Analytical Skills: A Basic Guide in 3 Points


The process by which humans collect information, analyze it, and use it for making decisions or problem-solving is called analytical ability and uses analytical skills, which will be studied today. It is important for employees and jobs where issues are investigated and resolved, or simply put, having analytical skills are a must for employees.

In this article let us look at:

  1. What Are Analytical Skills?
  2. How Analytical Skills Work?
  3. Types

1. What Are Analytical Skills?

As just pointed out, employers always look for employees who can investigate a problem and find in the shortest possible time an efficient resolution to it. This ability is also called a person’s analytical skills. A wide variety of options, tools and strategies are available for the decision making process. They can include problem detection, observation, brainstorming, data interpretations, new data integration, data-based decision making, theorizing and more. The resolution offered is also called a solution arrived at through applying interpretation skills, a methodical approach, techniques that are creative and clear-cut data analysis.

Analytical thinking and analytical skills are referred to as soft skills but are dependent on technical analysis skills or types of hard skills that are job-specific. It is always good to highlight the importance of analytical skills in the interview and resume when seeking employment. Some techniques for doing so are discussed below.

  • Adding relevant keywords and skills to the resume: This is essential for the hiring managers scouring thousands of applications and generally using software for recruitment management.
  • Enclosing a cover letter with highlighted skills: Do include how analytical skills used helped resolve a specific issue.
  • Provide real-life examples: These examples could be at work, school, training or volunteer experiences helping demonstrate the use of analytical skills.

2. How Analytical Skills Work?

Simple decisions with limited variables are easy to take. However, if multiple and dependent variables are present, finding solutions is not exactly easy and needs good analytical skills. For Ex: Based on the price of a food-item and its popularity, a restaurant owner could decide to slash its price to promote its sale. However, one has also got to have information on suppliers costs, availability of constituents, profit margins, processing costs, order frequency, manpower required, the approximate number of orders expected etc., to put an item onto the same menu. Both require analytical skills before the decision making process and due thought to processes of how to improve analytical skills.

3. Types

Of several skills, the popular ones on a resume, of course, depend on the job position and its required list of analytical skills. But generalizing, the 5 essential skills are-

  • Communication: Effective communication is a must for implementation of the solution wherein one presents the patterns found, recommendations and conclusions arrived at and how to implement the solution. One will also need to learn how to develop analytical skills like active listening, problem sensitivity, effective surveying and reporting skills to make communication skills effective. One could use several types of analytical skills, oral and written communications; make presentations etc., to hone communicative skills, which are definitely dependant on team-work.
  • Creativity: This skill set includes spotting trends, finding the not-so-obvious solutions, thinking outside the box attitude etc. It also includes keen budgeting, restructuring and integrating strategic plans, predictive modelling, optimization of solutions, and active collaboration techniques.
  • Critical Thinking: This skill is the method of information evaluation leading to decision making and includes skills like process management, benchmarking, auditing, classifying, case analysis, et.c when making decisions based on business intelligence, Big Analytics, comparative analysis, correlation factors, casual relationships etc. One needs to learn techniques like inductive and deductive reasoning, data interpretation, its constituents for dissecting, diagnostics, evaluation, troubleshooting, prioritization and making quick data-based judgments.
  • Data Analysis: This skill is very important in the job market. It includes the ability to collect and how to enhance or gainfully use data and includes a variety of techniques like SWOT, business, critical, credit, financial, policy, descriptive, predictive, process, prescriptive and ROI analysis besides being able to apply both quantitative and qualitative approaches to Big Data and industry research.
  • Research: To solve any issue, one must thoroughly research it and requires analytical research skills to collect the right data and process it for gainful information. Research analytical skills include skills in studying spreadsheets, data collection, online research, studying competitor information etc. It is best to build skills pertaining to techniques for data collection, data investigation, prioritization, accuracy, metric understanding and more.


In today’s job market and the world in general, the abundance of data requires a gamut of effective analytical skills to get by. It is then of prime importance to identify such skills and get some effective means of garnering these desirable soft skills. When so ever one pursues a hard skill like technical training required for jobs, it is important to also allocate time to develop the most effective analytical skills for that specific job/ industry.

If you are interested in making it big in the world of data and evolve as a Future Leader, you may consider our Business Analytics Certification, a 10-month online program, in collaboration with IIM Indore!



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