Approach toward performing ‘Analysis’

Written by Sachin Ghanekar

‘Analysis’ – the word is pretty self-explanatory and reminds me of the interaction I had with one of my professors at school back in 1998.

We were in a deep conversation in regards to the efforts and transformation that a progressive economy puts in to be transformed into a better and a strong economy.  The reason he referred this to be more of an economy than a country is something that lingered on my mind for quite a while.

The only countries that popped up in my limited horizon of thoughts were Great Britain for its GBP and United States for its USD.

The professor smiled at me and said – You are on a right track to assume higher the value of the currency, stronger the economy. This lead to discussions around the currency’s purchasing power that can also be a good indicator to determine a relative worth of that currency with others.

So, in a nutshell – conversations and exchange of such thoughts not only added more knowledge but also made me start liking ‘Economics’ as a curricula!

This ignited the passion of being thoughtful and ‘analytical’ in a good way. Yes, being overly analytical can kill you sometimes and will not yield any helpful statistics; rather will add more confusion and cost time.

By rule of thumb – One needs to be wary of how to approach toward performing analysis. A geo spatial approach toward analyzing the space will not work everywhere.  The medium, tools and the environment will vary and therefore it needs to be adaptive and flexible.

An ‘Analysis’ can be performed by understanding the issue or a problem statement thoroughly and then going ahead dissecting that into piece-meals to perform detailed examination for the purpose of discussion and accordingly interpreting them.

RCA (Root Cause Analysis) is a commonly used term and a process that helps to perform the above.

So, what does this throw out to you as an output?

  • Statistics
  • Report Analysis
  • Gap Analysis
  • What caused/ causes of that problem or issue
  • How did it cause
  • When did it cause
  • Who caused?
  • Why or what made it cause?
  • What frequency it caused?
  • What next?

This would lead to discussions, commonly accepted norms and actions to curb the issue/ situation or problem statement and get back in pink.

Does analysis mean only crisis management? Or resolving as mentioned aforesaid?

-The plain answer is NO.  Analysis needs to be performed at all stages and phases of business cycle, human biology, commerce, economics, health, etc.

Today, a person (still not labelled as a patient) can go to a doctor for a regular checkup and not necessarily visit only when he/she falls sick.  However, this is happening due to the awareness that’s being created and slowly getting instilled as a good habit to maintain your health.  Health checks frequencies are defined per the age of the person, medical history and other parameters to keep a proper vigil on oneself helps the doctors to prescribe the right medicine, quantity and counter attack any ill health in the future.

Analysis could be of various types such as the following and not limited to the below:

  • Descriptive analysis
  • Data Analysis
  • SWOT Analysis
  • Socio – Historical Analysis
  • Comparative Analysis
  • Gap Analysis
  • Critical Analysis
  • Statistical Analysis
  • Sociological Analysis

Each of the above can be combined or arrived at independently and will vary in their approach depending on the environment as mentioned earlier.

Let’s pick one type of analysis from the above to understand what it means and the approach to perform the same.

Data Analysis:

In simple terms – A quantitative research effort where data from various sources is gathered, normalized, organized, validated and then reviewed/studied by a researcher to form opinions, correlations and interpretation.  Therefore, it is not wrong to say that it gives out Quantitative analysis and Qualitative analysis.

Performing Approach:

You should know and understand the problem you are going to solve and the data you are going to use to solve that problem.

On collecting enough data, identified the problem and opportunity, developed the hypothesis – You are good to go ahead.

This opens further broadly to various algorithms and modeling techniques that organizations can use to produce valuable insights of the data – Predictive Analysis, data management, statistical sampling and survey designs; some pretty straightforward and some complex!

From our daily lives – Why does one like an “X” coffee shop than the “Y” coffee shop? There could be numerous reasons such as taste, price, quantity, staff at the coffee house, the experience, etc. A common man is also an analyst here although in a different type!

You can relate to have considered all the above characteristics – demographics, behavioral, financial, social attributes in determining the better of them both.

The above comparative analysis holds good for two people from the same nucleus/ cluster of society with a lot in common – spending capacity, tastes, background, etc. The same may not hold true for two people from different clusters/social segments.

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