Era Analysis is an important concept in Corporate Strategy. It is used to track the history and the origin of a company. Era Analysis is a matrix which is used to track key characteristics on one axis against major time periods or eras in the history of the company. In each of these, each era has a distinct goal or a theme.
Building this matrix will benefit by providing an understanding of the company’s history and evolution over time. It helps to assess the likely future for potential change and how quickly it can be achieved. It helps in determining the predominant forces determining the company’s character. The analysis is applicable in not just companies but in analyzing whole industries as well.
The data in the matrix must be authentic. And there are ways of obtaining authentic data. The sources are: Press clippings, company reports and websites, analysts’ reports, market research reports, reference books, interviews. These are some of the sources of information.
The information obtained must be processed to bring out clear, relevant and accurate information for the purpose of analysis. This requires weeding through information focusing on important information and important factors and major elements of change. This division or information must be based on time periods.
The final step is to organize the data in the relevant or the required format. On the matrix, the horizontal axis is used for time periods or eras may be with catchy names like “Growth years, High-profit years, Low-profit years” etc. The vertical axis is used for characteristics of the company grouped into categories like: leadership, regulatory environment, key competitors, key factors of success, size and strategy, etc.
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