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What Are the Different Business Analysis Techniques?

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  • Written By: Osmand Vitez
  • Edited By: PJP Schroeder
  • Last Modified Date: 12 November 2016
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Business analysis techniques provide information on the strengths and weaknesses of a company. A few common analysis techniques include MOST, PESTLE, SWOT, and the five whys. These acronyms stand for different methods by which a company can measure its internal operations and the external factors that alter its environment. Owners and executives can select whichever technique they believe best suits their business and individual operations. The results from these business analysis techniques are typically for internal use only, unless companies decide otherwise.

MOST analysis is an internal analysis technique. The acronym stands for mission, objectives, strategies, and tactics. Business analysis techniques that fall under this method look at where the business intends to go in the future and the essential objectives that help the business achieve this mission. Strategies represent the different options or methods a company employs for moving forward to achieve objectives. Tactics are how a company puts ideas and strategies into action.

PESTLE business analysis techniques tend to be more encompassing. It reviews the political, economic, and sociological issues and also touches on technological, legal, and environmental aspects too. This helps a company determine which factors most affect its operations. Additionally, PESTLE analysis includes both internal and external factors in its review. Therefore, owners and executives should be able to have a much better understanding of all the factors that have associations with the business.

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SWOT techniques look at a company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Strengths include any task or activity a company does well and can create an advantage for the business. Weaknesses represent any portion of the business that needs improvement or can be a detractor for the company. Opportunities are new areas or operations that can increase a company’s market share and thus its profits. Threats can be the obstacles a company must overcome to remain successful, such as competitors or the shortage of economic resources that can limit production output.

The five whys have roots in business intelligence, which attempts to solve problems through the use of questions. Business analysis techniques that employ the five whys do not necessarily present specific questions an individual should ask when solving a problem. The purpose of this technique is to identify a problem and ask any questions that can lead to its root. Hence, the use of business intelligence helps to address the problems a company will face during its lifetime. Though the five whys can be complex and difficult at times, it allows individuals to gain a better understanding of business.

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