Analytical thinking and planning are indispensable and critical for the academy and business due to their symbiotic integration. They are also imperative to keep business competitive and profitable. Actually, all analytical skills must be consistently improved because life is dynamic, demanding and challenging.
Cambridge Dictionary— Analythical thinking is:
1. examining or liking to examine things in detail, in order to discover more about them.
2. involving the careful, systematic study of something.
3. relating to the careful or scientific examination of facts and information.
4. a person who is analytical likes to examine facts and information in a very careful way.
Why is analytical skills important?
Analytical thinking skills are critical in the workplace. It is essential for gathering data, solving complex problems, making rational decisions, as well as summarising data and executing well-thought-out projects. TalentBridge
Analytical marketing provides information that businesses can leverage to their competitive advantage. Most companies who offer email lists, newsletters, or customer and loyalty programs. They collect and analyse information about their consumers to build large databases. Marketing-Schools
It is more so important because:
A. It demonstrates the capacity that an employee can resolve problems on the job. Kaila Kea
B. Find solutions to common problems and with decision making for what actions to take next.
C. Understanding problems and analysing the situation for viable solutions.
D. Improve delivery and help achieving company goals. Indeed.com
Benefits that businesses reap from analytical skills:
1. Proactivity & Anticipating Needs.
2. Mitigating Risk & Fraud.
3. Delivering Relevant Products.
4. Personalisation & Service.
5. Optimizing & Improving the Customer Experience. Yasmeen Ahmad
Benefits of Analytical INTELLIGENCE for a company and achieving higher customer preference:
1. Identifying customer needs in advance
With the analytical capacity it will be much easier and quicker to realize when there is a demand from your customers.
2. Knowing what customers really want
Possible to collect data of demands and, thus, to be able to serve a greater number of people and obtain more profits.
3. Improving process management
Very useful for managing operation processes and assists to prevent problematic situations.
4. Evaluating the goals for the operation management
Poses more data control and setting the goals from this accurate information is a much safer procedure. Myabcm.com
In a world of fierce competition and dynamic markets, analytical thinking is essential to to understand data the sphere that you are operating within. It is critical for financial reporting and budgeting, competitor analysis, customer insight, market scanning and strategic planning. Analytical thinking improves the overall performance and profitability of the employees and the company.
When are you an analytical thinker?
A. Question first, answer last. Voltaire famously counselled that one should “judge a man by his questions rather than his answers.” This maybe the cornerstone of the analytic mind which starts with interrogating the problem space before proposing the answer.
B. Value evidence over supposition. This does not discount the value of experience or even intuition. But an analytic thinker is always open to new perspectives on his perspective.
C. Actively strive to disprove your own hypothesis. Great debaters test themselves by arguing the opposing viewpoint. Test your own hypotheses. Relentlessly.
D. And everyone else’s. Apply the same level of disciplined scrutiny and healthy scepticism to any discussion regardless of the source.
E. Enjoy being challenged. Phenomenally successful analytic professionals encourage constructive debate and entertain challenges from their counterparts.
F. Believe any experiment is a success. Overnight successes and visionary leaders have one striking commonality: the number of times they failed or struggled mightily on their overnight or meteoric way to the top.
G. Recognize that evidence is not always enough. Facts alone are not enough to make people believe or inspire action.
H. Are sensitive to context. Analytic decision makers can evaluate the evidence in the context of the environment at hand. The ability to objectively assess and ruthlessly separate the interesting from the instructive is critical.
I. Know when to say when. The search for evidence can be infinite and that implies that sometimes you have to be prepared to call the game. Do not be guilty of analysis paralysis. 🙂
J. Apply a method to the madness. Methodical should not be confused with inefficient. As any veteran of the agile wars can attest, great agility can only be achieved with great discipline. Kimberley Nevala
Can you learn and improve your analytical skills?
Yes! Just like everything else, practice makes perfect. These skills are best learned while doing. Make sure you have a plan! Rachael Jones Pearson College London
Steps To Improve Your Analytical Thinking Skills
ONE. Be Observant. Take a walk outside or observe people in your office. Use as many of your senses, see what is happening around you.
TWO. Read Books. Work on an active reading strategy: proactively read and digest, question what you are reading and make predictions to stay engaged with your reading material.
THREE. Learn How Things Work. Scrutinize how things work and you will have a better understanding of the process which is vital in stimulating your analytical skills.
FOUR. Ask Questions. “The more curious we are about a subject, the more it engages our cognitive functions, such as attention and memory.” (Aracelli Carmago,)
FIVE. Play Brain Games. If you want to improve your analytical thinking skills, it may be time to play Sudoku or other brain games like puzzles, chess, or crosswords.
SIX. Practice Your Problem-Solving Skills. Prepare two, three or even more solutions to a problem. Do test runs on those solutions. See which one is the best and the most logical.
SEVEN. Think About Your Decisions. Think hard and rationalize your decisions. What are the pros and cons of your decision? Ask for an expert opinion if available or do extensive research. TalentBridge
Also consider some of the following steps to improve analytical thinking
Apple. Take on roles that require the use of critical analytical skills.
Banana. Practice key analytical skills in your current role.
Cherry. Take classes that emphasize the use of analytical skills.
Durian. Participate in activities that require the use of analytical skills such as team sports, games or reading.
Elderberries. Seek advice or mentorship from professionals in your field or desired industry.
Fig. Conduct research on best practices for your industry.
Guava. Improve your subject-matter knowledge, which is essential to faster problem-solving. Indeed.com
Like any skill development, you must research, practice, apply and learn from your everyday experiences until your analytical skills come naturally.
You basically need to be a great detective – examine, question and challenge everything. By building analytical skills, you will become the point of truth and a key (sought after) member of any team.
“Learn to be as analytical about things of which you are credulous as you are of those which you criticise.” Idries Shah
“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.” Albert Einstein
“It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” Aristotle
“My father used to say ‘Do not raise your voice, improve your argument.’” Desmond Tutu
“Read not to contradict and confute; nor to believe and take for granted; nor to find talk and discourse; but to weigh and consider.” Francis Bacon
“You have a brain and mind of your own. Use it, and reach your own decisions.” Napoleon Hill
“Furious activity is no substitute for analytical thought.” Alastair Pilkington
“Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
Learn from those who reached the top
“The goal is to provide analytical tools that will last students a lifetime.” Edward Tufte
“In fact, it is Shakespeare who gives us the map of the mind. It is Shakespeare who invents Freudian Psychology. Freud finds ways of translating it into supposedly analytical vocabulary.” Harold Bloom
“I learnt early that always being analytical is important for a business. Being analytical as an attitude is more important than just having the aptitude.” Bhavish Aggarwal
“If you clean it up, get analytical, all the subtle joy and emotion you felt in the first place goes flying out the window.” Andrew Wyeth
“In film, you cannot go into analytical explorations because the audience will reject that.” Manuel Puig
“I have seen too much not to know that the impression of a woman may be more valuable than the conclusion of an analytical reasoner.” Arthur Conan Doyle
“Analysis is the art of creation through destruction.” P.S. Baber
“The only people who see the whole picture are the ones who step outside the frame.” Salman Rushdie
“Cleanliness makes it easier to see the details.” Aniekee Tochukwu Ezekiel
“On all occasions there are better solutions waiting us to be found if we do subtle analysis with sharp- witted minds.” Prof. Salam Al Shereida