This paper provides guidance on how to do a stakeholder analysis, whether the aim is to conduct a policy analysis, predict policy development, implement a specific policy or project, or obtain an organizational advantage in one's dealings with other stakeholders. Using lessons learned from an analysis of alcohol policy development in Hungary, it outlines issues to be considered before undertaking the stakeholder analysis concerning the purpose and time dimensions of interest, the time-frame and the context in which the analysis will be conducted. It outlines advantages and disadvantages of an individual or team approach, and of the use of insiders and outsiders for the analysis. It describes how to identify and approach stakeholders and considers the use of qualitative or quantitative data collection methods for estimating stakeholder positions, levels of interest and influence around an issue. A key message is that the process of data collection and analysis needs to be iterative; the analyst needs to revise and deepen earlier levels of the analysis, as new data are obtained. Different examples of ways of analyzing, presenting and illustrating the information are provided. Stakeholder analysis is a useful tool for managing stakeholders and identifying opportunities to mobilize their support for a particular goal. However, various biases and uncertainties necessitate a cautious approach in using it and applying its results.