everything you need to know about a business systems analyst career

Business systems analyst jobs are available in startups as well as large corporations. You work in the field of computer science and in various industries to advise clients on the software they need for their business activities. Your role is to study existing procedures and systems and optimize the user experience.

From what the daily life of a business systems analyst looks like to what type of skills is necessary, going through the pros and cons of this job, we answer all your questions.


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This business systems analyst role is part of the Top 15 Best Jobs in Canada in 2023, ranking in 12th position.

Here's why.

why is this job in demand?

Business analysts have always been in high demand in Canada, and that trend will continue for the foreseeable future. The digitization of offices and companies has made for a more significant push for the requirement of business analysts, leading to them being in great demand. How businesses conduct business has changed, data is king for business, and business analysts help an organization identify and define problems using data. 

what are the career prospects?

The outlook for Business Solutions Analysts' roles are looking good in Canada. There will be around 14,800 job openings from now until 2028. But, there will be a lack of talent to fill all these positions, and it is looking like there will be a need for more people moving into the business solutions analyst positions over the next couple of years. 

what can you expect in terms of salary?

For a business analyst, entry-level positions vary between: 62k to 107k, mid-level: 71k  to 125k and senior 82k to 142k

Where the salary are higher: Greater Toronto Area

what skills do you need to thrive on the job?

Having well-developed analytical, diagnostic, and problem-solving skills is necessary to go into the business analyst role. Business analysts need to have excellent organizational and customer service skills, as they need to keep their data organized and have excellent customer skills to instruct or mentor teams. Creativity will be required for this role, as business analysts will need to approach different and unique situations with the ability to solve them.

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about the role

what is the job of a business system analyst?

An experienced business systems analyst is the heart of the business. Through data analysis, business analysts assist organizations in enhancing their operations, goods, services, and software. These adaptable employees operate in the industry and IT sectors to close the gap and boost productivity. Business analysts work to improve companies by highlighting the various ways data may be used to influence change, from better organizational change management and hiring practices to more individualized marketing campaigns.

what do systems analyst career entail?

As a systems analyst, you work with independent clients or companies to help them diagnose problems in their computer systems. Your job involves diagnosing database problems and recommending systems innovations that improve productivity. You work with program users to gauge the functionality of a platform by running tests and troubleshooting bugs to enhance system performance.

the work environment in a business systems analyst position

As a systems analyst, you work with companies or independent clients to help identify weaknesses in their computer systems. Your mission is therefore to diagnose potential problems and present technical innovations to your clients to increase their productivity. You work with the users of the programs to evolve the functionality of the software, by performing tests and correcting bugs to improve system performance.

how is the schedule organized for a business systems analyst?

Your schedule depends on your employer and the scope of your assignment. Full-time, a systems analyst works more than 40 hours a week. Although most companies have standard office hours, 8am to 6pm, you will often be required to work overtime to deliver projects on time. In addition to evenings and weekends, you may have to work at night. For example, if a company is updating its system, it must be done outside of regular business hours, such as on holidays or at night. If you work for an IT consulting company, you will need to visit clients to solve their problems.

what are the advantages and disadvantages of being a business systems analyst?

There are several advantages to this position, including:

  • Attractive compensation: The position of systems analyst provides attractive compensation because it is a highly sought-after profession. In addition to the base salary, you may receive various benefits such as allowances or overtime pay. Some companies also offer bonuses and employee benefits (e.g. additional paid time off) to motivate their employees.
  • Promising career prospects: As a systems analyst, you can work in various industries, expanding your career options. Government agencies, education, startups, and multinationals all offer opportunities. You have multiple opportunities for professional development and can explore different specializations within the field of computer science.
  • A good work-life balance: During your assignment, you interact with various people in the company. These interactions with other employees help to develop healthy working relationships. On the other hand, your career as a systems analyst allows you to spend time with your family because you are free most weekends (unless there is an urgent update).

The disadvantages of the business systems analyst profession are:

  • More difficult access conditions: To find a job as a systems analyst, you must meet high educational requirements. A bachelor's degree is a minimum. For some positions, additional certifications are required. However, if you have not completed post-secondary education, some short-term learning programs and training can provide access to this profession.
  • A high level of technical knowledge and expertise required: Your work as an analyst involves controlling computer systems, identifying errors, and correcting them. This means you must be familiar with a large number of programs used in various industries. Without technical expertise, you will not be able to perform the installation process or perform the necessary tests to ensure system efficiency.
  • Long working hours: As a systems analyst, you will not count your hours to accomplish your tasks. During a project, you will spend a significant amount of time performing tests and correcting errors to meet deadlines. However, many companies take these extra hours into account in your compensation.

examples of interview questions for a business systems analyst recruitment

If you are preparing for a systems analyst interview, expect the following questions:

  • "What are the tasks of a systems analyst?"
    The recruiter is trying to see if you are ready for this position and what your expectations are. List the main responsibilities of a systems analyst in order of priority and present your experiences for each of the tasks mentioned.
  • "What are the skills that make you the ideal candidate for the job?"
    List your various skills and explain how they are an asset for a systems analyst job. For example, to hold this position, it is necessary to have excellent problem-solving skills and a good understanding of networks. Illustrate your talents and skills through your various professional experiences.
  • "What is the process for analyzing a computer system?"
    With this question, the recruiting manager is not only testing your knowledge as a systems analyst but also your sense of organization and ability to follow procedures. Therefore, it is best to break down your answer into specific steps.

prepare your CV and cover letter to be recruited as a business systems analyst

To apply for a job as a systems analyst, your resume should mention the following information:

  • Your personal contact information (name, address, phone number)
  • Your professional experience related to the systems analyst position
  • Any relevant skills or abilities for this role
  • Your education and qualifications related to the profession
  • Your achievements and awards related to the position
  • Your hobbies and interests

Your cover letter should highlight your relevant skills and experience and explain why you are interested in the position. It is also a good idea to mention specific examples of your work and any achievements or awards you have received. Make sure to tailor your resume and cover letter to the specific requirements of the job posting.

career development opportunities as a business systems analyst

Career opportunities for systems analysts are promising. Demand is expected to increase in the coming years, with 13,000 job openings forecasted, even as the number of new job seekers entering the labor market is expected to be 98,700. In addition to this strong demand, systems analysts have many options for specialization. For example, you can become a network systems architect or information systems and technology manager.

types of business systems analyst positions

Systems analysts can specialize and become:

  • systems engineer: You design computer systems and tailor them to the needs of the company. You use software and hardware to create a functional system, testing programs and performing updates to ensure proper functioning. Before configuring, programming, and installing the system, you will need to select the appropriate software and components to optimize the performance of the company's network.
  • systems architect: You focus on the conceptual structure of a computer system to optimize its functionality. To create the system architecture, you are able to translate the needs to develop solutions tailored to the desired functions. This means working closely with management to understand the technological infrastructure needed to meet the company's goals. You are also responsible for choosing the software and hardware components necessary for the development of the system.
  • software quality assurance analyst: After developing a computer system, you ensure that the designed system meets the desired standards. Your role is to perform thorough testing to identify bugs and solve problems. You also recommend improvements, write reports for decision-makers and follow up on testing processes.
  • network architect: You develop computer, information, and communication networks and maintain the hardware systems to ensure proper functioning.
  • programmer analyst: Your job is focused on coding and debugging computer systems. You develop and customize applications to meet the needs of the company and update software to meet user expectations, working with business analysts to study customer needs.


what are the tasks and responsibilities associated with a business systems analyst position?

The responsibilities of a systems analyst include the following tasks:

  • Communicating with clients: the systems analyst acts as a mediator between clients and companies or other stakeholders. You consult with various parties to determine how to adjust systems to meet the needs of users. By combining business aspects and technical expertise, you create a functional system that serves the expectations and goals of the client. After consulting with various parties, you are responsible for designing the system architecture according to the requirements of the users.
  • Prioritizing system requirements: users or clients often have multiple requirements for the system to be tailored to their goals. Although you are expected to take into account the entirety of these requests, it is not feasible to incorporate all of them. As a systems analyst, you must define which criteria are most important to consider, based not only on the resources available, but also on budget constraints. Your role is to recommend which points to prioritize and which to gradually incorporate. During this process, you are also responsible for collecting data on the effects of each requirement on business operations, which helps to modify systems and incorporate more intuitive features.
  • Drawing up specifications: as a systems analyst, you represent the specifications and plans of systems in great detail, which form the basis of flawless operation. Using flowcharts, texts, and documents, you illustrate the needs of users for programmers and project managers.
  • Designing and evaluating systems: after drawing up specifications, you work closely with programmers and architects to design systems. You implement them and test their features to ensure that they meet quality standards.
  • Monitoring systems: as an analyst, you are an investigator. You examine existing computer systems and identify defects that hinder their operation. After performing diagnostic tests, you recommend changes to be made. Decision-makers expect you to develop innovative solutions to avoid wasting time and resources.

which employers offer business systems analyst positions?

As an analyst of systems, you will work within an organization or a consulting company specialized in system analysis. Some of the sectors in which you can find employment include:

  • Technologies and computer science
  • Finance and insurance
  • Telecommunications
  • Government
  • Manufacturing industry
  • Marketing and trade


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Make sure your resume is up-to-date, including information about your technical skills and certifications. Then share it with us to connect with a recruiter and be matched with job opportunities.

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what is the average salary for a systems analyst?

In Canada, the average annual salary for a systems analyst is $75,116, or an hourly rate of $38.52. As a beginner systems analyst, your salary is $62,145 per year. As you gain experience and strengthen your skills, your salary increases to $94,343. In addition to your base salary, you receive various allowances such as a housing allowance or sick leave benefits. Overtime hours guarantee you additional income, and some companies also offer bonuses.

Your salary as a systems analyst depends mainly on the region in which you work, the size of the company, and your level of expertise. On-the-job experience guarantees a higher salary, reflecting the skills you bring. However, beginner systems analysts receive a lower salary due to their less developed knowledge. Multinationals with more resources than start-ups offer higher salaries for their systems analysts. Salaries are also higher in some regions due to the high demand for this specialty. For example, you will be better paid for working in Alberta than in Nova Scotia.

average systems analyst salaries in canada

  • annual: $75,116
  • monthly: $6,259
  • weekly: $1,444.54
  • hourly: $38.52

Top paying areas for systems analysts in Canada include Alberta, Ontario, British Columbia and Manitoba.

These numbers can vary depending on your location and the type of position you're looking for. Check out our salary guide to get a better idea of the average salary for your job based on your location.

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skills & training

know-how and skills to be a business systems analyst

The following qualities are essential for the position of systems analyst:

  • Analytical mind: you must have strong analytical skills in order to evaluate technical and business requirements. These skills will help you decide which criteria to prioritize in order to make the system effective. By combining analytical ability, entrepreneurial spirit, and technical knowledge, you will be able to create an operational system that meets the needs of users.
  • Communication skills: you will be in regular contact with clients, stakeholders, and supervisors. Therefore, you must have interpersonal skills and be able to present your proposals to clients and report on the progress of systems. You will also work with programmers and other analysts. These interpersonal skills will help you communicate your ideas and work with others while minimizing the risk of conflicts. Good listening skills are also useful during the system implementation phase, as they allow you to discuss the progress of a project with other team members and understand each person's approach to design.
  • Creativity: when designing systems, you will prepare technical drawings based on user needs. Developing the architecture that serves as the basis for the entire system requires a creative mind and excellent problem-solving skills. It is this same creativity that will help you come up with innovative concepts and find new ways to overcome challenges during the design and development phases of the system. Good problem-solving skills will also allow you to fix bugs and correct system errors.
  • System administration skills: whether you work in a school or an information technology (IT) company, your job will involve controlling systems. You must therefore be able to configure software and programs. This expertise allows you to check systems and ensure their security and ease of access for users. You will also assist employees in resolving problems affecting their work and regularly update programs.
  • Entrepreneurial skills: a systems analyst does not only focus on technical aspects. You will also evaluate the feasibility of the solution based on available resources. Your entrepreneurial skills will help you develop innovative systems that, through their efficiency, contribute to improving the company's results.

training and diplomas for the profession of business systems analyst

To be a systems analyst, it is necessary to have a thorough knowledge of the various aspects of information technology and computer science. You can start your career after earning a bachelor's degree in information technology engineering, computer engineering, or computer science. With a bachelor's degree in another unrelated field, you can still pursue a career as a systems analyst by obtaining a graduate degree in a relevant discipline. While not required, a master's degree will make you stand out among other candidates with similar undergraduate degrees. Additionally, through master's programs, you can gain knowledge in management, which can help you advance in your career more quickly. While systems analysts do not necessarily need advanced programming skills, having some coding expertise can improve your employment prospects.

ready to grow your career in the IT and Tech sector?

Make sure your resume is up-to-date, including information about your technical skills and certifications. Then share it with us to connect with a recruiter and be matched with job opportunities.

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Below are some of the most commonly asked questions about business systems analyst jobs.


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Make sure your resume is up-to-date, including information about your technical skills and certifications. Then share it with us to connect with a recruiter and be matched with job opportunities.

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