Beyond numbers: A dive into business analysis

Knowing your business inside out turns challenge into opportunity.

Business analysis is not just about numbers, charts, or processes. It’s about peeling back the layers of operational intricacies, understanding the heartbeat of day-to-day functions, and unlocking the door to sustainable growth.

Every client-consultant interaction begins with an initial assessment and analysis. Consultants engage with key stakeholders, such as executives and department heads, to understand objectives and challenges. The consultant sets about discerning the day-to-day operations. Whilst some consultancies stretch only to the point of data collection, a good approach moves closer to the surface. Through observation and interaction, issues and frustrations can be grasped first-hand, gauging perceptions and a first glimpse at root-cause analysis. It is only by spending a day alongside a field operative, for instance, that you can truly the blockers to their role, the delays intrinsic to the process, and the real discouragement that comes from a sense of having not achieved much in one shift.

It’s from this starting point that a critique of the end-to-end process can be built. Mapping a process from start to finish helps to visualise what other companies might refer to as a SWOT or a PESTLE analysis. Effective consultants can identify where things go wrong, piecing together roles and responsibilities, and understanding things like work allocation and coordination. The visualisation of an organisation’s process using real-life examples serves as a strategic framework for developing effective solutions. It is only possible to make things go right once you know where they go wrong.

As management consultants, more bespoke solutions operate alongside our approach to management as a whole. The analysis phase of our client-consultant interactions includes the assessment of the client’s management operating system or MOS. Without an effective MOS, operations suffer. Work is not effectively forecasted, plans fail, and the cycle continues due to a lack of any continuous improvement : managers are not always aware of the reality of their team’s performance and the scale of opportunity. An effective focus on the analysis of the MOS enables the door to sustainable development to be kicked wide open. How work is controlled, reported, and reviewed can be assessed, setting organisations back on the course of supportable growth.

It would be wrong to say that numbers, charts, and processes aren’t a part of good business analysis. However, successful business analysis requires a wider, more holistic approach. Beginning work with a new client with a diagnostic phase allows our contributions to be more relevant, refined, and for implementation. By engaging with the people at the very heart of the organisation, we can understand day-to-day functions, and by mapping the current process or MOS, we can peel back the layers of obscurity, enabling root-cause analysis where it matters.

Turning challenge into opportunity starts with analysis.