Monday, December 21, 2009

System analyst

Analytical Skills

the ability to visualize, articulate, and solve complex problems and concepts, and make decisions that make sense based on available information. Such skills include demonstration of the ability to apply logical thinking to gathering and analyzing information, designing and testing solutions to problems, and formulating plans.
To test for analytical skills one might be asked to look for inconsistencies in an advertisement, put a series of events in the proper order, or critically read an essay. Usually standardized tests and interviews include an analytical section that requires the examine to use their logic to pick apart a problem and come up with a solution.
Although there is no question that analytical skills are essential, other skills are equally required as well. For instance in systems analysis the systems analyst should focus on four sets of analytical skills: systems thinking, organizational knowledge, problem identification, and problem analyzing and solving.
It also includes the way we describe a problem and subsequently finding out the solutions.
ability to see things as systems, identify, analyze, and solve problems in an optimal way for a specific organization.

Technical Skills ability to understand how computers, data networks, databases, operating systems, etc. work together, as well as their potentials and limitations.

Knowledge and proficiencies required in the accomplishment of engineering, scientific, or any specific task.

Are Technical Skills Still Important?
By Cindy Blanthorne, Sak Bhamornsiri, and Robert E. Guinn

MARCH 2005 - For decades, various groups and institutions within the accounting profession have been advocating a change in accounting education to address the skills necessary for success in the workplace. The 1989 Big Eight white paper “Perspectives on Education: Capabilities for Success in the Accounting Profession” first emphasized the need for general skills, including communication, intellectual, and interpersonal skills. The Accounting Education Change Commission was subsequently established to help educators achieve the white paper’s objectives. Since then, many have suggested incorporating into accounting curricula classroom activities that enhance nontechnical, or “soft,” skills in accounting education.
Many accounting programs responded by incorporating into their curriculum group work, essay exams, and oral presentations. In addition, some textbooks have deleted technical information or have placed it in the appendices, which is significant, because courses are often textbook-driven. Many accounting professors that changed emphasis to the soft skills are now reemphasizing technical skills, because their experience has convinced them that class time is better used for developing students’ technical accounting skills.
Much research has been conducted in search of definitive accounting skills. The perceptions of CPAs, accounting educators, students, and Fortune 500 executives have been studied. The majority have ranked communication as the most important skill in accounting. A survey by Usoff and Feldermann (Journal of Education for Business, March/April 1998) found that students thought that accounting knowledge was the most important skill. Based on this finding, Usoff and Feldermann concluded that students were out of touch and suggested that undergraduate students needed to be more aware of the importance of nontechnical skills.
A more recent article by Moncada and Sanders (CPA Journal, January 1999) investigated skills related to recruiting. Students and faculty ranked characteristics important to prescreening and office visits; the rankings were compared to those rankings by CPA firm recruiters. Interestingly, accounting GPA was ranked most important for prescreening by all three groups. This suggests that technical skills are important when screening students for a campus interview.
The study discussed in this article identifies skills necessary for promotion and success in the public accounting environment. Recently promoted Big Five partners were asked to rate six skills—interpersonal, communication, administrative, technical, leadership, and practice development—in terms of their importance for promotion at three levels: from staff to senior, senior to manager, and manager to partner.
Staff to senior. In Exhibit 1, the same three skills were rated as most important for promotion from staff to senior in tax and audit, but not in the same order. In tax, the average ratings among technical, communication, and interpersonal skills differed substantially in importance.
Senior to manager. In Exhibit 2, the six skills are rated in the same order for promotion to manager in both tax and audit. When comparing the promotion from senior to manager with the promotion from staff to senior, there is an increase in the average ratings for all of the six skills, which suggests that perceptions of technical skills become even more important at higher levels in public accounting firms.
Manager to partner. The most dramatic change in the rankings occurs at the promotion from manager to partner, seen in Exhibit 3. In both tax and audit, technical competence drops to only the fifth most important skill. Administrative skills also dropped in importance, but all other nontechnical skills rose in importance. The reason for the change in rankings may be related to the added nontechnical responsibilities expected of partners.

The 150-Hour Requirement and Technical Skills
While “soft” skills become increasingly important at higher levels, accountants also must possess a high level of technical competence throughout the promotional process in order to reach the point of consideration for partnership.
Are technical skills still important? The findings of the current study would indicate that they are. The fundamental goal of accounting education remains the same: providing students with sound technical competency.

Management Skills include organization’s recourse management, project management (people and money), risk management, and change management.
Management in all business and human organisation activity is simply the act of getting people together to accomplish desired goals and objectives. Management comprises planning, organizing, staffing, leading or directing, and controlling an organization (a group of one or more people or entities) or effort for the purpose of accomplishing a goal. Resourcing encompasses the deployment and manipulation of human resources, financial resources, technological resources, and natural resources.
Theoretical scope
Mary Parker Follett (1868–1933), who wrote on the topic in the early twentieth century, defined management as "the art of getting things done through people". She also described management as philosophy.[2] One can also think of management functionally, as the action of measuring a quantity on a regular basis and of adjusting some initial plan; or as the actions taken to reach one's intended goal. This applies even in situations where planning does not take place. From this perspective, Frenchman Henri Fayol[3] considers management to consist of seven functions:
1. planning
2. organizing
3. leading
4. co-ordinating
5. controlling
6. staffing
7. motivating
Some people, however, find this definition, while useful, far too narrow. The phrase "management is what managers do" occurs widely, suggesting the difficulty of defining management, the shifting nature of definitions, and the connection of managerial practices with the existence of a managerial cadre or class.
One habit of thought regards management as equivalent to "business administration" and thus excludes management in places outside commerce, as for example in charities and in the public sector. More realistically, however, every organization must manage its work, people, processes, technology, etc. in order to maximize its effectiveness. Nonetheless, many people refer to university departments which teach management as "business schools." Some institutions (such as the Harvard Business School) use that name while others (such as the Yale School of Management) employ the more inclusive term "management."
English speakers may also use the term "management" or "the management" as a collective word describing the managers of an organization, for example of a corporation. Historically this use of the term was often contrasted with the term "Labor" referring to those being managed.
Management can also refer to the person or people who perform the act(s) of management.

Communication Skills include effective interpersonal communication (written, verbal, visual, electronic, face-to-face conversations, presentations in front of groups), listening, group facilitation skills.

Communication is something all living creatures have innately in them to interact with one another so they can understand one another. Human beings communicate through conveying thoughts and ideas.
Some people have better communication skills than others. Communication skills involve the use of auditory, which is spoken, or sung words and sounds; non-verbal, which involves the use of body or sign language and paralanguage, which involves touch or eye contact.

Communication is a process by which information is exchanged. It can be between two or more people. What makes the interaction understood is that the people all recognize the same symbols, signs and behavior so they know what is going on. Based on ones communication abilities determine how effective they are as a communicator. This is where communication skills come into play.
In order to have good communication skills one has to understand what the process of communication is and how to effectively use it. Thus in executing good communication skills one must view communication as a process of transmitting information based on three ideas: Syntactic, Pragmatic and Semantic. Syntactic are the properties given to various signs and symbols, Pragmatic are the relationship between expression/sign and the user of them and Semantic, which is the representation between the signs and symbols and what they mean.
One who uses their communication skills well makes their message understood by all who are present. They understand the feedback of the message they gave out and have some mastery of the flow of communication. Good communication skills involve being able to listen as well as just speak. When you listen and understand what is being said you can respond appropriately, which is another communication skill.
When we utilize good communication skills people will want to hear what we have to say. It helps mobilize people into action with us. When we have poor communication skills it alienates people from us. They don’t want to hear what we have to say must less act on it.
Effective communication skills means to keep it simple and to the point. People who ramble, with tedious large words and jargon tend to bore people and they turn off to what the speaker is speaking about. Short to the point and concise is the first rule of making one’s communication skills effectively heard
Another good communication skill to use is simplifying complex information with simpler ideas first. You can be as creative as you want so the idea is conveyed but be accurate so there is no misunderstanding of the information. Repeat the idea if you have to so it could be understood.
Our body language as part of communication skills is also very important. Facial expressions, gestures, posture and how close or far away from whom we are communicating with all play a part in our communication skills. Not to mention our tone of voice, inflection and volume of our voice all affect the people we are communicating with. The more all these aspects of communication are mastered and are used at the appropriate times the more successful our communication skills will become.

Interpersonal skills
refers to mental and communicative algorithms applied during social communications and interaction to reach certain effects or results. The term "interpersonal skills" is used often in business contexts to refer to the measure of a person's ability to operate within business organizations through social communication and interactions. Interpersonal skills are how people relate to one another.
As an illustration, it is generally understood that communicating respect for other people or professionals within will enable one to reduce conflict and increase participation or assistance in obtaining information or completing tasks. For instance, to interrupt someone who is currently preoccupied with the task of obtaining information needed immediately, it is recommended that a professional use a deferential approach with language such as, "Excuse me, are you busy? I have an urgent matter to discuss with you if you have the time at the moment." This allows the receiving professional to make their own judgement regarding the importance of their current task versus entering into a discussion with their colleague. While it is generally understood that interrupting someone with an "urgent" request will often take priority, allowing the receiver of the message to judge independently the request and agree to further interaction will likely result in a higher quality interaction. Following these kinds of heuristics to achieve better professional results generally results in a professional being ranked as one with 'good interpersonal skills.' Often these evaluations occur in formal and informal settings.
Having positive interpersonal skills increases the productivity in the organization since the number of conflicts is reduced. In informal situations, it allows communication to be easy and comfortable. People with good interpersonal skills can generally control the feelings that emerge in difficult situations and respond appropriately, instead of being overwhelmed by emotion.
According to my research, the skills that were mentioned above are the major skills that a system analyst should have. These skills are very significant for a system analyst in order for him to relate or do his job in an organization.
During Interview..
When we had our interview in our adopted company, we have asked how important a system analyst in an organization and what are the characteristics he/she should have in order to perform his task in an organization well.
Our interviewee told us that a system analyst in today’s trend in an organization is considered one of the most important persons because they bridge the gap between the two people with different languages, it’s the management and the programmers. Without a system analyst the management would have a hard time understanding the language of the programmers so as the programmers to the management.
Our interviewee gave us some qualities that a system analyst should possess. One of the characteristics is that, a system analyst should have determination. It is something that motivates you in doing your work. Even though you tend to stop, determination keeps you going on. He said, without determination the work or the job will not be done on its due time.
Another characteristic of a system analyst is that he is willing to accept correction. Whenever there are feedbacks from the user, it should be taken as a challenge for the improvement of the flow, system or process of the organization. It is the stepping stone of the company in order to go to another level of catering and satisfying the need of the people.


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