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Business Drivers of Industries: An Analytical Framework

Business Drivers of Industries: An Analytical Framework

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NYU Stern School of Business
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Business Drivers of Industries: An Analytical Framework


As competition becomes more intense and global and as technology brings about rapid change, executives and managers need to understand the key strategic business drivers to lead and manage a business. Consultants and investors need to analyze competitive position and evaluate the quality of strategic execution to suggest improvements and to allocate capital. Bankers need to scan the changing business landscape to identify potential synergies and suggest mergers and acquisitions.

This course illustrates a streamlined and structured framework to analyze business drivers of companies from a wide range of industries, excluding financial services. This helps us understand their business model, drill into their financial statements, and assess competitive advantage.

The analysis proceeds as follows:

  1. We apply the Six-Pack Framework for a top-down and comprehensive analysis of financial statements to extract six key valuation inputs – Size, Growth, Margins, Asset intensity, Business risk, and Financial risk.
  2. We analyze how these inputs depend upon a company’s strategy by computing the Competitive Advantage Score that weighs competitive drivers and scores strategic strength along those drivers.

The analysis of a wide range of companies will expand your strategic horizons to enable you to foresee challenges and opportunities due to changing competition, technology, and environment. The framework and the perspective will sharpen your ability to lead value creation as an entrepreneur or executive, or to understand value creation as an investor, banker, analyst, or consultant.

Certificates and Credits

Upon completion of this course, participants will receive a Certificate of Achievement.

Program Takeaways

  • Six-Pack Analytical Framework (SPF)

    Identify and extract the six key valuation inputs – Size, Growth, Margins, Asset intensity, Business risk, and Financial risk.
  • Competitive Advantage Score (CAS)

    Link these six key inputs to the choice and execution of a company’s strategy by identifying, weighing, and scoring competitive drivers.
  • Build Strategic Vision

    Expand your strategic horizons by examining how a wide range of companies create shareholder value so that you can grow your business in new dimensions.
  • Increase Business IQ

    Question conventional wisdom, dispel misperceptions about businesses to develop uncommon common sense, and understand business models of both parties to a deal to negotiate effectively.

Who Should Attend

Although there are no formal education or background requirements, this course is designed for executives who meet the criteria below. While we strongly encourage global participation, please note that all courses are taught in English. Proficiency in written and spoken English is required.

  • Years of Experience

    Designed for professionals with 5+ years of work experience
  • Job Functions

    Ideal for entrepreneurs and executives who drive strategy or investment decisions or investors, bankers, analysts, or consultants who need to understand or forecast business models.
  • Prerequisites

    Participants should have a basic knowledge of financial statements.


The following agenda is a sample and subject to change.

8:30 am - 9:00 am: Breakfast

Session 1: A New Perspective on Business

  • Thinking about how a business deal affects the other party, and use this approach to avoid common and serious business mistakes.
  • Using this understanding to get a new perspective on the customers, suppliers, employees, production process, competitors, financiers, and regulators of a business

Session 2: Financial Metrics

  • Income statement terms: Expense ratios and margins; Operating leverage
  • Balance sheet terms: Trade-off between Margin and Volume; Operating Assets and Liabilities; Net Operating Assets and Invested Capital
  • Measuring accounting return on investment: Unlevered ROIC versus levered ROE; How ROIC, Leverage, and Liquidity affect ROE

12:15 pm - 1:15 pm: Lunch

Session 3: Six-Pack Value Driver Framework

  • Linking cash flows to value
  • Understanding how six key inputs drive shareholder value: Size, Growth, Margins, Asset Intensity, Business Risk, and Financial risk

Session 4: Competitive Advantage Score (CAS) and Pricing Power

  • A framework to score competitive advantage: Enumerating competitive advantage drivers, their weights, and scores to arrive at a comprehensive score
  • The five drivers of pricing power: Products, controlled resources, branding, network externalities, and switching costs

4:30 pm - 5:00 pm: Day 1 Conclusion and Evaluations

8:30 am - 9:00 am: Breakfast

Session 5: Cost Advantage and Government Protection

  • The four drivers of cost advantage: Economies of scale, economies of scope, efficient production and delivery, access to cheaper inputs
  • The tenth competitive driver: Regulatory protection and people’s preference for local companies

Session 6: Drivers of Cash Flows

  • Size
  • Growth
  • Margins
  • Net operating asset intensity

12:15 pm - 1:15 pm: Lunch

Session 7: Drivers of Cost of Capital

  • Business risk
  • Financial risk

Session 8: Applying the Framework: Retail Businesses

  • Brick and mortar retail
  • E-Commerce
  • Mall operators and real estate

4:30 pm - 5:00 pm: Day 2 Conclusion and Evaluations

8:30 am - 9:00 am: Breakfast

Session 9: Applying the Framework: Health Care

  • Hospitals
  • Pharma companies
  • Diagnostic labs
  • DNA sequencing

Session 10: Applying the Framework: Manufacturing and Transportation

  • Auto manufacturing
  • Airlines

12:15 pm - 1:15 pm: Lunch

Session 11: Applying the Framework: Energy and Utilities

  • Fossil fuels
  • Renewable energy
  • Utilities

Session 12: Applying the Framework: Technology

  • Software
  • Hardware
  • Technology consulting

4:30 pm - 5:00 pm: Program Conclusion and Evaluations