Knowledge Gap Analysis

by Renee O'Farrell; Updated September 26, 2017

Knowledge gap analysis is a useful for tool for helping a company to keep focus on the big picture. By identifying where a company currently stands and where it wants to be, it becomes easier to identify how to attain the desired level of knowledge throughout the company.

Definition

Knowledge gap analysis is a way of looking at what knowledge resources a company, or individual, has in place. Current knowledge is compared to the target level and a plan is developed to attain that level.

Uses

Knowledge gap analysis is used to gauge the knowledge possessed. By performing this type of analysis, a company can gain a better understanding of the knowledge base it currently has available and what knowledge is needed to achieve its goals.

Function

An example of knowledge gap analysis can be seen in language. If a company is considering branching operations into a different country, one of the first things that company will do is perform a knowledge gap analysis to see what percentage of the employees concerned speak the language there. The company would then compare the percentage that can speak the language to their target number and develop a plan to achieve that.

Benefits

Knowledge gap analysis carries the benefit of being very simple to execute and understand. Further, by establishing the goal relative to the current level of knowledge within the company, it is easier to develop and implement a plan, not unlike planning a road trip after the destination is decided on and the current location established.

Considerations

Knowledge is a tangible resource; it can be tested and monitored but its value is only as good as the methods recording it. Also, knowledge should be considered in detail, particularly as to type (i.e. knowledge of Excel vs. knowledge of another spreadsheet software) and breadth (i.e. using Excel in financial analysis vs. simple bookkeeping).

About the Author

Renee O'Farrell is a freelance writer providing valuable tips and advice for people looking for ways to save money, as well as information on how to create, re-purpose and reinvent everyday items. Her articles offer money-saving tips and valuable insight on typically confusing topics. O'Farrell is a member of the National Press Club and holds advanced degrees in business, financial management, psychology and sociology.

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