The simple guideline for beginner to understand the concept framework, methodology and tools for industry analysis, and apply the theory to their own life.
I heared the issue -"Is Management the Sciense or the Art?" first time when I took the course of organization theory at college, it's hard to make the conclusion straight from heart. The Industry Analysis also face the same situation, there are so many security analysts in the world, but not everyone could become a millionaire on account of his expertise, maybe there exists the tricks to success, or insider trading is the determination factor to be rich, even they are all graduated from famous business school and disciplined by programs of business management or related fields. If the skill of Industry Analysis is the key to catch the money from security market, then we can conclude that the Industry Analysis to be a art, not sciense. For the art, not everyone could be the creator, and neither any security analyst could be rich.
Being trained by acdamic course, or being a beginner at the Industry Analysis, we always try to make a optimal solution for the planning, therefore we make so much efforts on gathering information as possible as we can. Then, we will be mired in difficulties of excavate the information buried in the old history, and so we are tied up ourselves movements to analyse the data. Just as in the Internet world, almost every webpage are linkage together, and so the information for doing a plan are always related, when will we stop the data collecting?! we must try to gather the key information and not to search and collect the whole information.
The content of the industry analysis report depend on the purpose you want to do it. If you want to make a market plan for profiling the market trend, maket share, and for product positioning, the report will focus on the need and want of consumers, both customers and potential users. If you want to evaluate the investment target, to buy the stocks and equities of the specific company, you will concern the growth of market, the capability of technologies own by the company, and the competitiveness of the company. If you want to make a company strategy, then you should pay attention on the business models of competitors, and find a good segmentation to penetrate....etc. There are many different kinds of conditions, you must ask yourself what you need to do the industry analysis first.
I have some friends, who are not familiar with the skill of industry analysis, ask me how to acquire the knowledge concerning making corporate strategy or marketing plan? They are eager to get the short cut for playing a role of industry analyser, and it's hardly to learn from the text book. I think it's a bad sign for our industry development, it means that the social education system and on-job training can't culivate the appropriate abilities for the business.