Business Analysis Techniques Series. Benchmarking technique compares organizational practices against best-in-class practices from competitors, government, industry associations or standards. Market analysis understands customers’ needs, factors influencing purchase decisions, and studies competitors.
Following are the steps to carry out Benchmarking
- Identify areas to study.
- Identify benchmarking sources.
- Conduct survey / visit enterprises.
- Determine gaps between best and current practices.
- Develop proposals to implement gaps.
Steps to conduct Market analysis
- Identify (target) customers and understand their preferences.
- Identify opportunities to increase stakeholder value.
- Identify competitors and investigate their operations.
- Look for trends in the market, anticipate growth rate, and estimate potential profit.
- Gather market data and business analysts use existing resources such as company records, research studies, books to answer questions at hand.
- Determine trends and draw conclusions.
- Define appropriate business strategies.
- Provides information about new methods, ideas, and tools to improve.
- Market analysis.
- Target specific groups and products to answer specific needs.
- Determine when to enter or exit a market.
- Expose weaknesses within a certain company or industry.
- Identify differences in product offerings and services available from competitors.
- Time-consuming and expensive.
- Need expertise to conduct and analyze gathered information.
- Benchmarking cannot produce innovative solutions.
- Needs proper market segmentation.
- Check out the “ Business Analyst Certification Training” article
Worked out example of benchmarking against a competing product – Rational Portfolio Manager
|Requirement||Rational Portfolio manager|
|Performance/response time (performance engineering)||Less than 5 seconds for 200 concurrent users, Less than 8 seconds for 1000 concurrent users|
|Scalability||Up to 15000 users on a single server|
|Security (Confidentiality – Integrity – Availability)||Supports ISO 27001 requirements|
|Software, tools, standards etc. compatibility||Integrates with MS-Excel, MS-Word, MS Project|
|Price||10 USD per month per user|
|Portability||Must work on IE, Chrome, Firefox|
|Certification||Must be certified on Windows Azure|
|Internationalization||Supports multiple languages (English, Chinese, Arabic) and multiple currencies|