How to analyze a case study

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Case studies are used in several professional training programs. Mainly in business schools, to present real-world situations to students. And assess their ability to analyze the important aspects of a given problem. In general, a case study should include in order: a context of the business environment, a description of the business or case in question, the identification of a key problem, the steps to carry out to solve the problem, your evaluation of the response to this case study and suggestions for a better business strategy.

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You can take these steps to analyze a case study:

Scrutinize and define the business environment appropriate to the case study


Describe the nature of the organization considered and its competitors. Provide general information about the market and the basic consumer. Indicate significant changes in the business environment or other new initiatives that the company is launching.

Describe the structure and size of the main business being considered

Examine its management arrangement, operative base, and financial history. Describe the annual income and profits. Provide employment data. Include details on private property, public property, and assets. Provide a brief overview of company leaders and the chain of command.

Identify the key problem in the case study

Probably, there will be several different factors at play. Choose which one is the main concern of the case study by examining the data that speak to the main business problems and the conclusions at the end of the study. Examples: expansion into a new market, response to a competitor’s marketing campaign, or customer development.

Describe how the business responds to these problems or concerns

Based on the information collected, develop a chronological progression of the measures taken (or not taken). Cite the data included in the case study such as increased marketing costs, buying a new property, a change in revenue streams, etc.

Identify the success and failure aspects of your response


Indicate whether or not each aspect of the response achieved its objective. And whether the response was overall well designed. Use numerical benchmarks, such as desired customer loyalty, to show if goals have been achieved. Analyze broader questions such as personnel management policies, to talk about the answer as a whole.

Indicate successes, failures, unintended results, and inadequate actions

Suggest alternative or improved actions that could have been taken by the company. Using specific examples and backing up your suggestions with data and calculations.

Describe the changes

Discuss the changes you would make in the business to arrive at the measures you proposed. Including changes in the organization, strategy, and management.

Conclude your analysis by examining your findings

Emphasize what would have been different in this case. Present your perception of the case study and your business strategy.

Advice to analyze a case study

  • Always read the case study several times. First, you should readjust to note the basic details. On each following reading, look for facts about a specific topic: competitors, management structure, business strategy, financial loss. Highlight the sentences and sections related to these topics and take notes.
  • In the preliminary stages of the analysis of a case study, no detail is insignificant. Larger numbers can often be misleading and the goal of the analysis is often to dig deep and find otherwise unnoticed variables that drive a situation.
  • If you are analyzing a case study as part of an interview with a consulting firm. Then be sure to provide comments on the issues addressed by the company. For example, if the purpose of the business is the marketing strategy, focus on the successes and failures of the business in terms of marketing. If it is a financial consultant position, analyze how the company maintains its books of account and its investment strategy.
  • Business school teachers, potential employers, and other assessors, through the case study analysis, seek to know if you understand the aspects of the business in question in the case and not to assess your ability to reading. Always remember that the most important thing is the content of the case study. Not the way the information is presented or the peculiarities of its style.

Warnings when you analyze a case study

Do not use exalted or emphatic language in your analyzes. Business case studies are a tool to assess your business acumen, not your personal beliefs. To criticize or identify the flaws in a business strategy, use a neutral and disinterested tone.

Muhammad Usman Babar

A businessman by profession. blogger by luck. I love to write about Health, Fitness, and Education.

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