Systems analysis is the methodical investigation of a problem and the identification and ranking of alternative solutions to the problem. Systems analysis is often called structured systems analysis when certain “structured” tools and techniques, such as DFDs, are used in conducting the analysis.
Structured systems analysis is a set of procedures conducted to generate the specifications for a new (or modified) Information System or subsystem.
Systems analysis goals are as follows:
Define the problem precisely.
Devise alternative designs (solutions).
Choose and justify one of these alternative design solutions.
Develop logical specifications for the selected design.
Develop the physical requirements for the selected design.
Develop the budget for the next two systems development phases (systems design and systems implementation).
Working with the future logical system, an analysis team could devise several physical alternatives.
1. The first step in developing a future physical system is to decide which processes will be manual and which will be automated.
2. As a second step in developing an alternative physical design, the analyst must decide which processes will begin immediately upon occurrence of an event and which will only operate periodically.
To facilitate selecting a future physical system, the systems analysis team conducts a cost/effectiveness study, which provides quantitative and certain qualitative information concerning each of the alternatives.
In making this determination, the team asks two questions.
First, “Which alternative accomplishes the users’ goals for the least cost?” This question is addressed by the cost/benefit study. Second, “Which alternative best accomplishes the users’ goals for the system being developed?” This is the effectiveness study.