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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).