As humans, whether old or young, you will be faced with challenges on a daily basis. These challenges may be work-, business-, or relationship-related. Not everyone can overcome these challenges; only those with excellent analytical skills can confront and overcome any obstacle.
Analytical skills refer to the ability to collect, interpret, and analyze information in an objective manner. In other words, it means being able to understand and break down complicated problems in order to come to sensible conclusions.
According to Lifehack, analytical skills” refers to a wide range of qualities that help you tackle complicated issues through careful evaluation. It is however important to understand that this skill is made up of a list of other skills such as:
- Researching: Mariamwebster defines research as the collection of relevant information about a particular subject. This requires maximum time and patience in order to find an effective solution.
- Critical thinking: This type of analytical skills involves using logic to evaluate a situation, draw conclusions and eventually make decisions. To be able to think critically, emotions are not required but rather, evidence and data to help arrive at a conclusion
- Brainstorming: Brainstorming is a method of generating ideas and solutions by engaging in a creative thought process. It involves coming up with a series of questions related to the problem at hand and generating ideas based on the answers to those questions.
- Organization: This is the ability to arrange and manage data in ways that make it easier to understand, analyze, and use. It could involve sorting information into categories, creating visual representations of data, or other methods of organizing data to have the desired output.
- Communication: There is no way a situation can be effectively analyzed without communication. Sharing the data gathered through research and analysis is achieved through communication, either verbally or written. In other words, analytical skills come with effective communication.
- Data analysis: This involves using various tools and techniques such as statistical analysis, data mining, and predictive analytics to gain insights into the data that can be used to make decisions.
WHY SHOULD YOU IMPROVE YOUR ANALYTICAL SKILLS
Analytical skills have become a very important skill required in every facet of life especially in the labor market. It’s very hard to find a job offer where analytical skills aren’t listed among the requirements.
This is because the success of a company is dependent on the ability of employees to develop potential solutions. Therefore, to stand out in the competitive workforce, you have to be analytically skilled
Unfortunately, this is not a skill possessed by everyone naturally but the good thing is that it can be developed over time. So, if you do not have the skill at the moment, there is absolutely no need to panic. Like driving and singing, analytical skills can be learned.
In this article, we will be considering the various ways in which analytical skills can be improved.
Without further ado, improving your analytical skills requires practice and dedication and there are numerous ways to do this.
TOP 5 WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR ANALYTICAL SKILLS
Here are some of the ways you can do that:
1. Reading Books
Books are powerhouses of knowledge. According to Cunningham’s studies, analytical thinking is boosted by being able to spot patterns which are done via reading.
Reading can improve your analytical skills by keeping your mind active as well as teaching you to think critically in order to identify and evaluate the various elements of a text. It can also help you develop your understanding of context and how different topics fit together. Reading with engagement and concentration will help you improve your analytical skills.
Reading novels and fictional books are good examples of books that help improve your analytical skills.
2. Always Ask Questions
According to Araceli Carmago, a neuroscientist, “the more curious we are about a subject, the more it engages our cognitive functions like memory and attention.” However, according to the story on newscientist, curiosity can either be a virtue or a vice. Asking questions will help you develop your retention and creativity for sharper thinking
With that said, asking more questions can help develop better problem-solving skills, retention, and memory on a subject. So, don’t hesitate to ask questions, especially reasonable questions.
3. Play Brain Games
Growing up, I never really loved playing games but later on when I got exposed to certain games, I realized there was more to playing games than just for fun. The first time I ever tried playing Sudoku and Ludo, my brain was on fire. I never really liked the fact that my brain was exposed to alot of pressure but over time, I discovered it helped me to think critically.
That being said, if you want to improve your analytical skills, playing brain games like puzzles, crosswords, monopoly, chess and a whole lot of other games is a great option. This is one of the fun ways to improve your analytical skills as it stimulates your brain.
4. Accept Leadership Roles
Becoming a leader is a great avenue to acquire a lot of skills and build confidence. Working with a team improves analytical and communication skills.
As a leader with numerous responsibilities, your brain will constantly be active, analyzing and coming up with solutions to move the team forward. This act will invariably improve your analytical skills further.
5. Solving Math Problems
Mathematicians have great analytical skills. Working out math problems is the most common way to improve analytical skills because for every problem, you will first analyze the information provided to come up with possible ways to solve it. In other words, math problems help you develop reasoning skills and improve analytical skills as well.
I understand math is the worst nightmare of a lot of individuals like myself. However, to improve on your analytical thinking skills, you need to be open to solving math problems, even if it’s basic math.
6. Be Observant
This is not me compelling you to agree with me but it is a known fact that most people who talk less and observe more are great analysers. More so, in a busy world we find ourselves in, being engaged with work may not give us the room to be better observers.
Regardless, always create time away from work, probably take a walk and observe events and people around you. This will tend to actively engage your mind, thus making you become a better analyzer.
No matter how much you want to shy away from it, analytical skill is a life skill that is needed by all as we are faced with daily decision making. It is therefore pertinent to work towards improving on it especially if you do not have the skill naturally. Like other skills, improving your analytical skills requires practice and dedication. There are many different ways to do this, such as reading books, practicing logical puzzles and games, accepting leadership roles, always asking necessary questions, etc. These and more are ways in which you can develop your analytical skills.