How to develop analytical thinking with 9 tips

How to develop analytical thinking with 9 tips

Analytical thinking is a cautious and deductive way of thinking in which data analysis and logic work together to make decisions. 

This type of thinking uses induction, experiment, research techniques, and statistical analysis to make sense of the world. 

This means that someone with analytical thinking will not make decisions based on impulse or emotion but through logic and analyzing all the information. 

Another characteristic of analytical thinking is that it compartmentalizes ideas and problems to understand the whole through small pieces. 

In other words, to solve a problem, analytical thinking does not seek the solution of the whole but a solution for each small piece of that problem.

What is an analytical profile?

Having an analytical profile means having the ability to produce and relate different information logically. In other words, it is essential to analyze the complete context to make the right decisions. 

An analytical profile refers to evaluating and working with data and information. 

Although many people associate analytical thinking with mathematics and formulas, this thinking is much closer to analyzing data and information. 

Even those with a humanities background can have an analytical profile. 

What are the characteristics of a person with an analytical profile?

It is common for people with analytical profiles to follow rules, be more reserved and think a lot before acting, whether in the workplace or their personal lives. 

Within the job market, analytical thinking is advantageous, especially when discussing areas needing more excellent analysis. 

Professionals with an analytical profile are precise and do well in objective tasks. They also tend to be competitive, curious and communicate constantly.

Key concepts of thinking analytically  

To help us understand even better how analytical thinking works, there are some key concepts we can explore. Check out: 

  • Planning means imagining a goal and making a plan to get there. Analytical profiles are great planners, as they can understand all the nuances. 
  • Problem-solving: Analytical people solve problems using the compartmentalization technique, analyzing each piece before solving the whole. 
  • Organization and integration: organising and structuring information to make sense together. 
  • Information analysis: analytical profiles are masters in information analysis, which is nothing more than understanding the origin of the information, what characterizes it, its relationship with other information and concepts and usability. 
  • Questioning is always asking questions about a situation to get the most logical answers possible. 
  • Root cause: getting to the source of the problem and solving it at the root before it interferes with other situations. 
  • Forecasting: people with an analytical profile can assess the chances of risk in a situation and understand the consequences. 
  • Management directs and controls an activity, making individual and group efforts more productive. 
  • Decision-making: armed with data analysis, an analytical person can make the best decision. 
  • Transferring knowledge: something meaningful for the analytical profile is passing on knowledge.

Analytical thinking among the skills of the future 

Interviewing 18 thousand professionals in 15 different countries, the McKinsey Institute reached some conclusions about the future of work and the skills the future professional should have. 

Among the soft skills mentioned, analytical thinking stands out. 

According to the research, the role of professionals in the future will be to add value beyond what automation can do. 

In other words, this professional will be able to navigate digital well and have a series of soft skills to help adaptability. 

In addition to analytical thinking, the research identified 56 other skills that make up the future professional. 

They can be divided into four large groups (cognitive, interpersonal, digital and self-management), but we will present them in six categories. Check out: 

  • Critical and analytical thinking: how professionals deal with problems and information daily, face challenging situations, and make data-based decisions. 
  • Communication and collaboration: knowing how to collaborate with colleagues, listen actively, communicate decisions clearly and speak well in public. 
  • Adaptability: not being resistant to change, understanding all aspects of where you are, and looking for new ways of doing something. 
  • Emotional intelligence: understanding your colleagues and managers before concluding, having empathy and knowing how to resolve conflicts. 
  • Self-management: Taking responsibility for deliveries, managing time, and taking control of your career. 
  • Digital fluency: using digital tools well but constantly learning, curious and searching for innovative solutions.

Analytical thinking 

We must take advantage of this space to say that having analytical thinking is not the same as having critical thinking. 

Analytical thinking is within the critical way of thinking, but there are differences between them. 

As we said, thinking analytically involves analyzing data to find a solution to a problem. This thinking usually ends when a conclusion is reached. 

And what happens after that is critical thinking. This other type of thinking can be characterized by the ability to apply interpretations to conclusions. 

In other words, based on the conclusion that analytical thinking brought, you compare it with theories you know, authors’ thoughts and experiences to arrive at your judgment about the situation.

The stages of analytical thinking 

As mentioned above, analytical thinking compartmentalizes a situation to seek a solution for each part before solving the whole. 

And for this analysis to happen, there are some steps that analytical thinking follows. Check out the description below: 

  1. Identify possible problems and challenges; 
  2. Create questions that help to understand the identified problem better; 
  3. Pay attention to missing information about the problem; 
  4. Check all assumptions about the solution; 
  5. Analyze what led to the assumptions about the solution because the problem may lie in them; 
  6. Understand the point of view of those involved in the problem because this also influences the problem; 
  7. Consider this problem’s implications, the consequences of the solution and what the decision will entail.

How Analytical Thinking Helps Your Personal Life

Having an analytical profile also helps your personal life. 

This is because you can make better decisions and manage your projects better. You also become a more confident and trustworthy person. 

How to develop analytical thinking with 9 tips 

Now that you understand what analytical thinking is and how important it is for your career in the future let’s talk about how you can start developing it. 

As we said, this skill depends solely on data analysis so that it can be trained.

Below, we list 9 tips on how to develop analytical thinking: 

1. Be more observant

Observe people in the workplace for patterns, but don’t restrict this behaviour to the office. Also, observe the people on the street and within your family. 

In addition to observing people, I also observe how things work.

Understand how tasks are done and how they reflect on the whole. 

2. Read more books

Reading is a great way to develop analytical thinking, but not just reading.

Ideally, you should have an active reading, that is, ask yourself questions before and after reading.

The tip here is not just to enjoy the content of a book but to learn to think about it and capture the messages it conveys. 

3. Practice logic games

Playing chess, Sudoku, crosswords, and puzzles is an excellent way to train your analytical skills.

This type of game proposes a problem, gives you some tools, and hopes you can use them to find the solution. 

4. Try to learn one new thing a day

An essential part of this type of thinking is knowing how to relate information, so an excellent way to develop analytical thinking is to learn new things. 

It can be within your work area or for fun, but make learning a habit. 

5. Practice looking from other points of view

Training your ability to look at the world from another person’s point of view brings empathy and tolerance and the ability to understand the other person’s reasons. 

Seeing a person’s reasons for having a particular opinion or worldview helps train your analytical skills.

6. Ask questions

Another essential point of analytical thinking is asking questions.

This is because, when you ask questions, you explore a situation to conclude. 

So, always train yourself to ask why something.

Know more:- How to overcome a lack of confidence.

7. Find out how things work

Knowing how things work helps you understand processes. 

Whether within your work area or your personal life, ask yourself how something works and why it works the way it does. 

8. Analyze your own decisions

In addition to observing other people and asking yourself how tasks are done and why, try to observe yourself. 

The journey of developing a skill will always involve self-knowledge, so never stop analyzing your own decisions and what leads you to act the way you do. 

9. Look for patterns

When relating information and analyzing situations, standards (and even the lack of them) are essential.

Therefore, try to observe the patterns of what happens around you. 

This helps you find relationships between things that don’t seem related at first glance and enables you to develop creative solutions. 

Read more:- See 7 steps to re-enter the job market

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