Analysis Framework: A Practical Approach to Solving Business Problems

By Jason Thompson, co-founder, 33 Sticks   We are analysts, we solve problems. While we never face the exact same problem twice, the problem solving process we go through is repeatable. This repeatable framework helps ensure that we are consistently delivering quality insights that are used to solve actual business problems.   This practical approach to solving business problems helps structure what can, at times, be a very daunting task.         Discovery   In the Discovery phase, we are observers taking note of anything and everything that could be helpful in our analysis. This includes using the website, service, or solution in question, with the intent of understanding the experience of the customer. When the problem exists offline, this often includes going into the retail store or directly interacting with the physical product. This phase also includes an initial data discovery session. It should be noted that during this phase we are simply observing the data without drawing any conclusions or providing any insights.   Investigate   The Investigate phase is focused on gathering as much information as possible from those either directly or indirectly involved. This would include conducting interviews with key stakeholders, marketers, developers, end users, customers, support reps, etc. In this phase, it is often very helpful to get an outside perspective by conducting in-house user testing or utilizing a service like UserTesting.com.   Gameplan   After we have developed intelligence around the problem through our Discovery and Investigate phases, we begin to narrow our focus by identifying a hypothesis and brainstorming the best analysis path to take. Knowing which paths to pursuing...