MSD competency A2

Business & financial analysis

Perform business and financial analysis on an organisation

MSD competencies

Competency definition

Practitioners evaluate the viability of a business and identify areas for improvement.  They can use established frameworks to analyse a business or organisation in terms of...

  • product and service offerings
  • marketing and delivery channels
  • differentiated customer segments
  • costs and revenues
  • cash flows
  • return on investment
  • financing, debt and equity
  • growth strategy

Knowledge areas

Practitioners with this competency will be knowledgeable about types of concepts and ideas described and explored in the following resources...

Skills and experience

Practitioners with this competency will have acquired qualifications, skills and practical experience that may include:

  • conducting due diligence on a business or organisation for the purposes of investment or grant-making
  • consulting experience in operational research or market research where the client is a business
  • qualifications and experience as a financial analyst

Guidance for teaching this competency

Content delivery
Definitions and application of business terminology, both strategic (value proposition, target market, marketing channels) and financial (costs, revenues, cash flows, financing, return on investment). Discussion on how these concepts apply, and can be adapted, to civil society organisations and government.

Research assignment
Ask participants to interview and research a business or organisation in the local context, and report back on it using a framework such as the business model canvas.

Case study
Provide a package of information on an organisation that includes details on its mission, activities, and financial model. Provide detailed numerical data if possible. Ask participants, individually or in groups, to process and analyse the information and develop an assessment of the organisation.

Coaching and mentoring advice

  • Help staff conduct analysis on a (potential) partner organisation using relevant frameworks and terminology, and clarify misconceptions. Especially at early stages of the program, work through detailed examples with staff.

  • Encourage staff to frame their assessment of partner organisations, in in presentations, meetings, and reports, using business acumen.
  • Support staff in verifying their assumptions or missing data by directly asking for it from partner organisations.

Guidance for assessing this competency

Presentation of case analysis
Provide a case study of an organisation that includes details on its mission, activities and financial model. Provide detailed numerical data if possible. Let the participant spend some time processing the information. Ask them to present on the organisation’s business model, financial health and areas of concern or improvement. Probe for an ability to use business terms accurately, recognise missing information, make reasonable assumptions and come to evidence-based and justifiable conclusions.

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