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Business and Competitive Analysis: Effective Application of New and Classic Methods (Paperback) Paperback – 27 February 2007

4.5 out of 5 stars 19 ratings

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Product details

  • Publisher : Financial Times/ Prentice Hall; 1st edition (27 February 2007)
  • Language : English
  • Paperback : 528 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 0132161583
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0132161589
  • Dimensions : 17.78 x 3.02 x 23.5 cm
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19 ratings

Product description


This comprehensive compendium of methods to analyze business and competition does a yeoman's job of providing practical, useful pointers to executives. -- R. Subramanian, Montclair State University (Reprinted with permission from CHOICE, copyright by the American Library Association) 


"Too much data and not enough insight? Fleisher and Bensoussan offer a fabulous solution to the problem. Business and Competitive Analysis provides a nice combination of theory and practice, including a comprehensive, wide-ranging description of analytical techniques. Providing a strong complement to their previous work, Strategic and Competitive Analysis, this latest work is a "must read" for anyone analyzing strategic and tactical issues across the competitive landscape."

--Timothy J. Kindler, Director, Competitive Intelligence, Eastman Kodak Company and 2005 President, Society of Competitive Intelligence Professionals

"This book (Business and Competitive Analysis: Effective Application of New and Classic Methods) is an essential resource for competitive intelligence practitioners, business school students, and anyone looking to improve the strength and clarity of their competitive and market analyses. While no tool will perform analysis for you, the techniques explained here will provide inspiration, structure, and discipline for those who need to deliver compelling analysis to decision makers. I believe that this book will fill a great need for both full-time competitive intelligence practitioners and those looking to add analytical skills to their managerial tool kit."

--Bill Fiora, Partner and Founder, Outward Insights


“Anything which improves business and competitive analysis practice has to be applauded. Too frequently "strategy" type texts include just the bare minimum and even then the familiar old models would appear, with little explanation, hardly any critique, and even less insight. Unlike these, Fleisher and Bensoussan offer a full and unique demonstration of how to successfully cross the divide between theory and practice. All practicing managers and business decision makers should be grateful to Fleisher and Bensoussan for showing them how their analysis work can become more rigorous and their approach less casual. Accept no imitations. This is the genuine article.”

--Sheila Wright, Director of the Competitive Intelligence-Marketing Interface Teaching and Research Initiative (CIMITRI) at Leicester Business School, De Montfort University


"Baruch's Law reminds us that, 'when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail,' a condition describing the single most difficult challenge facing both business analysts and consultants, novice and veteran alike. In 2003, Fleisher and Bensoussan delivered what all leading intelligence thinkers agree was THE definitive guide to analytics and interpretation for the first half-decade of the new millennium. With their latest collaboration, this expert duo has defined the second-half of this decade as one guided by knowing the tools appropriate for the cognitive task at hand while expanding the toolkit available to be even more complete, valuable, and useful through the actionable detailing of 24 all new techniques. Plus, the unique FAROUT approach to tool selection equips analysts to quickly and easily apply the right techniques more reliably and scientifically to the range of outcomes anticipated in every business-decision support situation."

--Arik Johnson, Managing Director, Aurora WDC


“The realm of competitive intelligence has, in recent years, benefited from a profusion of books, handbooks, and essays, most of which deal with issues in intelligence collection: emerging techniques and technologies and general overviews of the business intelligence discipline. Fleisher and Bensoussan offer a choice of analytical models destined to narrow corporate course charting uncertainties and present a convincing case for matching science and art in the analysis process. This new book is an important addition to the definitive professional library on the art and science of business intelligence.”

--Michael Belkine, Managing Director, Splendour Ltd


"Having been involved in information analysis and strategic information support to companies for many years, I found this book very helpful and full of insights addressed not only to the new-comer, but also to an experienced person.

The in depth review of each analysis technique actually brings new ways of looking at problems: information analysis becomes an instrument in the hands of a thinking person; it's not an academic exercise or just a conceptual framework.

Furthermore, in my experience usually some of the analysis techniques are almost known and used only by people working in a few functions inside a company. This book enters you in a fascinating multi-stage and multi-face analysis world: everyone needs a way of organizing thoughts, and here you can find what you require to perform a good analysis and give insightful meanings to the information you manage, wherever you work in your company, whatever the problem you face is.

Every day everyone needs to analyze information to understand phenomena and then act to achieve the best performance: hence you need to keep this book on your desk.”

--Milena Motta, Managing Director, Strategie&Innovazione, Italy


"There are very few books I recommend as a must-read to the managers who come to us from all over the world for professional training in competitive intelligence. Porter, Fuld, Gilad (of course), and Fleisher and Bensoussan."

--Dr. Benjamin Gilad, president, The Fuld-Gilad-Herring Academy of Competitive intelligence, www.academyci.com


"At last a comprehensive manual of tools and techniques for the business and competitive analysis professional! Fleisher and Bensoussan's second collaborative work builds beautifully on their first. It provides the specific guidance desperately needed by company analysts to ensure that decision makers receive the right information at the right time to make the right decisions."

 --Kirk W. M. Tyson, CEO, Perpetual Strategist Ltd., Chicago, USA


"The dynamic collaborative team of Bensoussan and Fleisher have done it again. Expanding on their earlier text, Strategic and Competitive Analysis, the refined perspectives offered in their latest work, Business and Competitive Analysis, have raised the bar for essential literature in the profession of decision support. By artfully interweaving both pragmatic and theoretic principles, this book couples frameworks for critical thinking with practical operational guidance for the successful analyst. They never lose sight of the ultimate end game--sustainable competitive advantage through sound, evidence-based decision making. Very few enterprises seem capable of achieving this elusive objective in the hypercompetitive business environment of the 21st century. These thought leaders have built another pillar in the foundation of the business intelligence literature base which should be required reading in both academic and corporate settings." 

--Clifford Kalb, Vice President, Life Sciences, Wood Mackenzie, Inc.


Business and Competitive Analysis: Effective Application of New and Classic Methods from Fleisher and Bensoussan is 'the definitive must have' for anyone undertaking competitive analysis, irrespective of experience, practitioner, or third party vendor. This practical and actionable set of techniques grows and develops the agenda of the first edition by extending the range of techniques, focusing on their actionability rather than a statement of their intent and allows the practitioner to hit the nail on the head with at times complex problems and their recommendations. Through the consistent approach adopted with the techniques it provides the guide to what can be achieved and how and helps structure the problem from the very outset. The FAROUT methodology again helps the practitioner work out which ones to apply first given their own unique position and provides a development framework to seek out opportunities to apply the rest. Like the first edition, it becomes the most sought after next installment in defining competitive analysis' role in business for practitioner and user alike.”

--Andrew Beurschgens, Competitive Analysis Manager, Orange, UK


“Bravo! Bensoussan and Fleisher have returned for an encore performance as your instructive desktop guides to thoughtfully assist analysts of all stripes in selecting and applying a wide-ranging array of frameworks, all designed to enhance analytical thinking, insight, and decision-making. This second volume, following their wildly successful first book, delivers exactly what it promises--to assist analysts in developing high value insights, to aid them in making sense of the competitive environment confronting their organizations, and to guide them in advising decision-makers--all contributing integrally to organizational performance. This book joins their first volume as a "must have" addition to an analyst's toolkit. I highly recommend it.

--Cyndi Allgaier, Director, Strategic Analysis, AARP


Business and Competitive Analysis by Fleisher and Bensoussan is an excellent complement to their earlier volume, Strategic and Competitive Analysis. Both books provide a comprehensive resource on analytical methods for the business and competitive analyst. I have found this book to be an excellent summary of many analytical tools commonly used by competitive intelligence, strategic planning, and marketing professionals, including some techniques that have not been well documented in the past. The standardized approach to describing methods is a welcome approach to showing how the methods work, as well as their history, applications, and strengths and limitations. Excellent references are also included. The detailed step-by-step descriptions of how to use the methods with realistic examples is especially valuable. I highly recommend this book for business analysis professionals seeking a basic reference on important tools or a readable source for learning about new methods.”

--Dr. Brad Ashton, Concurrent Technologies Corporation


"Governments and businesses, whether the emphasis is on product or service development, are all looking for the same thing, that next great new idea that help them position themselves effectively and successfully in the marketplace with consumers or with the voting public.

Through technology development in the last 15 years, more data is available to and within organization than ever before to help achieve this goal. The struggle, and indeed it is, is for organizations to mine this data in a meaningful way and find that ‘insight’ that will give them the strategic advantage over a competitor.  In Business and Competitive Analysis, Fleisher and Bensoussan have provided the pathway for data to be taken and mined and to be combined to find those insights. They have also cleverly to aid the reader and the practitioners of competitive analysis given strong definitions for clarity around the data mining area. Anyone who is charged with competitive strategic analysis and intelligencemust read this book.” 

--Louise McCann, Chief Executive Officer, Research International, Australia and New Zealand

From the Back Cover

"I believe that this book will fill a great need for both full-time competitive intelligence practitioners, and those looking to add analytical skills to their managerial tool kit."
--Bill Fiora, Partner and Founder, Outward Insights "All practicing managers and business decision makers should be grateful to Fleisher and Bensoussan for showing them how their analysis work can become more rigorous and their approach less casual. Accept no imitations. This is the genuine article." --Sheila Wright, Director of the Competitive Intelligence-Marketing Interface Teaching and Research Initiative (CIMITRI) at Leicester Business School, De Montfort University The Definitive How-To Guide for Business and Competitive Analysis
  • Transform raw data into compelling, actionable business recommendations
  • Answer the questions executives ask-"What?" "So What?" and "Now What?"
  • Today's 24 most valuable techniques: how to choose them, how to use them
  • For "everyone "who performs analysis: managers, consultants, functional specialists, and strategists
  • A completely new book by the authors of the popular "Strategic and Competitive Analysis"
Business success begins with deep clarity about your competition and your business environment. But, even as data gathering has improved dramatically, few business professionals know the state-of-the-art techniques for analyzing their data. Now there's a comprehensive, immensely practical guide to today's best tools and techniques for answering tough questions and making actionable recommendations. "Business and Competitive Analysis "begins with end-to-end guidance on the analysis process, including defining problems, avoiding analytical pitfalls, choosing tools, and communicating results. Next, the authors offer detailed guides on 24 of today's most valuable analysis models: techniques that have never been brought together in one book before.They offer in-depth, step-by-step guidance for using every technique-along with realistic assessments of strengths, weaknesses, feasibility, and business value. You are flooded with data. This book will help you transform that data into actionable insights and recommendations that enterprise decision makers cannot and will not ignore. Craig S. Fleisher and Babette E. Bensoussan begin with a practical primer on the "process "and "context "of business and competitive analysis: how it works, how to avoid pitfalls, and how to communicate results. Next, they introduce their unique FAROUT method for choosing the "right "tools for each assignment. The authors then present 24 of today's most valuable analysis methods.They cover "classic" techniques, such as McKinsey 7S and industry analysis, as well as emerging techniques from multiple disciplines: economics, corporate finance, sociology, anthropology, and the intelligence and futurist communities. For each, they present clear descriptions, background context, strategic rationales, strengths, weaknesses, step-by-step instructions, and references. The result is a book you can rely on to meet any analysis challenge, no matter how complex or novel.
  • The fundamentals of business and competitive analysis
    "Goals, processes, pitfalls, deliverables, and benefits"
  • Competitive analysis techniques
    "Nine Forces, Competitive Positioning, Business Model, SERVO, and Supply Chain Analyses"
  • Enterprise analysis techniques
    "Benchmarking, McKinsey 7S, Shadowing, Product Line, and Win/Loss Analyses"
  • Environmental analysis techniques
    "Strategic Relationships, Corporate Reputation, Critical Success Factors, Driving Forces, and Country Risk Analyses"
  • Evolutionary analysis techniques
    "Technology Forecasting, War Gaming, Event/Timeline, Indications and Warning Analyses, and more"
  • Financial, probabilistic, and statistical techniques
    "Basic Statistics, Competitor Cash Flow, Analysis of Competing Hypothesis (ACH), and Linchpin Analyses"
Table of Contents: Preface 1. Business and Competitive Analysis: Definition, Context, and Benefits 2. Performing the Analysis Process 3. Avoiding Analysis Pitfalls 4. Communicating Analysis Results 5. Applying the FAROUT method 6. Industry Analysis (The Nine Forces) 7. Competitive Positioning Analysis 8. Business Model Analysis 9. SERVO Analysis 10. Supply Chain Management (SCM) Analysis 11. Benchmarking Analysis 12. McKinsey 7S Analysis 13. Shadowing 14. Product Line Analysis 15. Win/Loss Analysis 16. Strategic Relationship Analysis 17. Corporate Reputation Analysis 18. Critical Success Factors Analysis 19. Country Risk Analysis 20. Driving Forces Analysis 21. Event and Timeline Analysis 22. Technology Forecasting 23. War Gaming 24. Indications and Warning Analysis 25. Historiographical Analysis 26. Interpretation of Statistical Analysis 27. Competitor Cash Flow Analysis 28. Analysis of Competing Hypothesis 29. Linchpin Analysis Index

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