Systems analysis is the study of a problem domain of any organization which helps to recommend improvements and specify the requirements for the solution where as the systems study is the specification of computer based solution for the requirements identified in a system analysis. To illustrate, let us imagine a traditional library without computers. To locate a book in the library, say by its author's name, you look through the catalogue cards in the author's index that is arranged alphabetically. After identifying the card with the book's details and noting down the class number, you proceed to the shelves and search for the book. If you find the book, you take it to the circulation desk and get it issued. If you do not find the book, you go to the circulation desk staff that checks the issue cards and informs you if the book has been issued to another library member.
In this example of a traditional library system we notice sub-systems like the catalogue card system and circulation system which are interrelated to form the library system as a whole. Each sub-system, its action and its inter-relations determine the overall efficiency of the library system. Studying the system, learning how it functions and making changes in the existing system for desired outputs are parts of system analysis.
Now, what do you do to convert the traditional library system into an automated library system? Use a systems approach that involves thinking about the analysis and design of computer based applications in the library. When computers are going to be introduced, various consequences, both positive and negative need to be studied. System analysis also focuses on systems, processes and technology. Excellent knowledge of the existing system is pre-requisite for implementing the new system.
Systems Study, Systems Analysis and Systems Approach
Systems study may be defined as "a study of the operations of a set of associated elements and of the inter-connections among these elements". It presents evidently that one cannot disregard any part or element of a system without first finding out the result that element has on the operation of the system on the whole. We can comprehend this with the assistance of systems analysis.
There is distinction between "systems analysis" and "systems approach" also. The systems approach provides a set of process for solving a given problem. It applies scientific methods to observe, clarify, identify and solve a problem with special being taken to understand the inter-relatedness between elements and their system characteristics. Though, systems analysis is a management technique that provides us in designing a new system or improving an already existing system.
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