Loss analysis is a valuable technique for improving the thermodynamic performance of turbomachines. Analysing loss in terms of the ‘mechanical work potential’ (Miller, R.J., ASME Turbo Expo 2013, GT2013-95488) provides an instantaneous and local account of the thermal and aerodynamic mechanisms contributing to the loss of thermodynamic performance. This study develops the practical application of mechanical work potential loss analysis, providing the mathematical formulations necessary to perform loss analysis using practical Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) or Large Eddy Simulations (LES). The analysis approach is demonstrated using RANS and LES of a linear compressor cascade, both with and without incoming wakes. Spatial segmentation is used to attribute loss contributions to specific regions of the flow, and phase-averaging is performed in order to associate the variation of different loss contributions with the periodic passage of wakes through the cascade. For this un-cooled linear cascade, viscous dissipation is the dominant source of loss. The analysis shows that the contribution of the viscous reheat effect depends on the operating pressure of the compressor stage relative to the ambient ‘dead state’ pressure — implying that the optimal blade profile for a low-pressure compressor stage may be different from the optimal profile for a high-pressure compressor stage in the same engine, even if the operating conditions for both stages are dynamically-similar.