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SWOT Analysis

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.


  • 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.

SWOT Analysis Video Tutorial


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