Analysis is the deep dive into the details of a problem in order to better understand it. Analysis is a central part of most problem solving methods. In fact, the ‘A’ in DMAIC (from Six Sigma) is Analyze.
In the analysis step, one doesn’t necessarily look for solutions, just a deeper knowledge about why things are as they are.
A common problem that improvement teams encounter comes from skipping the analysis step. They think they know what the problem really is, and potentially solve the wrong thing.
Analysis can be very sophisticated, involving high level statistics skills, or it can be a very basic qualitative look at something. The level detail of an analysis should match the risk and importance of the problem.