Among the many traits an employee is expected to possess, analytical thinking leads the list. It is a part of the problem-solving process, but only better and more meticulous. Analytical thinking doesn’t limit itself to the workspace. Instead, it takes inspiration from one’s everyday routine to think and implement actionable plans or solutions for different life challenges. The way to develop analytical thinking might be lengthy, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible!
Being part of a working environment brings a deep sense of responsibility. After all, it’s a valuable skill to offer assistance across the myriad facets of work. But only a few manage to put forth effective solutions – these are the analytical thinkers. As an employee, there will be instances where your analytical thinking ability will be tested, and it can be an indicator of your current and future space in the organization. Practicing analytical skills is the best way to win over such situations while proving your worth as an asset to the brand.
Analytical thinking encompasses brainstorming ideas, collecting and evaluating information, and putting it to the best use. However, it’s not as easy as it sounds. It takes years of practice to hone these subtle aspects of analytical thinking. The first step to getting there is to have a curious outlook and mindset. Once you start thinking and exploring a situation from every possible angle, you can pave the way for your growth in any work environment.
Types of Analytical Skills
To get started with working on building analytical thinking, explore the nooks and crannies of its components. The fundamentals of analytical thinking include a set of practices that are essentially common soft skills sought by recruiters worldwide.
1. Data Analysis
Seeking solutions for complex problems simplifies when you own an ample amount of data relevant to it. Knowing the formula leads you to the outcome of a sum more quickly than struggling for shortcuts. Gain proficiency in dealing with statistics and quantitative analysis, finance, and tech spaces!
2. Communication Skills
The search for the right clues only initiates after gauging the problem, which requires efficient communication skills. Meeting people, knowing their concern points, reassuring them of delivering solutions, and winning their trust constitute the first few steps of bagging a client. When dealing with a client, remember that you are verbally representing your organization. Lack of communication can kill the conversation at the initial stage.
3. Innovative thinking
Conventional approaches are bound to lose their vigor after a while. Modern businesses face modern challenges and demand innovative and unique solutions. Put your brain to work – start reading relevant materials, connect with new people, and experiment with fresh ideas.
Instead of skimming through the concern points in hopes of a stray idea entering your head, try the proven method of reasoning. Gauging all the available options can lead you to the most effective solution so take time to come to a conclusion after thorough deliberation and reasoning.
The journey to reach a conclusion begins when you start thoroughly understanding the right resources, tools, and methods required for addressing the situation at hand. Apt researching skills enable you to identify the most compelling solutions for problems.
6. Critical Thinking
Critical thinking is usually based on a unique perception that an individual reaches after analyzing the subject from their subjective viewpoint. Being rational is necessary for critical thinkers – which leads them to reach unbiased conclusions. Practicing critical thinking allows a balance between analyzing technical information along logical reasoning to reach a fair conclusion.
So, how do critical thinking and analytical thinking differ from each other?
Considering both demand logical comprehension skills, efficiency with data, and a rational mind, both methods may seem interchangeable. Analytically, they are not.
Critical thinking seeks to understand a condition after viewing it from multiple perspectives. This may include data, opinions, alternatives, and the current situation. It carries more of an opinion-backed style.
On the other hand, analytical thinking breaks down evident information and relevant data to analyze a condition deeply, following precise, ordered steps. It backs the conclusion with scientific results rather than simply relying on logical thinking or opinions.
How to Practice Analytical Thinking?
Now that you’re on a journey to develop your analytical skills make use of these simple tips to catalyze the process. Try and start practicing the different types:
1. Bring out your maths book.
Maths can be a great player to replenish your lost data analyzing skills. Solving reasoning problems can be a great exercise as well! The complexity of equations is challenging enough to put any mind in the forward gear. Try and practice math problems regularly to sharpen your analytical thinking skills.
2. Start reading
Reading is one of the most prominent practices to strengthen any skill. Read regularly to build comprehension skills and concentration, which will lead you to assess situations better. There is nothing that cannot be found in books. Compiled view of the world can gift you the wild itself. Just try immersing yourself in any genre.
3. Be observant
Understanding human behavior is complex in itself, so why not practice it a bit by being receptive to our surroundings. Walk around spaces with a crowd, and interact with them occasionally to share thoughts. You’ll be amazed to find so many fresh perspectives.
4. Practice problem solving
The best way to train your brain for a possible mental dual is to practice it beforehand. Visualize problems and identify the most practical answers for the same. Offer your assistance to others as well – an excellent practice to sharpen your mental prep.
5. Podcasts on the go
Instead of wasting hours commuting from office to home, enjoy the route by playing informational podcasts. These podcasts are full of bite-sized information which one can easily consume and gain useful insights to improve the analytical side of the brain. Podcasts come under different genres, so you can choose the ones that align best with your interests and field of work.
6. Analytical tools
Different analytical tools are available in bulk to capture daily life activities and practice analysis of data. Thus, instead of cluelessly struggling with analytical tools at the first go, you can start with one tool and mix it with your own experience to understand the correlated patterns.
7. One skill a day tactic
Expansion of information in mind is the biggest achievement one can proceed towards. This is possible with the help of developing new skills. One skill a day tactic aims for the readers to participate or try learning about at least one different skill every day. Actively running your mind can result in wonders. You can choose both online and offline means to pick up different skills that can make your mind more active and productive.
8. Introducing changes in personal life
Monotony can hamper your analytical abilities. You need to fuel your analytical side by introducing a fresh routine in your daily life or professional workspace. Recognize your behavioral patterns and try approaching life problems in different ways.
Hone New Skills
Now that you know how to develop your analytical thinking put the mentioned skills to work. The best way to do so would be to get enrolled in a dynamic course that seeks active participation, as well as enriches you with world-class coursework found only on upGrad. The Professional Certificate Program in HR Management and Analytics is an excellent option to acquire analytical thinking skills. This 5-month course is perfect for mid-level and senior-level managers.
With a learner base spread over 85+ countries and 40,000+ paid learners enrolled globally, upGrad delivers quality education online. Explore paid and free courses created under the expert guidance of industry professionals to deliver the market’s most sought-after skills. Furthermore, the dedicated team of mentors ensures 360-degree career assistance to learners, helping them to seek the best career opportunities after accomplishing their upGrad journey.
Analytical thinking is a highly coveted skill in the present industry. No wonder companies prefer professionals with the right mix of analytical and critical thinking skills. Learning and upskilling are both lifelong processes that demand dedication, patience, and effort. So, strive hard in your career growth journey, and you’ll reap the rewards that will take you further up the ladder.
Check out the comprehensive list of industry-curated courses on upGrad’s website to learn more and start your development journey already!
How to gain fluency in analytical thinking?
Practice. Practice is the key to unlocking any new skill you wish to include in your candidature. Analytical thinking is a valued skill, not only professionally but in personal life too. So, carry out the mentioned practices as much as possible.
What is the right age to start working on analytical thinking?
There is no right age to start developing analytical thinking, but the sooner you do, the better you’ll get. This skill will become your forte by the time you get on a job-hunting spree, leading recruiters to see no other candidate but you!
What professions are best for an analytical thinker?
Answer: Analytical thinkers would find their way to the top in any profession with the amount of skill they master, but here are a few that work best for them:
1. Business Analyst
2. Data Scientist
4. Legal Entity