Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
rutgers library logo dark

SWOT Analysis: Getting Started

Explains and highlights resources to build a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) Analysis

What is a SWOT Analysis?

A SWOT analysis is an outline used to evaluate a company's competitive position and to develop strategic planning.

  • SWOT = strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. 
  • A SWOT analysis evaluates how a company addresses these four factors, both internally and externally.
  • It also highlights current and future potential in these areas.

A SWOT Analysis is designed to provide a realistic, fact-based, data-driven look at a company's strengths and weaknesses, including its initiatives and position within its industry. To keep the analysis accurate, avoid pre-conceived beliefs or gray areas and focus instead on real-life contexts. A SWOT should be used as a guide and not necessarily as a prescription.

KEY DATA POINTS

  • SWOT analysis is a strategic planning technique that provides assessment in four key areas across an organization.
  • Identifying core strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats leads to fact-based analysis, fresh perspectives, and new ideas.
  • SWOT analysis works best when diverse groups or voices within an organization provide realistic data points rather than prescribed messaging.

SWOT Quick Guide

A SWOT analysis is typically depicted as a square segmented into four quadrants, each dedicated to a SWOT element. This visual arrangement provides a quick overview of a company’s position. The guide below outlines the four SWOT analysis areas and where to find the corresponding data at Rutgers.

Business Librarian

Profile Photo
Rebecca Diamond
Contact:
James Dickson Carr Library
Rutgers - New Brunswick
848-445-3608
Website
Subjects: Business
RUTGERS.EDU | SEARCH RUTGERS.EDU

© , Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Rutgers is an equal access/equal opportunity institution. Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to direct suggestions, comments, or complaints concerning any accessibility issues with Rutgers websites to accessibility@rutgers.edu or complete the Report Accessibility Barrier / Provide Feedback form.