There are four steps required to become a solutions analyst: post-secondary education, related work experience, computer software skills, and business analysis skills. A solutions analyst is often a specialist in a particular software product. Very large corporations who have implemented an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system and are looking to maximize return on their investment most frequently require this role.
People who are detail-oriented, enjoy working with numbers, and like exploring new technology report the greatest level of satisfaction as a solutions analyst. This job requires a combination of communication and computer skills. The most popular enterprise resource planning systems, such as SAP® or Oracle®, have an extensive array of products, tools, and options available. In order to determine which items should be installed and how they can be used to solve business process issues, an advanced knowledge of the system and business is required.
The first step necessary to become a solutions analyst is to obtain a college diploma or university degree. There is no specific program for a solution analyst, but training in accounting, business, or computer science are all very helpful. The most important skill to develop is critical thinking. This skill combines logic, reasoning, and communication into a process that results in a consistently higher quality output.
Related work experience includes accounting officer, business analyst, developer, or systems analyst. All of these jobs involve working with numbers and computers. When applying for your first job, look for an internship or junior analyst position. Although the salary may be less, it is very important to gain experience in this type of role.
Select a large software package and dedicate the time required to learn the different modules of the system. SAP® is one of the largest ERP systems in the world, and each functional area has its own module. The depth of tools and options available in this type of system is very large and provides multiple opportunities.
Business process understanding is equally important in this type of role. This experience can be gained through a wide range of roles and experience. Many accountants become a solutions analyst by building on the business process knowledge gained as an accountant. This is a great way to expand your career options using the skills already gained. The career path once you become a solutions analyst is quite broad, with opportunities to work as an independent consultant or as part of a larger company.