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Are "system analysis" and "system requirement analysis" the same thing? I think system system analysis is broader term and system requirement analysis is part of it. Is this correct?

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closed as off topic by Mark Trapp Oct 2 '11 at 22:21

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This can be wholly answered by Wikipedia's articles on system analysis and requirements analysis. –  user8 Oct 2 '11 at 22:22

3 Answers 3

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System analysis is higher level. Your system comprises how your high level pieces integrate and communicate with one another (3rd party providers, web services, databases).

Your requirements dictate how the system is used from the end-user's perspective. For example, password complexity, number of retries before locking the account, and user experience considerations.

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Requirements Analysis

Requirements analysis is the process of taking the systems requirements and measuring or estimating information about the requirements themselves. One of the more important metrics is a measure of how well these requirements meet the business needs of the intended users. This can be useful in projecting the cost benefits a system can achieve. For instance, if a feature will reduce the amount of time it takes someone to perform a task, you can estimate how much a feature (as represented by a requirement) will save over the life of a system by estimating how many times that task will be performed and how much you would have paid for that time. If a feature will reduce human errors, estimate savings by estimating how much you save by not having to correct mistakes, etc. Requirements analysis can also be used to estimate how complete the requirements are. Knowing that your requirements are about 75-80% complete and correct at the beginning of a development cycle can provide project management a clue that they the estimate of delivery will slip by at least 25-33%. (Or will require a much larger team..) The quality of the requirements can also be measured. Are all the individual requirements well specified? (That is, are they understandable, relevant to the system, measurable, easily testable, and deal with a single item). Are all the functional areas covered? Are the non-functional requirements (reliability, performance, maintainability, etc.) covered?

Systems Analysis

Systems analysis looks at a system design and provides estimates and measures about the system that the design will produce. You can look at the design vs. the constraints your system has to perform under. How much network bandwidth will your system require? How much in terms of memory, disk space, etc. How much is available.

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System analysis is an activity undertaken by specialist to study an existing system or to propose a new system (whether this system is manual or automated) for the sake of enhancing business performance. The activity's outputs, inputs and tasks are usually determined by the employed methodology.

I would accept this definition also "analyzing in detail the components and requirements of a system; the information needs of an organization, characteristics and components of current systems, and functional requirements of proposed systems" (Source: Def1), but I am not sure I like the definition in Wikipedia (Def2).

For example, Systems analysis may be performed to identify process improvement opportunities in an organization, replacing a mainframe system with a UNIX-based system for cost reduction, or replacing a manual system with a more efficient manual system or creating a new computerized system to get more accurate results about the business performance.

When building a new system, or when enhancing an existing system, you need to know the user requirements. Requirements gathering is just one step in the overall set of activities performed in systems analysis. The scope of systems analysis may extend to cover system architecture and system design.

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