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Analysis Without Paralysis: 12 Tools to Make Better Strategic Decisions (2nd Edition) 2nd Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 007-6092049036
ISBN-10: 0133101029
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Fully Updated: More techniques, New examples!

The Practical, Easy-to-Use Guide to Strategic and Business Analysis for Every Decision-Maker

More and more decision-makers are recognizing the immense potential of business analytics for developing winning strategies and making better choices. This friendly, plain-English guide to business analysis will help you choose the right tool, use it properly, and apply the results–without burying you in advanced math or theory!


Babette Bensoussan and Craig Fleisher walk you through the entire business analysis process and thoroughly demystify each of today’s 12 most valuable analysis tools. Their practical insights and realistic case studies will help you transform data into insight, transform insight into strategy, anticipate emerging threats and opportunities, and build powerful competitive advantage!


Covers these tools:

• BCG Growth/Share Portfolio Matrix

• Competitor Analysis

NEW! Driving Forces Analysis

• Financial Ratio and Statement Analysis

• Five Forces Industry Analysis

• Public Issues Analysis

NEW! Product Life Cycle Analysis

• Scenario Analysis

• Macroenvironmental (STEEP/PEST) Analysis

• SWOT Analysis

• Value Chain Analysis

NEW! Win/Loss Analysis


If you’re a manager or business owner, you need tools to make better decisions–about business strategy, marketing, competition, positioning, product development, and much more. In Analysis Without Paralysis, Second Edition, two renowned experts on business analysis and strategy bring you those tools, in plain English!


Babette Bensoussan and Craig Fleisher teach you exactly what you need to know to use these tools, even if you’ve never performed business analysis before. They begin with a practical, realistic introduction to the analysis process, and then walk you through twelve essential analysis techniques.


You’ll master classic approaches like SWOT analysis and Porter’s Five Forces, as well as the latest approaches to competitor, financial, issue, and value chain analysis. Bensoussan and Fleisher guide you through analyzing global, social, political, and macroenvironmental challenges that will shape the future of your business. In this edition, they also add three new techniques–Driving Forces, Product Life Cycle, and Win/Loss–plus new example data throughout.


For every tool, the authors present clear descriptions, context, rationales, strengths, weaknesses, step-by-step instructions, and case studies. The result: a book you can rely on to address any strategic or business challenge–whatever your role, experience, industry, or environment.


Don’t just collect data–use it for competitive advantage

Uncover correlations, assess trends, identify performance gaps, and identify your best opportunities


Get truly actionable outputs from your analysis

Perform future-oriented analysis that leads to better competitive strategies and tactics


Use analysis to anticipate and adapt to rapid change

Get early warnings of emerging threats–and respond more quickly

About the Author

Babette E. Bensoussan (West Chatswood, Australia) is Managing Director of the MindShifts Group, a company specializing in competitive intelligence. She is widely recognized and sought after for her expertise in competitive analysis and has consulted with clients from Fortune 500 companies.
Craig S. Fleisher (Madison, Wisconsin) is Chief Learning Officer at Aurora WDC, a professional services firm specializing in intelligence. A globally active consultant, executive educator and speaker, Fleisher is widely considered to be the "Dean of Competitive and Market Intelligence Analysis."

The two authors also collaborated on foundational competitive intelligence books Business and Competitive Analysis (FT Press, 2007) and Strategic and Competitive Analysis (Pearson, 2003).

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Pearson FT Press; 2 edition (September 27, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0133101029
  • ISBN-13: 978-0133101027
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #629,047 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
In "Analysis without Paralysis," Bensoussan and Fleisher present an even dozen methods for conducting analysis for businesses that lead to results and not to endless "paralysis by analysis."

I really liked this book! It was well written and is a great resource if you are working in the consumer products world. I came at this as a general process analyst, operations research type guy.

The book is very well written and edited. The style is conversational. You could imagine being in an interactive meeting with Bensoussan and Fleisher as you read the book.

The first two chapters describe the role of analysis in business and the generic analysis process respectively. At first blush, I was not keen on the generic chapters, but it did provide a framework for the reader to compare the dozen in-depth analysis techniques described in the rest of the book.

Each analysis technique chapter begins with a description and purpose section that quickly tells you if this is a technique that you want to invest more time reading about or trying to apply. Then, the chapter goes through a more or less detailed description of the process and products associated with the technique. Each chapter concludes with Endnotes for further reading, and that was very helpful.

One caveat is in order, this book is exactly what it claims to be, a business resource. If you work in the social world or non-profit sector, many of the techniques will still be useful, but you will have to do some significant translation. That is not a bad thing, but it is an important point from an expectation standpoint.

The authors also did not treat all analysis techniques as being equal.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I found this a very good intermediate level book on strategic analysis for business. The tools are well chosen and diverse, the format explains the use and rationale of each tool very well, and the examples are contemporary, relevant, interesting, and relatively easy to follow. This is intermediate level because it does require some general understanding of markets, business processes, and analytic techniques, but the techniques and the level of explanation in this book are still suitable to people who are not professional analysts. That is, I think any experienced upper level manager should be able to pick up this book and understand and begin to use at least most of these techniques in their own business with a little study and effort even if they have never used them before.

This book also stands out among business books in providing a brief but solid grounding in the origin and theory of each technique, followup reading, and both the strengths and teh weaknesses of each technique, rather than just presenting examples and case studies. I think this book is a great resource for any reflective business strategist. The biggest caveat I would raise about this book is that it is focused very specifically on general business strategy, that is, navigating markets and finding better ways to allocate resources across business units in order to be more profitable. It would be difficult to apply most of this information to other kinds of analysis or strategy.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Great book to learn a diverse set of tools for business. The authors took a pretty boring, academic and hard to grasp subject and made it enjoyable. Complex models, such as BGC Portfolio Matrix and Porter's Five Forces Industry Analysis, are clearly explained. The strengths and weaknesses of each tool are explained, along with a method of how to complete the tool. Each tool was well illustrated and contained a case study to see a practical application of the tool.

I found the strongest chapters were on Financial Statement Analysis, SWOT, and Win/Loss Analysis. Even if you don't have to do much analysis for your business you need to know how to read financial statements. SWOT and Win/Loss analysis are needed for everyone - and this book avoids the superficial treatment and use of those tools. The book points out for example that SWOT analysis s supposed to flesh out strategic opportunities in contrast to the organizational capabilities - not be a "why they should buy from us" spin tool as it is usually used for.

The book has a large gap - how to research and quantify much of the data needed to do analytical work. Some tools, for example, you have to develop and rank various criteria. This book offers no quantifiable method for doing that ranking - making the results subjective and arbitrary, the very things analysis is supposed to eliminate or at least minimize. Understandably this book isn't about research methods but without explaining how to get good inputs none of theses tools will be effective. Most tools require accurate and in-depth information on markets and competitors. How do you get that data? Other tools require establishing various outcomes and criteria to be studied. How is that done in a way that doesn't lend itself to the analyst's biases or spin?
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
What a very interesting read... Not only did i feel that i was a crazy person when it comes to analyzing something, but now i feel like i am a reformed crazy person because this book shows you SIMPLE techniques to not get all caught up in the details.

very good read
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