Ruchika, who is a web developer, recently got two job offers. The first is with a US-based multinational company. The second is from a local startup dedicated to a cause close to her heart—improving heritage spaces to promote tourism and preserve history. 

Before making her decision, Ruchika weighed her pros and cons. The first one paid well and she would get to travel. On the other hand, the second one offered the prospect to work closely with the local culture and heritage. 

She finally decided to go with the second offer as it not only allowed her to live close to her family but also allowed her to do more for her city.

It was Ruchika’s analytical thinking skills that helped her make an informed decision. After weighing the pros and cons of both the offers at hand, she prioritized and chose what was best for her.

Let’s explore the meaning of analytical thinking with examples to understand how it can help you improve your decision-making skills.

What Is Analytical Thinking?

Analytical thinking involves a step-wise approach to problem-solving. It helps you break down and simplify complex problems. It requires you to set aside your personal bias and prejudice and think objectively for solutions.

Although analytical and critical thinking are often used interchangeably, the two are, in fact, different. In a way, analytical thinking is the first step in the process of critical thinking. This is where you analyze, assess and filter relevant information before interpreting it. 

Here are some aspects of analytical thinking:

  • Collection of data and information relevant to the task at hand

  • Breaking down the problem into smaller, manageable chunks

  • Weighing the pros and cons before making a decision

  • Using logical reasoning to understand the problem

  • Finding solutions based on available data

Critical thinking, on the other hand, takes a more holistic approach to problem-solving. It involves analytical thinking, data interpretation, making sound assumptions and drawing conclusions.

It’s important to differentiate between analytical and critical thinking for improved results.

Analytical Thinking Skills

If you want to stand out at your workplace, you should develop analytical thinking skills like problem-solving. In a professional setting, critical skills are ones that help you make informed decisions, mitigate losses or errors and build relationships.

Some of the analytical thinking skills you can develop are:

  1. Problem-solving

You may encounter complex problems at work that require you to apply analytical thinking. You must define the problem clearly before you can find and implement a solution. It’s a handy skill that you can develop over time. You need to think objectively and consider the available data without making assumptions at this stage. 

  1. Effective communication

Analytical thinking isn’t just about assessing and collecting information. You may have to communicate your findings to team members and key stakeholders—senior management and/or clients. Effective communication helps you to present your findings with clarity and brevity. 

  1. Extract relevant data

You should also know what to keep and what to discard. Not all information may be relevant to your cause. Instead of focusing on quantity, pick quality to keep information that’ll help you make a decision. This requires a keen eye for detail and shows that you’re thorough with your tasks.

Examples Of Analytical Thinking

Regardless of your profession, you may be required to apply analytical and critical thinking to your tasks. Let’s look at some examples of analytical thinking: 

  1. An organization that’s launching a new product will first gather information regarding customer preferences, market trends and media strategies. You need analytical thinking to create sound strategies for data collection. 

  2. Freelance web developers will research to understand their client’s target audience. They’ll focus on layout, user interface and accessibility for improved user experience. Analytical thinking helps you dig deeper without relying on the first solution that comes to mind.

Conclusion

As an important part of critical thinking, analytical thinking sets the stage for problem-solving. An information overload can steer you off track if you’re not careful. With analytical thinking, you’ll learn how to collect relevant information.

Learn more about analytical critical thinking with Harappa Education’s Thinking Critically course. With frameworks like the Ladder of Inference, you’ll soon become an expert at defining and solving problems. Develop the ability to assess situations clearly and critically. Make well-reasoned arguments that’ll help you advance in your career.


Explore topics such as Analytical ThinkingCritical ThinkingTypes of ThinkingExamples of Critical Thinking & How to Improve Your Critical Thinking from Harappa Diaries and think clearly and rationally.

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