Good to Great: How to Be the Best Desktop Support Analyst

A male desktop support analyst looking at a computer screen.

Pretzels are good. Chocolate-covered pretzels are great. Any version of PlayStation is good. PlayStation 4 is great. What separates a good desktop support analyst from a great one?

To find out, let’s first take a look at some common responsibilities of the position. Then we’ll look at skills you’ll need.

Typical Job Duties of a Desktop Support Analyst

  • Diagnose and resolve unique, nonrecurring problems associated with application software and operating systems; determine the source of problems and classify their level, priority and nature.
  • Configure, deploy, maintain, troubleshoot and support computer workstations, laptops, printers, mobile devices, phones and other computer and telecommunications equipment.
  • Install and support PC, laptop, tablet and mobile hardware and software (certifications from CompTIA, Microsoft or HDI are a plus).
  • Create alternative methods of completing tasks, correcting user errors and system inconsistencies to improve the desktop team function.
  • Participate in hardware and software reviews and recommend purchases.
  • Maintain inventory of installed software, manage software licensing and create policies and procedures for upgrades.
  • Work with hardware and software vendors to verify timely product delivery and ensure that new equipment is installed and ready to operate on schedule.
  • Analyze and make recommendations for hardware and software standardization.
  • Ensure desktop computers interconnect seamlessly with diverse systems including associated validation systems, file servers, email servers, computer conferencing systems, application servers and administrative systems.
  • Document procedures, standards, best practices configurations, settings, installation sequences and back-out instructions.

(Discover starting salaries for desktop support analysts in your area. Download our Salary Calculator now.) 

Skills Needed to Be a Good Desktop Support Analyst

  • Knowledge – Know your way around desktop hardware, software applications, operating systems and network connectivity.
  • Problem solving – Resolve problems while maximizing efficient use of computing resources.
  • Teamwork – Work well in a team-oriented environment.
  • Education Possess a computer science degree and one or two certifications from entities such as HDI or Microsoft (Microsoft Certified IT Professional or Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator).
  • Mobility Be willing to take on a new position at your current company or accept additional responsibilities when asked.

Skills Needed to Be a Great Desktop Support Analyst

  • More knowledge – Continually update and enhance your basic skills in hardware, software and systems through your own efforts and company training. Learn the specifics of your industry. For example, if you work for a large construction company, spend some time with the operations department so that you know exactly what a “concrete pour” entails. Your interest in and knowledge of the activities that make the company money will be noticed and rewarded.
  • More problem solving – Be proactive in anticipating and resolving problems. Take ownership and initiative for problem resolution, spot potential problem areas, analyze solutions, propose resolution and ensure implementation. Take the term “customer service” to heart.
  • More teamwork – Embrace working in a team setting. Know your teammates, give them credit for their successes and offer help and assistance.
  • More education Get another degree or pertinent certifications. Attend company training that is offered and study for other certifications. Volunteer or consult for diverse roles to build your skills in other areas.
  • More mobility Seek out new assignments and additional job duties, especially those outside your normal work area. Take the initiative by moving around in your company or changing companies after at least a year of service. Try to move up in your organization by making your desire to be promoted known.

Consider gaining extra knowledge for yourself, contributing fully to the teams you are part of and avoiding stagnation to become a great desktop support analyst. 

You can also find out about starting salaries for desktop support analysts in your area in our Salary Guide.

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