10 steps for novice analysts

10 steps for novice analysts

Imagine: in the morning, you run a distance or come to the office and here it is – a letter with a problem that needs to be solved. What shall I do? Panic? Vacation? No!

Hello everybody! My name is Viktor, and I am a leading systems analyst at a blue-chip bank. During the five years of work in IT, I managed to try myself in various roles – from an on-site IT engineer and technical support employee to a tester and analyst. Today I want to share with you a simple guide on how to face the problem and solve it effectively.

Gather the facts

Start by getting a deep understanding of the problem. Ask yourself the following questions:
What happened? Why has this become a problem? What is the context? Who was affected by this problem?

Collect as much information as possible – dialogues, screenshots of errors, logs, feedback from users or colleagues, documentation and everything that can be related to the problem. This is your foundation for further steps.

Feel free to contact interested parties. The easiest and most effective way to get information is to make an appointment with someone who can provide you with the information or clarification you need. At the same time, try to be as specific as possible in your questions so as not to miss important details.

And is this a problem?

Make sure that you have a real problem and not the result of a misunderstanding, a work error or a false signal. Analyze using available resources and documentation.

Try to reproduce the described situation. It very often happens that “problems” turn out to be simple ignorance of the process or unwillingness to delve into the details.

Complete the task

Now that you understand the problem, frame it as a task or work request. Detailing is important here: the clearer the task, the easier it will be to find a solution.

Create a clear and concise description, including all required parameters, expected results, and potential limitations. If possible, include screenshots or other visuals that will help other team members better understand the task.

Finding solutions

This is where your creativity and analytical thinking will come in handy. Consider the problem from different angles, do not be afraid to experiment with different approaches.

Consult with colleagues, especially those who have faced similar problems.
Never be afraid to ask questions. Yes, independence is important, but the collective mind often helps to find the optimal solution faster.

Prioritization

Determining priorities is a key stage in solving any problem. Ask yourself, “How important is this problem compared to other current tasks?” AND
“What risks do we face if we postpone her decision?”.

Not all problems require an immediate solution, and sometimes waiting can give additional time for more thorough analysis and finding the best solutions. However, there are situations where a delay can lead to serious financial or reputational losses.

What could be the consequences?

Every decision has certain consequences, and it is your job to predict them before the decision is made. This will help to avoid potential unwanted situations and unexpected pitfalls.

Think about how your decision can affect other processes or departments of the company. Could it cause technical problems or inconsistencies? What are the potential risks to the business or customers?

Test your decision

When the task or refinement reaches the testing stage, it is also important for the analyst to check his decision. Don’t just rely on the QA team, your knowledge of the context of the task can help identify potential nuances.

Conduct functional testing on your own to ensure that the solution meets initial requirements and expectations. Look at the solution through the eyes of the user, try to “break” it using non-standard actions.

Implementation and monitoring

It is time to implement your decision. When implementing it, make sure that all project parties are ready for and informed about the changes. Effective use often requires the interaction of different teams, be prepared to coordinate their actions.

After introducing innovations or major changes, you can’t simply “let go” of their free swimming. Active monitoring of their functioning is critically important. Monitoring will allow you to quickly react to possible problems and adjust solutions in real time. Communicate regularly with key users or change departments to gather feedback and understand whether your solution is having the desired effect.

Feedback on problem solving

Timely reporting on completed work is a key point in task management. Once the issue has been resolved, be sure to report it to whoever noticed or raised it. Describe what actions were taken, what approach or method was used, and what the intended effects of the changes are. It is also worth clarifying whether additional information or assistance is needed from your side. Not only will this help close the current task, but it will also build trust with your colleagues or clients by showing your responsibility and professionalism.

Learning and reflection

When you’ve solved a problem, don’t forget to analyze the event. In this analysis, consider not only what helped to solve the problem, but also the root causes of the problem. This will help you and your team take steps to prevent similar incidents in the future. Also, your problem-solving experience can be valuable to other team members. Share your findings and recommendations at retrospectives or internal meetings so everyone can learn from your experience. This will not only help develop team interaction, but also strengthen the corporate culture of continuous learning and improvement.


In conclusion, I would like to emphasize: Do not be afraid of problems! Every problem is an opportunity for growth and improvement. With each completed problem, you become a more confident, competent and experienced specialist. Use every difficulty as an opportunity to become better.

If you were interested in reading these recommendations and want to learn more about the work of an analyst, subscribe to my Telegram channel. There I will share my experience, interesting cases from the world of IT and analytics.

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