An analysis (from the Greek ἀνάλυσις análysis "resolution") is a systematic investigation in which the examined object is broken down into its components (elements). These elements are recorded on the basis of criteria and then sorted, examined and evaluated. In particular, one looks at relationships and effects (often: interdependencies ) between the elements.
Analysis is defined in the specialist literature as the "dissecting a whole into its parts and examining the parts in their relationship to the whole". The point of analysis is to determine the links of a more or less complex whole. Analytical definitions explain a term by breaking it down logically into its characteristics. The science that is concerned with performing the analysis of a fact or an object is analytics .
Different methods are used for analyzes depending on the branch of science .
In analytical chemistry is about the individual components of composite materials or solutions which as a sample for analysis are called to identify with chemical and physical methods. A distinction is made between qualitative (“Which substances are present?”) And quantitative analysis (“How much of a certain substance is present?”) (See also structural analysis ). In biochemical analysis, combinations of chemical, physical and biological methods are used, such as B. in immunoassays using antibodies and / or enzymes or in DNA sequence analysis with previous sample amplification by PCR . Chemicals with a particularly high degree of purity are used in analytical work. They are abbreviated to p. a. (pro analysi = for the analysis). Chemicals of this purity level are u. a. distributed by the internationally active company Merck KGaA , its subsidiary Sigma-Aldrich and the Carl Roth company .
Another aspect of the analytical term is the structure elucidation of an unknown compound in inorganic chemistry or organic chemistry . Structural elucidation is used when the structure of the compound has to be found for the first time or without comparative data, and identification when reference material is available, i.e. when it is only a matter of determining the identity of the chemical compound of a sample with an already known compound. Aids in structure elucidation are primarily chemical analysis (elemental composition), 1H-NMR spectroscopy , 13C-NMR spectroscopy , mass spectrometry , IR spectroscopy , and possibly also UV-VIS spectroscopy. Build-up reactions, breakdown reactions or derivatization reactions can also be used. In such cases, structural evidence is or was, for example, the synthesis of the suspected compound with the help of known, defined reaction techniques. Spectral comparisons (from the literature or with the help of databases) are also used for identification; In addition, there are comparisons with the help of chromatographic methods, with the help of refractive indices , boiling points, melting points and mixed melting points.
In the humanities , the analysis of a factual situation is similar in all examinations and studies . In all sciences that deal with art and cultural achievements, especially art theory , analysis is the investigation of the formal aspects of the information source and the first step towards an interpretation of a work.
Immanuel Kant (1724–1804) distinguished between analytical and synthetic judgments . He called the analytical judgments explanatory judgments, the synthetic extension judgments (KrV B 11). According to his Critique of Pure Reason, analytical judgments presuppose synthetic ones, "because where the understanding has not connected anything before, it cannot dissolve anything", i.e. H. analyze (KrV B 130).
The economics employ - depending on the purpose - the work analysis , balance sheet analysis , data analysis , financial analysis , market analysis , risk analysis and vulnerability assessment (the latter two are also used in other fields).
Methods of Analysis
Most branches of science (e.g. social and economic sciences, computer science, engineering, etc.) use certain statistical tools for analysis . Typically, relationships and effects between specific metrics are analyzed. This can be done using ABC analyzes , trends , variances or portfolio analyzes , for example. The data analysis corresponds to the phase of evaluation and subsequent interpretation of the collected data. The aim of such an analysis is usually to establish an actual state or to research the causes of this actual state. A distinction can be made between qualitative analysis ("Are there any indications of relationships between variables?") And quantitative analysis ("How strong are these relationships?"). The analysis phase is usually just one step in solving a problem or improving a situation.
- Interaction analysis - a forecasting technique that tries to show relationships (cross impact) between different, future (possibly) occurring events
- Qualitative social research
- Ursula Hermann, Knaurs etymologisches Lexikon , 1983, p. 38
- James Drever / Werner D. Fröhlich, German dictionary for psychology , 1970, p. 44
- Max Apel / Peter Ludz, Philosophical Dictionary , 1958, p. 15