Methodologies & Techniques in Business Analysis

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  • 0:03 What Is Business Analysis?
  • 1:25 Strategy Analysis
  • 2:35 Strategy Definition
  • 3:08 Strategy Implementation
  • 3:48 Performance Measurement
  • 4:20 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Elizabeth Wamicha

Elizabeth teaches undergraduate courses in Business and Information Technology for the last 7 years. She is currently on course to completing a Doctorate in Information Systems

This lesson provides a definition of business analysis and its importance in selecting, implementing and evaluating organizational strategy. It will then examine the various methodologies and techniques that business analysts use.

What Is Business Analysis?

Say you own an ice cream business. Just a little hole in the wall place that sells three varieties. You're doing well enough to make a little profit, but you think you can do better. Maybe you should expand the varieties, or maybe open another location, or start a social media marketing campaign, or hire more employees and expand your hours. So many ideas! How do you know which will be the best?

Well, luckily businesses have been asking these kinds of questions for a long time and have developed some systems to help. Business analysis is the process of identifying the tactical and strategic choices that can help businesses achieve important goals. This process can help businesses decide which strategies are the best and how to implement them. They can also carry out a performance measurement to see if the strategy was a success.

The various methodologies of business analysis can be divided into four main categories. First, there is strategy analysis. This is assessing the internal capability of the company as well as the external environment it works within. The second category is strategy definition. This means picking the most appropriate strategy for the business. Then you have strategy implementation, or putting the strategy into action. And, finally, there is performance measurement, which is seeing how well the strategy worked. Let's look deeper into each of these categories.

Strategy Analysis

Organizations have to spend a great deal of resources understanding their business environment and their own internal capabilities. In order to facilitate this process of strategy analysis, business analysts use a number of methodologies, including:

  1. PESTLE, which provides a useful framework to investigate the external environment of the organization. The framework looks at six distinct areas: Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Legal and Environmental.
  2. Porter's five forces analysis, which is also useful in assessing the external environment, specifically the business industry. This includes the competitors, suppliers and customers found within the organization's environment.
  3. MOST analysis. This focuses on the internal capabilities of the organization and can be used to develop a statement of intent. MOST stands for Mission, Objectives, Strategy and Tactics.
  4. Resource audit, which is used to assess the resources available. These include tangible resources such as physical or financial resources, and intangible resources such as reputation and human resources.

Strategy Definition

Strategy definition summarizes the findings from the strategy analysis stage and establishes which is the best course of action. The most common methodologies for this stage include SWOT analysis and Ansoff matrix. SWOT analysis consolidates the findings of the strategy analysis stage into four main categories: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. The Ansoff matrix provides a set of strategic possibilities. The model provides a two-dimensional matrix focusing on the new and existing markets, and new and existing products.

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