What does a Functional Analyst do?

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Functional Analysts are responsible for analyzing processes within a company looking to fulfill customer’s needs. They act as the link between users and the technical team in charge of developing the application. Let’s take a closer look at the role of a Functional Analyst. 

Role Overview - responsibilities, background, skills and  salary
Job Overview – The role of a functional analyst

The terminology behind business roles can often be broad and non-specific, making them harder to define. This is especially true for that of a Functional Analyst. 

Is there a difference between a functional analyst and a business analyst

To spell it out plainly, while a Business Analyst is more focused on the business management side of things, a Functional analyst requires stronger technical skills and usually deals with more advanced technical responsibilities

A functional analyst helps their place of employ use software systems for specific purposes such as financial or managerial tasks. 

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Responsibilities of a Functional Analyst

Functional analysts are responsible for the computer systems required to meet the needs of an organization. They start by first analyzing these requirements by interviewing employees and managers. They then study the existing systems in place and look up appropriate updates to the current technologies. 

Functional Analyst - Responsibilities
Functional Analyst – Responsibilities

They are also responsible for data modeling, preparing reports indicating balance costs and benefits, and installing and configuring the improved methodologies they suggest or upgrading existing ones.

They also conduct testing to ensure that the systems work as expected, prepare user manuals and other documentation, and train employees on how to use the systems. 

Core responsibilities: 

  • Analyze and evaluate existing systems for performance
  • Perform gap analysis and suggest solutions
  • Create plans for change based on analyzed requirements
  • Facilitate configuration management
  • Document changes being made and relevant teaching manuals
  • Collaborate with other team members to efficiently implement changes
  • Simulate and test suggestions made for performance
  • Write user manuals and prepare easy to understand documentation
  • Assess, install, and troubleshoot software systems
  • Check functionality of the end product 

Skills Required

Skills required to become a functional Analyst
Functional Analyst – Skills required

In order to be successful at your role as a Functional Analyst, it’s important to have strong analytical and critical thinking skills as well as in-depth technical knowledge. They must be experienced in understanding highly technical information for project planning.

This role is particularly suited to someone who thrives in leadership roles and enjoys leading people in teams. And so strong interpersonal and leadership skills are important. 

Some companies may require experience with banking or FICO tools.

Skills required: 

  • In-depth knowledge of IT and computer science principles
  • Advanced Excel capabilities and SQL knowledge
  • Knowledge of data warehousing
  • Strong leadership ability and interpersonal skills
  • Analytical and critical thinking
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Leadership and multitasking skills
  • Ability to use notation (BPMN) and modeling systems (UML)

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Background

In order to become a functional analyst, you’ll need at least an undergraduate degree in either Computer or Information Science. Candidates also come from backgrounds of Business or liberal arts if they can showcase sufficient technical knowledge and skills. 

Some larger employers do prefer an MBA with a concentration in information systems. 

Furthermore, due to the focus on specific industries, you can greatly benefit from experience in the industry their organization works in. For example, an analyst working in the finance department must have appropriate experience with relevant finance software.  

Functional Analyst – Salary

In this line of work, you can expect to earn a median annual salary of $88,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The top 10 percent of senior analysts earn more than $140,000. Newbie analysts or fresh graduates can expect to earn about $50,000 per year.

Junior Salary$50,000
Average Salary$88,000
Senior Salary$140,000

How much does a freelance functional analyst charge?

Average Freelance Rate among functional analysts
Average Freelance Rate

According to the freelancermap index, the average freelance rate for a functional analyst is $86/h. Extrapolated to an 8 hour day, this equates to $688 per day. (freelancermap index June 2020)

Natalia Campana

Natalia is part of the international team at freelancermap. She loves the digital world, social media and meeting different cultures. Before she moved to Germany and joined the freelancermap team she worked in the US, UK and her home country Spain. Now she focuses on helping freelancers and IT professionals to find jobs and clients worldwide at www.freelancermap.com

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