Gap analysis is a process of examining business practices for areas that need improvement. Gap analysis is a widely accepted business tool that is used today by nearly every type of business. On its own, gap analysis is a simple process with general aims, but the process is usually combined with specific goals, technology and sectors to give it definition. Using these tools, business leaders can make important decisions about the future and how their business needs to change.
Gap analysis is used to examine expected and current business practices. Essentially, it shows the difference between where the company is and where it wants to be. This is usually only applied to a single area, such as sales. Gap analysis requires a lot of data on expected standards and benchmarks as well as current reports on business statistics and output.
Gap analysis can be used in many branches, but it is common in sales and customer service. In sales, leaders can pinpoint where they want their sales to be and where their sales currently are: gap analysis helps them find out why the two are not the same. In customer service, gap analysis shows the difference between what customers expect and what they think about the service they are getting.
There are many types of gap analysis. For instance, service design analysis inspects the management concepts of service and how they need to change, while service quality analysis is more concerned with the apparent quality of service, and yet the service delivery analysis focuses on the difference between standards for service and the actual service deliver. All types of gap analysis explore different aspects of the same problem.
Gap analysis, when used correctly, can be applied to a wide variety of situations where a business wants to improve. It is especially important for business leaders that want to make plans months and years into the future. It allows teams to quickly diagnose problems and create ways to solve those problems through integral changes in business practices.
Gap analysis can be very vague. It explores the nebulous area between goals and current abilities, and requires very exact data measurement to be useful. People must be willing to explore and choose solutions to bridge the gap, and companies must be willing to implement these changes.