A business analyst studies a variety of studies to use as problem solvers. Everything from a risk analysis to STEEPLE is known — even used — by the average analyst. An analyst needs a heavy arsenal of variety to treat the many different problems arising in a business.
And that arsenal wouldn’t be complete without SWOT analysis. Trouble is, because of its simplicity. Yet it’s for that reason (and the three to be outlined below) that any business analyst needs to consider SWOT analysis more often.
1. A simple tool providing explosive results
Compared to other types of analysis, SWOT analysis is relatively simple. In fact, it’s quite straightforward. SWOT is an acronym for…
The entire analysis is condensed into these parts. You don’t need to stray from it to get results. Each section gets it own breakdown. You may spend hours on one section but only 10 minutes on another. It depends on your topic.
Not all problems benefit from SWOT analysis though. If you’re assessing internal risks among contractors, choosing a type of risk analysis could uncover better information. But for instances where understanding strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, or threats prevail, don’t hesitate to use SWOT analysis.
2. It’s a good introductory to a problem
Even if the problem itself can’t be solved with SWOT analysis alone, conducting one can get the ball rolling. In other words, a quick SWOT analysis can identify key issues, threats, or smaller problems hidden in the cracks. It also focuses your mind on the topic.
Any problem has weaknesses and potential threats, so even half of the SWOT analysis can be beneficial in outlining these issues. Knowing what your up against is the first step to finding a viable solution, after all.
3. Without it, business growth may come to a stop
Keep this in mind whenever you’re about to do a SWOT analysis.
SWOT analysis is designed to help you identify strengths in a business. Consider: Where, when, and who is performing well? Your success depends on each high performance in multiple areas of the business. You want this to continue, especially if the company is depending on it at the moment. Because your strengths are also your competitive advantage.
Maintaining strengths is essential. But that can only be done if the strengths are identified. Otherwise, growth can stop.
On the other hand, weaknesses threaten business growth. They undermine success. They can even weaken your strengths. Reducing current and future weaknesses in a business is essential for success. You can’t outrun a problem when it’s spreading to other sectors within the company. Again, they can only be handled if they’re identified first. Depending on the weakness, it may require extensive planning to fix. Others might be resolved in less than a day.
SWOT identifies business opportunities that teams can take advantage of. An opportunity may increase profits, reduce expenses, or improve communication. While you can try to create your own, the best opportunities appear from external factors. Such as customer complaints, changes in population, and industry growth.
Your strengths and weaknesses impact the ability to grab these opportunities. For instance, fewer weaknesses and more strengths can make it much easier to grasp the opportunity. However, if weaknesses are hemorrhaging within the company, funds and time are directed at minimizing the problem. The opportunity will silently pass by. Maybe the competition will grab it?
Threats are typically external forces that will, eventually, affect the business. It can be anything from loss of profits to employee strikes. Threats appear in a variety of ways: marketing campaigns from the competitor, a slew of customer complaints or reviews. Once identified, it’ll be much easier to find, trap, and obliterate before it harms the business.
SWOT analysis might seem like a small tool because it doesn’t necessarily require excessive research, studying, or time. But that doesn’t make it useless. In fact, it only adds to the appeal and power of the analysis. Even if it only shows importance every once in awhile, as a business analyst, you should keep SWOT analysis in your back pocket.