Method Overview

Digital Ecosystem Analysis

Check the environment of your innovation. Discover systematic barriers for the usage of your product, and identify opportunities for synergies with existing services

Explanatory method
Suggested Time

1-2 days to scope existing data,
2-5 days for analysis and interpretation

Required Expertise

Low (statistical expertise is very helpful)


Data & data analysis/visualization programs (e.g. PowerBI)


User Researcher

Nice to have
These methods might be important for some innovations only.


A digital ecosystem is a complex network of stakeholders, businesses, and data systems that use technology to interact with one another. In analyzing infrastructure, costs, access conditions and related services you can assess whether your user will have everything outside your product he or she needs to use the service you are offering. In User Research, this is also called Secondary Research or Context Analysis.


A digital ecosystem analysis is best prepared by a small team of people with quantitative data analysis skills. The discussion of the results and interpretation of the meaning for your innovation development process should be done within your larger team.


A digital product is never used in isolation. Digital Ecosystem Analysis helps you understand in which context, and under which circumstances your user is going to access your product. With this in mind, you can redesign to optimize access and usability for his or her conditions.


Early in your development process is best to help you map out potential threats and opportunities for your innovation and maybe redesign your product or service accordingly.

How much time

The whole analysis should be possible to realize within up to one week, if you have the necessary data.

Why it’s useful

Minimizes research costs
Statistical data might convince rather critical internal stakeholders of your idea

Potential challenges

Needs basic statistical skills
Locally disaggregated data, although crucial for meaningful analysis results, can be hard to find

Is this for you?

Get step-by-step guidance, expert tips and best practice examples for your Digital Ecosystem Analysis.

Melissa Bonilla - Consultant, Alliance of Bioversity and CIAT

“While field-testing the IVR system for dietary information surveys, we encountered challenging infrastructure issues. Recognizing the interplay of context, environment, and needs offers creative opportunities. Establishing a trusted space for users to assess product functionality is both a rewarding and demanding endeavor.”
Image by Marcelo Godoy
Stories From The Field

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