Neacy Contreras

Senior Business Systems Analyst

Greenwich Biosciences


What are the main responsibilities of a business systems analyst?

  • This kind of analyst supports the initiatives of the functional area of the business that they are assigned to. An analyst working with market access and medical affairs in the pharmaceutical industry can expect to work with the following platforms:

  • Analysts must be able to gather requirements from stakeholders and share them with engineers. As the intermediary between business and IT, analysts must be able to speak in plain English while also having some technical understanding.

    • Knowing business processes is vital for collaborating with stakeholders.

    • Jira and ServiceNow are useful tools for capturing requirements.

  • Analysts should strive to build relationships with stakeholders, which contributes to more effective communication when gathering requirements.

    • Develop rapport by keeping an open channel of communication by chatting over webcam and using messaging platforms like Microsoft Teams.

    • Frequent communication helps to build trust, even if it's on a weekly basis.

  • From a documentation perspective, analysts work with:

What kinds of skills are useful for analysts?

  • The ability to listen to stakeholders and ask clarifying questions. A strong understanding of business processes is vital for doing this.
  • The ability to take a step back and look at things from a holistic view. This helps you pinpoint what a stakeholder is actually trying to achieve. Sometimes what they are asking for is not actually the best way to get them what they want.
  • The ability to do research. Having a strong understanding of how your stakeholder's business works is essential.
  • Being able to communicate complex ideas simply. This requires understanding the perspective of the stakeholder when using the system to achieve their goals.

What are some common challenges for business systems analysts?

  • Balancing conflicting requirements can be a big obstacle. Especially if you are working in a global capacity. Different regions often have different requirements. To deal with this, it's important to have a well-thought-out process for aligning all those requirements while still achieving your main goal.

  • Sometimes convincing stakeholders to implement the changes you suggest can be a challenge. To overcome this, it's important to show that you understand their day-to-day operations, as well as how they interact with the system and their difficulties.


What are some useful resources?



Were any classes at CSUSM especially useful for preparing you for your current role?

  • Senior Experience was very similar to working as an analyst. During your project, you talk to a company to figure out what they are trying to achieve. That's exactly what you do as analyst, you gather requirements and turn them into functional requirements that help companies achieve their goals.

    • To have a sucessful Senior Experience project it's important to:

      • Try to find your teammates in advance, and make sure you have a diverse mix of majors.

      • Build a strong relationship with your teamates.

      • Have weekly meetings.

      • Keep an open channel of communication and keep your advisor in the loop.

  • MIS304 with Professor Underhill was helpful, especially the lab exercises.


Career Tips

  • Don't let the pandemic stop you from connecting with people. Use platforms like LinkedIn to cultivate your professional network.

    • Connect with someone at a company you would like to work for and build a relationship. You can learn a lot about the company and eventually learn about open positions.

    • Don't forget to tend to the connections you already have. Continue to reach out to the people in your current circle, even if it's just once every few months. This shows that you're still active and want to continue to have that relationship.

    • Share, like, and comment on posts, it makes a big difference with how people see you.

  • Interact with as many people as you can at CSUSM to broaden your network.

  • Don't be afraid to apply for positions where you don't meet all the requirements. If you have atleast half of the requirements, a willingness to learn, and the job really resonates with you, then go for it!

  • During job interviews, make sure to show off your grit and your willingness to learn. Showing that you are adaptable and eager to learn can give you a leg up on others who may have more experience but lack these qualities.


General Advice

  • Know your passions, this will help you find an industry that really connects with you.

  • Work on your soft skills and develop relationships with people.

  • Do mock interviews with friends/collegues/professors and ask for feedback. Try recording yourself and notice your body language.

  • Practice public speaking by setting a goal like engaging more in class. Simply sharing your opinion can help you get used to talking to an audience.

  • Keep an updated resume and online profile, even if you are already employed. Just a glance every month is helpful for noticing what needs to be updated or adjusted.

    • Remember that recruiters look at resumes for an average of six seconds, so make sure you have something that captures their attention and makes an impact.

    • Try to have atleast five people look at your resume and provide you with feedback.

  • Take care of yourself! Figure out what makes you, you, and spend time on decompression and relieving stress.