Gap Analysis –Identify Your Strengths and Weaknesses

It is almost the end of the year and time for a much needed break. But before you head off for some relaxation and holiday fun, we’re going to help you make 2015 your organization’s best year yet. It’s time to identify your company’s strengths and work on its weaknesses by conducting an end-of-year gap analysis. This article will go over how a gap analysis works and how you can set up your own for your business or organization.

How a Gap Analysis Works

A gap analysis is your ticket to learning the strengths and weaknesses of an organization, product, or offered services. No matter the topic of your research, this form of analysis can help you identify which areas need to be improved and which areas are being done right.

The gap analysis works by combining respondents’ level of importance and level of satisfaction they place on a series of categories into one score. So let’s say you owned a blog and wanted to conduct a gap analysis. After using exploratory research to come up with the most important categories, you create a gap analysis measuring your blog’s navigation, content usefulness, look and feel, and consistency of posts.

Each of these four categories will have two questions, one requesting the respondent to rate the category’s level of importance and one asking for the respondent’s current level of satisfaction with it. It is important that both questions have an equal rating scale, 5 points being typical (Very Satisfied-Very Dissatisfied and Very Important-Not at all Important). Once these two questions are answered, the gap analysis score can be found through the following formula:

Gap Analysis Score = Satisfaction Score – Importance Score

Let’s convert a sample response into its gap analysis scores:

Table of Scores

As you can see from the table above, each category is given a positive or negative gap analysis score. After collecting all your responses, you can average out the gap analysis scores with your total sample’s results, and be able to see which categories scored lowest (most negative) and which areas are exceeding expectation (positive). In the example above, we see that the blog’s look and feel is above expectations, whereas the content’s usefulness is in need of some improvement.

How to Set it Up on Your FluidSurveys Account

The data needed for a gap analysis can be collected by creating two separate questions for each category, however a 3D Matrix question type can make the experience more intuitive for both the survey taker and the researcher. Here is a tutorial video to see how to set it up on FluidSurveys:

Putting this Data to Good Use

After gathering your results, it’s time to put your collected information to good use. The statistics show you what you are doing right, but you’re also bound to have a weak spot somewhere. Recognize which one of your gap analysis categories is lowest in score and make it your New Year’s Resolution to focus on improving it. Remember, the gap analysis is a direct message from your respondents on not only their satisfaction but also what is important to them. By taking action, you’re sure to be giving your respondents what they want this year!

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