A business analysis is an analysis conducted by taking one part of the business and its activities, or the whole, or both so as to gain as much information as possible. You then use the information to support your decisions and understanding of what you’re doing or what you propose or intend to do.
For the business world of today and tomorrow, you have to know what you’re doing and talking about. You can’t rely on standard business knowledge – you have to be able to figure things out for yourself. And getting your own expertise in carrying out business analyses is essential for this.
Anyone can conduct business analyses for any reason. Everyone needs to be able to conduct business analyses effectively. You never know when someone will ask for your opinion on something, and you need to be able to answer fully and effectively when asked.
Analyses only retain their full usefulness and value if you do them continually. The fact that you analysed risks three years ago and found that everything was under control doesn’t mean that things are the same now. For your own benefit, at least, you need to make sure that you update everything in your own mind. That’s why many organisations require detailed analyses to be carried out formally at regular intervals. As you get all of the information in front of you, you’re able to see what’s important and what’s not, where the big influences lie and what to do about them.
You need to analyse on a regular basis so that you always remain fully informed about what’s going on in and around your company. It’s hard at first, but gets easier as you practise and become more and more expert. As you develop this capability, you then start to build your knowledge and understanding about everything else that’s going on. You find out which sources of information you trust.
The results of your analyses show the detail of what you’ve got. They show the position you’re in from the widest possible perspective. They force you to consider everything – your strategy, operations, products, services, customers and backers.
You have to be able and willing to work with what you’ve got. When you know what you’ve got, you need to work with that, and within the market and trading conditions present. In summary: you have to be able to be effective and profitable within your environment.
You have to know that what you do isn’t nearly as important as why you do it. This means that you need to be able to support, justify and where necessary defend the views that you hold, and the courses of action that you have chosen. And you can only do this if your judgements and decisions are supported by the fullest possible organisational, business and environment knowledge.