Hey, I'm an Analyst!

Up until a few weeks ago, I thought the title "_____ Analyst" (fill in the blank) was an ambiguous term that meant you had a fancy title. What's an analyst do!?! Nobody knows for sure, I thought. I didn't call myself an analyst. I scoffed at anybody who did, and said, Oh yeah. You're special. What's that really mean? What is it you analyze anyways??

Then just a few days ago, I had the thought, "man, I am getting sick of analyzing stuff!" and then I realized, hey I'm an analyst!

  • I've been looking over proposals decided if they are feasible, how much time it will take, what software or libraries I will need and how much of a PITA they will be (ie. Will this project push me over the brink of insanity?).
  • I've been looking at helpdesk software, trying to find one that will suit the need for which I am searching.
  • I'm always reading blogs and trying to learn more, trying to decide if this person is worth putting on my bloglines.
  • I've been looking at some web applications I wrote and deciding the best way to train people who won't read documentation (or finding that alternative to a large hammer).
  • I've been thinking of the basics of programming and how I can explain them to my husband.

How do you make decisions? in some of my decisions, I am not responsible for the final say. I can search out different helpdesk systems and present what I think are the pros/cons (and prices) and then let the powers that be make that decision. I can do some samples of alternative training (I'm going for visual) and let a big cheese decide if they want to spring the cash for the screen capture software. Then in some cases, my decision will directly affect me. Like, does this blog entry have some valid points I should respond do, do I have anything worthwhile to say or will I just get flamed? Or did I bid too low or two high on this website. If I can't educate someone on how to use an application I wrote, it wasn't worth it. If I can't make programming interesting and understandable, my husband will be bored and give up.

Usually the method I use is a pros/cons list. It would be a lot more difficult, but I guess another way for some of these to decide how much money/time one solution will save over another.

My question, are you an "Analyst" and how do you analyze something?