MicroRNA analysis has been widely adopted for basic and applied science. The tools and technologies available for quantifying and analysing miRNAs are still maturing. Here, we give an introductory overview of the main tools and the challenges in their use. We also discuss the importance of basic experimental design, sample handling and analysis methods as the impact of these can be as profound as the choice of miRNA analysis platform. Whether the reader is interested in a gene-by-gene or genome-wide approach choosing the platform to use is not trivial. Careful thought given before starting an experiment will make the execution much easier.