A situation analysis refers to a collection of methods used to analyze an organizations' internal and external environment to understand the organizations capabilities, customers, and business environment.
A situation analysis requires you to research the company, the category in which they do business, the consumer and the competition. Analyzing the situation helps to determine the health of a business, identifying its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities & threats (SWOT).
Librarians at the University of Missouri have created a detailed set of questions and sources to consider when performing a situational analysis. Take a look!
Publicly Traded Companies are required to share information with the government and with their shareholders. This makes locating information about the company, its financials, and its overall mission and strategy fairly easy. A good research strategy is to browse through a company's website and focus specifically on the section geared toward investors. You can also search newspapers, magazines, and trade publications for additional coverage of a company and information about the industry as a whole.
Privately Held Companies are not required to disclose information, so they can be harder to research. A good research strategy is to search newspapers, magazines, and trade publications for coverage of a privately held company. You can also find information about publicly traded competitors and the industry as a whole, and determine what conditions might exist and apply to the private company.