 2016 $84,718 -
$89,939
Analyst-Information Management and Insurance Emergent Product Development Seattle LLC Seattle, WA Feb 09, 2016 $83,392
Data/Information Analyst III Digital Intelligence Systems, LLC Plano, TX Dec 09, 2016 $80,496
Associate Information Analyst Daugherty Business Solutions Bloomington, MN Jan 09, 2016 $80,000
Consultant, Information Analyst II Daugherty Business Solutions Saint Louis, MO Sep 09, 2015 $80,000
Information Analyst II Daugherty Systems Inc. Saint Louis, MO Aug 14, 2015 $80,000
Information Analyst III JP Morgan Chase & Co Lewisville, TX May 23, 2016 $80,000
Information Analyst II Atos It Solutions and Services, Inc. Mason, OH Dec 04, 2016 $80,000
Data/Information Analyst System Soft Technologies LLC Tampa, FL Jun 11, 2015 $70,408
Asst. Scientific Information Analyst Chemical Abstracts Service A Division of The ACS Columbus, OH Sep 10, 2015 $70,387
Analyst, Risk Information Services Barclays Services Corp. New York, NY Jun 12, 2015 $70,000 -
$85,000
Analyst, Risk Information Services Barclays Services Corp. New York, NY Jun 30, 2015 $70,000 -
$90,000
Information Analyst I The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Philadelphia, PA Apr 01, 2015 $70,000
Financial Information Analyst Hunt Consolidated, Inc. Dallas, TX May 26, 2015 $69,600
Trading Information Analyst Bomin Bunker Oil Corp. Houston, TX Sep 30, 2015 $68,848 -
$84,885
Clinical Information Analyst-Biostats Alegent Health Omaha, NE Jan 28, 2016 $68,266 -
$82,266

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Top Skills for An Information Analyst

DataEntryProceduresPl/SqlFinancialWebWindowsXPCobolIIMainframeUnixCustomerServiceTechnicalSupportProjectManagementJCLDataAnalysisSQLServerDB2SASPCDataWarehouseBusinessRequirements

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Top Information Analyst Skills

  1. Data Entry
  2. Procedures
  3. Pl/Sql
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Organized and coordinated documentation of data collection activities & data entry.
  • Trained over 800 employees in company policies and procedures giving the employees the necessary tools to succeed.
  • Programmed in Macro VBA and PL/SQL to support other software.
  • Team Lead/Systems Engineer Assumed position of team lead leading coordination and implementation of financial applications within Deposits System.
  • Created and tested web service data integration and business intelligence interfacing.

Top Information Analyst Employers