Modal Analysis is the process of determining a set of generalized coordinates for a system such that the equations of motion are both inertially and elastically uncoupled. More commonly, it is a process of determining the natural frequencies, damping factors, and mode shapes for a structure.
This is usually done either experimentally through frequency response testing or mathematically using finite element analysis. This information can be very effective in determining why certain problems exist and is effective in supplying additional information beneficial in approximating modifications that could be made in solving many of these problems. The data can be stored and animated to demonstrate how the system will respond to various frequency excitation forces and even analyze potential problems prior to start-up.