A quick look at some prominent approaches used for business analysis.
A good strategist knows the art and science of analysis. While the ability to plan and respond based on sound analysis is a distinct characteristic of any good business leader, everyone has a unique perspective for being a good strategist. Some give importance to external factors while some to internal aspects. Some take a comprehensive view of all angles while some go by specific focus areas. No matter what your preference is, and what technology you use to practice a business analysis technique, some noteworthy models are used in the world of strategy and analysis. Find out which model aligns more with your formula, enterprise, and technology-readiness.
Top 5 Business Analysis Techniques
1. SWOT analysis ( Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats)
This is a commonly used model for determining one’s relative position in a competitive landscape by blending both external and internal factors. The “S” is where a company can list down the strengths that give it a substantial advantage compared to other players. These strengths could come from anywhere – from talent repertoire, supply chain, raw material source, marketing positioning, and/or legacy. Similarly, “W” is an area to list all weaknesses that can turn into soft spots for competitive action. These are vulnerable areas related to human resources, production, or marketing. Finally, the firm takes note of the external world and recognizes the main set of opportunities and threats shaping up around it in the “O” and “T” sections, respectively. Evaluating all the trends or players that can have a positive or aggressive effect on the firm’s vantage point proves to be a good strategy time and time again.
When looking at this business analysis technique from a technology angle, it is important to understand that an enterprise needs to have a sound database management system to pool information from multiple sources. Data from both structured and unstructured sources need to come in at a real-time pace so all pillars of this model can be applied well.
2. MOST (Mission, Objectives, Strategy, Tactics)
MOST is another management-theory business analysis technique that has found widespread use. This strategy model allows enterprises to take an honest and deep look at its strategic path by determining and analyzing the relevance of the company’s mission. The overarching directions are broken down into specific buckets of time, function, and results by spelling them out as objectives. With this knowledge and prudence put in the right context, a detailed look at the main list of strategies is undertaken. The strategies are further translated into the ‘how’ and ‘where’ connotations by defining them as tactics.
Again, from the analytics perspective, an enterprise needs the fastest and the most well-rounded tools to keep its strategic anchors in the right place. A robust tool would be indispensable for watching the direction of mission and objectives and putting in course-correction for strategies and tactics.
3. BPM (Business Process Modelling)
BPM is an approach where a team looks at salient business processes that build the core operations of any organization. These processes are analyzed, broken down in granular ways and assessed for relevance, efficiency, bottlenecks, and effectiveness. They are evaluated on a set of criteria in both individual and organization-wide context. This helps zero down to the main areas of improvement for these processes. This approach enables an organization to add, map, transform and take away processes from time to time, based on their actual value to the intended outcomes. The steps that help this model include Designing, Modeling, Executing, Monitoring, and Optimizing. Without proper reports and dashboards, it is hard to implement BPM in any part of the business operations. Hence, it would help if you had the support of a reliable tool to deliver the actual goals of this business analysis technique.
4. PESTLE (Political, Economical, Social, Technological, Legal and Environmental)
PESTLE is a framework that has evolved to take into account all of the dimensions that affect an enterprise. These PESTLE analysis factors tend to undergo strong shifts, and their effects are sometimes indirect or subtle. Thus, it is crucial to have a proactive and comprehensive view of all political, economic, social, technological, legal, and environmental consequences. PESTLE can be a recurring practice or adopted for a major marketing project or launch. While the framework can be great on paper, its actual results can be amplified by applying smart models and tools. Well-designed algorithms can keep a tab on all factors in a PESTLE approach. They can also help in identifying patterns and interplay areas.
5. CATWOE (Customers, Actors, Transformation process, World view, Owner, Environmental constraints)
CATWOE is a model that originated from soft systems methodology incorporating a new approach to problem-solving. This model looks at all corners and gaps of any system to get to the roots of a problem.
C- What affects customers?
A- How do actors play their roles?
T: What parts feel the change when a transformation is administered?
W: What is the wider impact of any decision?
O: What is the responsibility and radius of the owner or function that implements the system?
E: Environmental factors that can help or interrupt the process?
This tool can provide timely and comprehensible charts or reports to meet its desired effects while also speeding up the process of analysis.
The right technology can bring much detail, visualization, and agility in realizing the impact of these business analysis techniques. Embrace the right approach and empower it with the right tool.
A problem well-analyzed is already half-won.