Top 5 Differences Between Business Analyst And System Analyst

Do you know the real difference between the business analyst and system analyst? If not, then this article is for you. I often come across questions about the differences and similarities between a business analyst and a system analyst (or business system analyst). Both of these professionals actively participate in the analysis which makes these roles confusing for many people.

Difference Between Business Analyst And Business System Analyst

Many people think of business analyst and system analyst as the same role however, it is not the case. Business Analysts and System Analysts are two different roles. The difference between them is based on their roles and responsibilities in an organization and it varies from company to company. In this article, we will talk about the key difference between a system analyst and a business analyst. Let’s get started…

Who is a Business Analyst?

A business analyst is someone who performs business analysis. Business Analysts are experts in business processes and their focus is more on the business side. They analyze the process and the organization and suggest improvement and enhancement that benefits the company.

They are good at solving business problems and bringing positive changes. They have good domain knowledge and awareness about the current system’s functionalities and processes.

To make this definition relevant to this question, let’s me explain in this way;

Whenever there is any demand for any new system or change in an existing system, the client needs someone expert in their process and has a background in technical stuff. Business analysts becomes the ultimate choice here and they do the following;

  • Schedule sessions with business stakeholders to understand and analyze the requirements.
  • Completes the business requirements elicitation and draft the business requirements document.
  • Manages the approval and coordinate with the technical/project implementation team to get the system developed.
  • Assist business users and stakeholders in completing the UAT and more that you can go through here.

In a nutshell, business analysts act as a bridge between the business stakeholders and the project team. They also make sure the project’s implementation as per the business expectation and maintain communication throughout the project life cycle.

Business analysts should have the following key skills to manage their work efficiently;

  • Requirement elicitation, data analysis
  • Documentation
  • Analytical approach
  • Communication (both verbal and written)
  • Presentation and public speaking
  • Negotiation and stakeholder relationship building, and more that you can find in the following link;

Read Also… 23 Essential Business Analyst Skills That Are High In Demand

Who is a System Analyst?

A system analyst or business system analyst also performs the analysis but their role focuses more on the technology aspect of the solution. They have a better understanding of the technology and they look at solving a problem from a Technical perspective.

A Business Analyst writes the requirements from the business perspective and high-level requirements are captured in the business requirements document. The system analyst’s role is to understand the high-level requirements of the BRD and break down those into the technical (and developable) requirements that are easy for the development team to follow.

I have explained in my previous article, how business analysts and system analysts work on different documents (BRD, FRS, and SRS) related to the same project.

The system analyst will recommend – how the system should be developed and they outline the technical design of the system. The system analysts will review the drafted business requirement document and ask clarification if any. Business analysts and system analysts need to work together for increased productivity. A system analyst is also responsible for doing the following key activities in a project;

  • Reviewing the business requirement document and write functional requirement documents for the technical team.
  • Develop specifications, diagrams, and flowcharts for the development team.
  • Make technical recommendations to the project team.
  • Finding a solution to any technical issue during the project implementation, and more.

In a nutshell, the system analysts also analysts but have in-depth technical skills and involved in IT or software related projects.

Most of the companies have these two roles i.e. business analyst and system analyst but many small companies do not have the luxury of having two people doing this job. You will find business analysts doing both the jobs in such companies.

Now, we know about business analysts and system analysts and what they do in a project or organization. Let’s see the difference between the system analyst and business analysts side by side.

Difference Between Business Analyst and System Analyst

Business AnalystSystem Analyst
Business Analysts understand analyze the business processes and facilitate the changes in improvements.System Analysts analyze the approved requirements to determine what the system needs to do to fulfill those requirements.
Business analysts do not always work in IT projects.Organizations hire system analysts for the technical i.e. IT related projects.
Business Analysts look at solving a problem from a business perspective.System analysts look at solving a problem from a Technical perspective.
A business analyst should have strong communication, negotiation, presentation, relationship building, requirement elicitation, and documentation skills.A system analyst should have strong technical, debugging, writing queries, drafting technical documents (class, sequence diagrams, etc.), data modeling skills.
Business analysts communicate with business users and understand the business. They are good at conveying the technical stuff in layman language to the business stakeholders and business heads.System Analysts communicate with IT i.e. technical team and understand the technical people and technology.

As I explained before, these differences between the business analysts and system analysts vary company to company, however, you will find these the common differences between them.

Read Also… Business Analyst vs Business Development | Which Is Best?

Which one is best for you?

The answer to this question should be very simple and straight forward.

If you like problem-solving but don’t like technical work, you should be looking for the business analyst role. But, you should be an expert in relationship building with stakeholders, problem-solving, communication, and more as explained here.

On the other side, if you like problem-solving but at the same time you are into technology then you might want to explore the system analyst job. In some of the companies, system analysts are required to write small codes as well but it is not the case in all companies. Therefore, to be successful system analysts, your technical knowledge and skills should be good.

Read Also…


Business analyst and systems analyst roles often overlap and it is difficult for many people to find the difference between them. Many companies prefer to have business analysts who have a technical background. Such business analysts do the work of business analysts and system analysts.

The differences between the business analyst and system analyst vary organization to organization but there are some acceptable differences between them (based on their roles and responsibilities ina project and organization).

Now, you know the key difference between the system analyst and business analyst. Also, you know which job profile is best for you based on your interest and skills.

I hope, this article was able to clear your doubt regarding the business analysts and system analyst jobs. Please share this article with your friends and colleagues if you enjoyed reading it. You can also subscribe to the BABeginners mailing list and follow on social media to stay connected.

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