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Service Desk Analyst Duties and Responsibilities
While the service desk analyst's duties can depend on their organization and level of expertise, many of the core duties remain the same:
Field Incoming Help Requests One of the main duties of a service desk analyst is to handle incoming queries and help requests from end users, either via email or over the phone. They take detailed notes of the problem the user is experiencing, determine steps they can take to resolve the issue, and manage the flow of incoming support requests. This involves asking questions to determine the full scope of the user's issue.
Resolve IT Support Requests If possible, service desk analysts directly resolve user technical issues as they arrive. At some organizations, this can involve remotely accessing the user's computer and making changes to their system and settings. In other cases, the service desk analyst walks the user through steps they can take to resolve the issue on their own. For relatively simple issues, the service desk analyst can quickly devise a solution to the problem without the IT department taking further action.
Escalate Advanced Cases Service desk analysts escalate user support requests to higher-level IT support specialists and experts if they are unable to resolve the issue on their own. They provide supervisors or specialists with notes regarding the problem, steps they have already taken to resolve the issue, and their diagnosis of the user's problem. For particularly complex cases, the service desk analyst may receive the user's hardware so that IT specialists can conduct analyses and determine how to fix the problem.
Maintain Service Records Throughout the user support process, service desk analysts maintain detailed records of user issues with software and hardware. These notes can help diagnose and repair complex issues and also provide IT departments with data regarding recurring issues and problems reported by multiple users. By maintaining detailed records, the service desk analyst can also look at a user's history of software or hardware issues and make recommendations to prevent future problems.
Perform System Testing and Updates Service desk analysts support users by performing system tests and updates after they complete their troubleshooting and necessary repairs. This helps to prevent future issues and service interruptions and ensures that troubleshooting and updates have not caused problems elsewhere within the system. They may also walk users through update and installation processes for software and peripherals.
Maintain IT Documentation Many service desk analysts also support department-wide operations by creating, editing, and maintaining IT documents. This can include FAQ documents for users that detail common issues and how to resolve them without opening a help desk ticket, department documents that outline standard operating procedures and practices, and help sheets that can be distributed throughout the organization.
Service Desk Analyst Skills and QualificationsService desk analysts balance direct user support with technical knowledge to resolve software and hardware issues. Companies typically hire candidates with at least an associate's degree, along with the following skills:
- Technical skills - because they frequently play a direct role in resolving user issues, service desk technicians need excellent technical and computer skills
- Problem-solving skills - service desk analysts are primarily problem-solvers, so they should be able to devise technical and creative solutions to user issues
- Communication skills - effective communication is key in this role, since service desk analysts need to gather data about problems, prepare detailed notes and reports, and walk users through the steps they can take to resolve software and hardware issues
- Time management - service desk analysts need excellent time management skills and should be able to set priorities when handling multiple cases
- Team collaboration - service desk analysts routinely work with other IT personnel to resolve user issues, so they need to successfully collaborate with team members and coworkers
Service Desk Analyst Education and TrainingService desk analysts tend to have at least an associate's degree in a related field, but many organizations prefer candidates with a bachelor's degree in computer science or information systems. Familiarity with computer programs and hardware is a necessity, and applicants with extensive training and computer classes may be able to secure a service desk analyst position without a degree. There are significant opportunities for on-the-job training in this role as service desk analysts learn the operating procedures of their IT departments. Many organizations also provide certification programs for service desk analysts.
Service Desk Analyst Salary and OutlookAccording to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), computer support specialists (including service desk analysts) earn a median annual salary of $52,160. Network support specialists earn a median annual salary of $62,670, and user support specialists earn a median wage of $49,390. Therefore, service desk specialists who develop expertise in resolving network issues may earn more than those who do not. The BLS expects employment in this field to grow 11 percent by 2026, which is a slightly faster pace than average.
We searched the web and found several resources if you're interested in learning more about a career as a service desk analyst:
CompTIA IT Fundamentals - this certification program provides an overview of IT topics, best practices, and opportunities for career advancement
IT Help Desk: Your Blueprint to Service Success, Mastering User Support & Troubleshooting Like a Genius - author S. James provides tips and advice for troubleshooting issues and improving user support "
A Day in the Life of the Help Desk: Chaos with a Smile" - this blog post takes a look at the day-to-day duties and responsibilities of a service desk analyst, including common user issues
How to Manage the IT Help Desk - industry expert Noel Bruton explores how service desk analysts can effectively set priorities, resolve user issues, and manage the IT department's workflow
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