Interview Questions for Business Analysts and Systems Analysts

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What is the difference between a business analyst and a systems analyst?

Posted by Adrian M.

Article Rating // 41562 Views // 9 Additional Answers & Comments

Categories: Business Analysis, Systems Analysis, Roles and Responsibilities


While the differences between the business analyst (BA) and systems analyst (SA) vary from organization to organization, there are some acceptable differences:

Role and Responsibilities 

Business Analyst - BA: The business analyst's main role is to understand the business processes and procedures (how the business works), to identify areas of improvement (problem areas), and to work with the business stakeholders to identify suitable solutions. If the solution involves the development or modification of information systems, the business analyst is also responsible to gather, analyze, and document the business requirements which must be fulfilled by the software.

Systems Analyst - SA: The systems analyst's main role is to understand the business requirements (documented by the business analyst) and to design and document the functional and, often, technical implementation of the software/IT system. The systems analyst also helps solve problems and issues with existing systems through research of these systems, code reviews, data analysis, etc.

Skills and Competencies

Business Analyst - BA: Great communication and negotiation skills, vertical business/domain knowledge, ability to map and document business processes, requirements elicitation and documentation.

Systems Analyst - SA: Strong technical skills, excellent troubleshooting and debugging abilities, solid technical writing skills, system modeling/documentation skills (class diagrams, sequence diagrams, etc.), data analysis and modeling skills.


Business Analyst - BA: Talks the business talk; understands the business.

Systems Analyst - SA: Talks the IT talk; understands the technology.

The reality is that the business analyst and systems analyst roles often overlap.  Many analysts who perform both roles have the title of "Business Systems Analyst."  Another differentiation that some make is that between a Business Analyst and Technical Business Analyst, though a technical business analyst is probably just a systems analyst.



NJR posted on Thursday, November 22, 2007 10:28 AM
This was a excellent explaination.
srikanth posted on Friday, April 18, 2008 7:07 AM
Its Impressive.
manideepa posted on Wednesday, September 17, 2008 8:16 PM
thanks for the excellent ans.....
rockitbebe posted on Thursday, May 21, 2009 10:42 PM
Thanks for the excellent explanation. Very informative !
andythaddius posted on Wednesday, June 17, 2009 4:24 PM
Clarifies the difference!
Mathangi posted on Thursday, November 19, 2009 11:07 AM
Excellent simple explanation.Great!!

bootleg posted on Thursday, December 31, 2009 12:37 PM
I do both, what's that make me?
Serafettin posted on Wednesday, July 21, 2010 11:48 AM
Business Systems Analyst
smyrna35 posted on Monday, March 19, 2012 10:35 AM
I'm getting ready for face to face interview for an "Application System Analyst" position. The information explained on these pages are amazing, and I know they will help me. Thank you again for these tremendous information.
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Do your homework prior to the business analysis interview!

Having an idea of the type of questions you might be asked during a business analyst interview will not only give you confidence but it will also help you to formulate your thoughts and to be better prepared to answer the interview questions you might get during the interview for a business analyst position.  Of course, just memorizing a list of business analyst interview questions will not make you a great business analyst but it might just help you get that next job.



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