What is industry knowledge ?

Industry knowledge gives the business analyst an understanding of the standard processes and activities within an industry.

Industry knowledge is an understanding of factors that could impact the industry which include the following:

  1. Current movements.
  2. Market forces and drivers.
  3. Main processes.
  4. Services and products.
  5. Customer sectors.
  6. Suppliers.
  7. Operations
  8. Regulations

Industry knowledge also involves understanding how a company ranks itself within an industry.

To better identify a company’s position in the industry, the following questions have to be asked:

  • Who are the top leaders in the industry?
  • Which organizations promote or regulate the industry?
  • What are the benefits of having a relationship with these organizations?
  • Who is creating publicity releases, partaking in conventions, and delivering marketing materials?
  • What are the similarities between products and services across the industry?
  • What are the satisfaction measures that are applicable?
  • What are the suppliers, practices, equipment and tools used by each company, and why do they use them?
  • What are the possible impacts of weather, political unrest, or natural disasters?
  • Who are the target customers and are they the same for the competition?
  • What influences the seasonal cycles for production, marketing, and sales?
  • Does it influence staffing or require changes in processes?

There are some measures of effective industry knowledge which include the following:

i. Being knowledgeable of activities within the enterprise and the industry.

ii. Demonstrating an awareness of major competitors and partners.

iii. Demonstrate the ability to recognize key trends which are shaping the industry.

iv. Being familiar with the largest customer divisions.

v. Having knowledge of common products and product types.

vi. Being well informed of sources of information in the industry including relevant trade organizations or journals.

vii. Demonstrate an understanding of industry specific terms, standards, processes and methodologies.

viii. Demonstrate an understanding of the industry regulatory environment.