Billboard Analytical Work


Greek in its origin, the word “analysis” comes from the prefix “ana,” implying distribution, and “lysis,” a loosing, resolving; a consideration of anything in its separate parts and their relation to each other. To the writer, analysis means looking at a whole, whether it is a whole problem, a whole process, a whole computer, a whole department, and then also examining the parts which make up that whole, looking carefully to see how the parts relate to each other. Analysis means a breaking down of something or idea in order to understand what will to run the organization more effectively or efficiently.

Writing of any kind requires analysis before it can be effective. Some may seem to skip stages of this process, but if these people slowed down, they could probably show the parts of analysis they worked through to get to their final observations and recommendation.

When we begin to create a letter, memo, or report, the process of analysis also begins and continues through each stage of the project. How successfully we can use our analytical skills depends on many factors, but these factors all seem to involve understanding facts and generalizing about them until conclusions and recommendations evolve in the best interest of organization. (We, as writers, may see some growth, perhaps even a promotion, because of our effective communication skills, but our primary goal must be the success of the organization).

One analytical method for business writers is the Communications Triangle. This approach involves analyzing the purpose, the audience, and the writer's abilities for the project. These three parts make up the whole, but their relation to one another can impact the project's effectiveness.

Brainstorming, also an analytical method, shows us another way to get to the best thinking and hopefully the best suggestions for solving problems - and it is very important to understand that almost all organizational writing begins with a problem.

Brainstorming in a group, on average, has the greater probability for successful outcome than brainstorming alone. Both can be creative, but most of the time (approximately 75-80% of the time) the group can get to desired outcomes more successfully than can the individual (20-25% of the time).

Since management is defined as getting work done through people, we will use the group or collaboration approach for analytical work.

Four stages are involved:

  1. Once the objective is clear, the group identifies all possible ways to achieve it. In this stage of the process, quantity is more important than quality. In fact, individuals must indicate, also, any part of the idea which they feel negatively about.
  2. When all ideas are on the table, the group eliminates any which clearly do not meet the objective, any which are repetitive.
  3. Then the group places those remaining ideas into categories.
  4. The categories can be organized to fulfill the needs of the project.

This brainstorming process can help every writer achieve creativity, while it also requires the analytical skills necessary to bring a project to completion.


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Updated: Friday, January 29, 1997 by Kevin Zembower