Definition of SWOT Analysis

Here is the definition of SWOT Analysis.

Firstly, what does SWOT stand for? It is an acronym for

  • S stands for Strengths
  • W stands for Weaknesses
  • O stands for Opportunities
  • T stands for Threats
SWOT analysis is an important tool for rapidly establishing the overall strategic position of a business and its environment.

It is an important step in helping determine your business strategy and so lead you to your business intelligence strategy.

Once key issues have been identified, they feed into business objectives, particularly marketing objectives and goals. Sometimes you can apply it to projects and other ventures.

It is a very popular tool with business and marketing professionals because it is quick and easy to learn. It is subjective though and is best done by involving a good cross section of staff and external people, so that you get as complete and objective set of SWOTs.

Strengths and weaknesses are Internal factors. For example, cash rich or the opposite - large bank overdraft. For example,

  • People - Skills, Attitude, Training, Knowledge
  • Products - Quality, Price, Life Cycle
  • Operations/Production - Capacity, Flexibility
  • Organisation - Structure, Relationships
  • Systems - Computer, Databases, Monitoring Dashboards
  • Finance - Balance sheet, Cash Flow
  • Reputation - Customer opinion
Opportunities and Threats are External factors. For example,

  • Economy - Strength of Currency
  • Market - Growth/Decline, Fashion Trend
  • Legislation - Pollution, Product Liability, Energy, Healthcare
  • Technology - Substitutes, New Tools, Artificial Intelligence
  • Society - Ageing Population
  • Environment - Recycling, Increased Testing, Protection

Opportunities should be grasped and Strengths built upon and maximised. Threats and Weaknesses should be eliminated or minimised.

For more SWOT Analysis Criteria examples and ideas

Click here to see examples

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