Competitor Analysis Tool ACH Time to Get Competitive and research competitors

This is a picture of two martial arts karate fighters For an article called Competitor analysis: The Analysis of Competing Hypotheses By Octopus Competitive Intelligence company We answer the questions with Competitive Intelligence

Competitor Analysis tool ACH time to get competitive and research competitors

This article is called Competitor Analysis Tool ACH time to get competitive. 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. ACH how to research competitors

Competitor analysis and 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’s a great tool. At the same time, there is a lot of conflicting information out there about how it works. We’ve found it’s often 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 and ourselves.

Step 1

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 happening. No silly answers to be excluded or criticised.

Step 2

Find the evidence, assumptions and deductions for and against each theory found in Step 1.

Step 3

Put the evidence-based theories into a matrix to compare and contrast each. Try your hardest to disprove each hypothesis. Each hypothesis is given a number to rank 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.

*Deduction is 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.

Step 4

Some try and put words to the numbers to describe the likelihood of proving the hypothesis, but we believe words can be subjective, while numbers are not. Tot up the numbers at the bottom. 

Step 5

Write down all the findings from Step 3. And look for gaps in the evidence that prove or disprove what could be happening. 

Step 6

Remove all theories which are wrong and inconsistent. Then test your conclusions using sensitivity analysis, which weighs how the outcome would be affected if crucial evidence or arguments were wrong, misleading, or interpreted differently. Then double-check the critical evidence and the consistency of essential arguments to make sure the conclusions are sound. 

Step 7 

Write down your conclusion and why you have come to your decision. Include the alternatives and back them up with the evidence which made you reject them. 

Here is a Competitive Intelligence ACH Template for you.

Analysis tool ACH

Evidence â€“ the verified source of information which proves something is known to exist or has occurred. 

Assumptions â€“ What do you take for granted? And what may blind you to your industry experience?

Deductions â€“ The process of finding the answer by considering the known facts. 

Benefits of conducting an Analysis of Competing Hypotheses and research competitors

So as discussed, the Analysis of Competing Hypotheses (ACH) is a structured analytic technique used to evaluate multiple hypotheses and identify the most plausible explanation for a particular situation or problem. Here are the main benefits of conducting an Analysis of Competing Hypotheses:

1. Systematic Decision-Making:

ACH provides a systematic and rigorous approach to decision-making. It helps analysts and decision-makers evaluate various hypotheses objectively, considering all available evidence and avoiding biases or preconceived notions.

2. Reduction of Cognitive Biases

ACH helps identify and address cognitive biases that can hinder effective analysis. By explicitly considering multiple hypotheses, it encourages analysts to challenge their assumptions, explore alternative explanations, and avoid jumping to conclusions based on limited information.

3. Structured Analysis Process

ACH offers a structured framework for organising and evaluating evidence. It helps break down complex problems into manageable components, facilitating a step-by-step analysis that considers the strengths and weaknesses of each hypothesis.

4. Increased Awareness of Evidence Gaps

Through ACH, analysts become more aware of evidence gaps and uncertainties. It encourages them to identify the information needed to support or refute hypotheses, highlighting areas where additional data or research is necessary.

5. Enhanced Collaboration

ACH promotes collaboration among analysts and decision-makers. Involving multiple perspectives and expertise fosters a more comprehensive and robust analysis, reducing the risk of overlooking important factors or potential explanations.

6. Improved Communication

ACH facilitates clearer communication of analytical findings and conclusions. Documenting and presenting the evaluation of competing hypotheses, it provides a transparent and traceable process, enabling stakeholders to understand the reasoning behind the final decision.

Competitor Analysis tool ACH time to get competitive and research competitors

Overall, the benefits of conducting an Analysis of Competing Hypotheses include more informed decision-making, reduced biases, enhanced analysis, improved collaboration, and better communication of results.

This article was called Analysis Tool ACH time to get competitive, and it has offered 7 steps to make sure to use the tool to the maximum of its capability.

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Competitive intelligence is the finding & critical analysis of information to make sense of what’s happening & why. Predict what’s going to happen & give the options to control the outcome. The insight to create more certainty & competitive advantage.

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What is competitive intelligence?

Competitive intelligence is the finding & critical analysis of information to make sense of what’s happening & why. Predict what’s going to happen & give the options to control the outcome. The insight to create more certainty & competitive advantage.

This is a drawing of the Octopus Intelligence Logo By Octopus Competitive Intelligence, Due Diligence, Competitor Analysls, Market Analysis, Competitor Research and Strategic Business Development to beat your competitors, increase sales and reduce risk


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