Analysis techniques: Which one is right for my business?

Analysis techniques: Which one is right for my business?

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Every savvy business owner knows that to be successful they must constantly evaluate their business model to see how they can keep up with our ever-changing world. Whether you are launching your first business or have enjoyed the title of CEO for 40 years, there is always room for improvement, and a skilled business analyst can help you see exactly what your business needs.

Before you invest in a business analyst it’s important to decide what type of analysis your business needs. The International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA) is a non-profit professional association that works to maintain global standards, as well as constantly seeking out improvements in the industry. They are an excellent resource when making the decision to bring on a business analysist, and they have identified five key specializations that we have outlined below. Continue reading to find out what type of analysis is the best fit for you.


Strategic Business Analysis

Strategic business analysis focuses on every aspect of your business to access how you can best increase your value. This type of analysis will focus in on the goals you have for your business and closely examine the strategies you already have in place to see if they align with the outcomes you are hoping for.  Strategic analysis is all about the long-term vision for your business, and it is common to use this type of analysis every few years to make sure you’re staying on track with the goals you want to achieve.

There are two types of strategic analysis that are commonly used.

SWOT Analysis

Strength – where is your business performing well?

Weaknesses – in which areas could your business improve, and where are there vulnerabilities?

Opportunities – which trends and external or internal factors are providing you with an opportunity to improve your business?

Threats – what could negatively impact your business both externally and internally?

PESTLE Analysis

Political – how is the current political climate positively or negatively affecting your business? How could it change if a different party was elected?

Economic – how will current and potential financial systems affect your business?

Sociological – how does culture, demographics and way of life play into the success of your company?

Technological – how is the tech world affecting your business? What currently works for you, and will new technology positively or negatively affect your business outcomes?

Legal – how do laws and policy changes affect your business?

Environmental – how does climate change or other environment issues affect your business?


Agile Analysis

Agile analysis is dependent on an agile mindset, which means a mindset that supports a collaborative, respectful working environment that is always open to change. Agile analysis looks at your business as a whole and focuses on ways to make your business better not just for your customers, but everyone you work with. Agility requires adaptability and a mindset shift across your entire organization. Agile analysis will incorporate constant feedback from your team and stakeholders to ensure the cohesiveness of your business and that you are always operating in a way that contributes to an agile work environment.


Business Data Analytics

Many business owners have great ideas but get easily overwhelmed by trying to sift through and interpret the data that’s available to them. Someone who specializes in business data analytics will source, analyze, and interpret your data for you so you can use that information to make the best decisions for your business. Depending on the type of business you run and the goals you have, an analyst might use a variety of different methods, such as:

Predictive Analytics

Using trend data to predict future outcomes.

Descriptive Analytics

Tracking key performance indicators, also known as KPIs, to provide valuable insight into your business.

Prescriptive Analytics

Looking at data from previous years to offer solutions on how to better handle certain trends or situations in the future.


Cybersecurity Analysis

Cybersecurity is a common feature in news stories these days, but shockingly a lot of businesses are still woefully behind when it comes to accessing and upgrading their cybersecurity systems.

A cybersecurity analyst will assess your current systems and make recommendations on how to best protect your business from cyberattacks, threats and unauthorized access. An analyst will also recommend how to address any breaches in the unfortunate scenario that they do happen.

Cybersecurity analysts address vulnerabilities that could compromise your business and your customers’ privacy, and provide solutions to best protect you, such as encryption programs and firewalls. Penetration tests might be run frequently be your analyst or analyst team to make sure your systems don’t have any gaps that need adjustment.


Product Ownership Analysis

This analysis specialization is fairly new and is often confused with the role of business analyst, because at the core, the two are quite similar. However, while a business analyst is looking at your business, a product ownership analyst will focus in on the product itself and on the best practices for that specific product.

A product ownership analyst will use the same technique mentioned in business analysis, SWOT, to determine the immediate needs and adjustments required to best serve your stakeholders and customers. An analyst will utilize user story mapping to create recommendations on how to elevate the product, address any problems, and create a seamless execution plan for your users.

As you can see, there are many different types of analysis, and depending on the type of business you have, you might require more than one. It’s quite common, depending on the size of your business, for analysts to work in teams, both with other analysts, and with project managers and stakeholders, so that everyone can be in constant communication regarding the best strategies to increase the value of your business.

If you have any further questions or concerns about the type of analysis your business needs, IIBA is an excellent resource. They offer in-depth articles and blogs on what is involved in each specialization, and their certifications can help provide ease of mind that the analyst you select are following a certain set of standards.

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