Gap analysis, more commonly referred to as a gap survey, is a business assessment tool that has the goal of determining the difference, or "gap", between actual performance and desired performance. It is a widely accepted business survey tool for analyzing business processes, practices, and performances that need improvements. Businesses of all sizes and in nearly every industry use and can benefit from a gap survey.
Through online survey software, gap analysis evaluates prevailing performance with potential performance in order to learn about improvements needed to close the gap to reach the desired performance. Helping company leaders fill the gap in order to assist an organization in its growth and success is the crux of a gap survey.
In terms of bottom line metrics, an effective gap survey stands to reduce costs while increasing sales and profits. In measuring the gap between the actual and desired performance, gap analysis provides a measurement of resources needed by an organization to achieve its desired potential. Resources here include investment in capital, be it employees, technology, or equipment to reach the desired outcome.
Practically speaking, a gap survey tool can be administered on a corporate financial level to identify the reasons between forecasted revenue and actual revenue. A gap analysis built by online survey software is also useful for companies that have operations that involve a complex product or process workflow. Here, a gap survey can point out gaps in the process, measuring the desired process with the actual process.
Types and Applications of Gap Analysis
While there are several types of gap analysis, most gap surveys built by online survey software fall into two popular types, however. These include the market usage gap analysis and the product gap analysis.
By comparing and evaluating the current market usage to the potential market usage or market size, a market usage gap analysis provides insight into the possibilities of growth for a company. On the other hand, a product gap analysis helps to identify limitations in growth and internal gaps as opposed to external markets. In terms of applications, gap analysis is frequently used in sales, marketing, information technology, employee benefits, and customer service.
What is the takeaway?
A gap survey tool identifies inefficient business strategies, procedures, and processes, in addition to helping to optimize the allocation of company resources, such as time, cash, and capital investments. Because many companies misuse resources, lack technology know-how or implementation, or fail to invest in capital effectively, they are performing below their potential. A gap survey designed with online survey software brings these inefficiencies to light, while also offering recommendations for improvement.
Any company that is not reaching its desired performance or has company leaders who believe their company is not operating at its potential needs to conduct a gap survey. While it is true that gap analysis can be a complex and sometimes vague process, it is made easier through online survey software.
See Also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gap_analysis