The primary role of the configuration analyst is to review the different options within any software product and determine the best way to modify the software to meet user needs. Typically the analyst works closely with a team of system developers, programmers, and business analysts. He or she is a member of the information technology department and is often focused on a specific aspect of the business process or the software.
This type of analyst is usually associated with a large enterprise resources planning system, or ERP. These solutions come with a huge range of options, a large number of which are at the system configuration level. Working closely with the end user or customer, the analyst modifies the system to meet the user needs, while maintaining system integrity.
A configuration analyst typically has a university or college degree in information technology systems or computer programming. People in this field can find employment opportunities in software companies and information technology departments. Many analysts work as consultants, assisting in system implementation projects.
People who enjoy working with technology and can work as a team member report the greatest satisfaction as a configuration analyst. Information technology professionals must work together, completing tasks independently, but ensuring that the work of the team can continue. The role of configuration analyst is critical to the successful implementation of a software product, as well as maximizing the functionality of the tool.
The configuration analyst is often the key point person on the different options available to solve a business challenge. He or she is expected to be completely familiar with the details of the system and be able to refer team members to the appropriate system documentation. This reference material typically includes step-by-step procedural guides, overview material, field specific definitions, explanation of reporting functions, and training material. In addition to the standard documentation, the analyst should also be compiling internal documentation to keep track of changes to the system.
System testing is an important part of a configuration analyst’s daily work. There are two types of testing: quality and functional. Quality testing ensures that the processes produce the desired outcome. Functional testing is completed to ensure that each command or program behaves as expected.
In most firms, the information technology department has two or three configuration analysts on staff. The size of the department and the number of analysts is dependent upon the type of software they are running, and if they are maintaining it themselves or working with a computer services company. A career as a configuration analyst requires dedication to continuing education. The technology is constantly changing, and it is necessary to invest time and effort to stay current.