Competitor Analysis. When gathering Competitive Intelligence, there is often more than one path we can go down. To help us decide the best path, we use a tool called Analysis of Competing Hypotheses, or ACH to keep things simple.
Competitor analysis: The Analysis of Competing Hypotheses
Created in the 70s by the CIA, to reduce limitations in its analysis, ACH is proven and effective, and we find it to be a great tool. At the same time, there is a lot of conflicting information out there about how it works. We’ve found it has often been explained in a way that makes it sound more complicated than it actually is. In short, ACH works as a 7 step tool to test all the options open to us. It then judges which path is best for our clients.
Collect the information surrounding the problem, and start to think about what is going on and what you are going to do about it. List all the things that could be going on. No silly answers excluded or criticised.
Find the evidence, assumptions and deductions for and against each theory found in Step 1.
Put the theories where you have found evidence into a matrix to enable you to compare and contracts with each other. Try your hardest to disprove each hypothesis. Each hypothesis is given a number to rank them between -2 and 2 to test the evidence, assumptions and deductions against the hypothesis. The higher the number, the more likely that evidence supports the theory.
Deductions — The process of reaching the answer by thinking about the known facts.
For instance. The Russians will support the Syrian regime because they want to maintain their influence in the Middle East and have a Mediterranean seaboard.
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