How To Improve Analytical Skills (With Steps And Benefits)

Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 24 January 2023

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Analytical skills can be generally helpful in several areas of life, especially in certain professions such as science, research and data-related jobs. Some people may have a natural acumen to study and analyse information quickly and arrive at meaningful conclusions or solutions. Others can improve this ability by incorporating some daily practices into their routine. In this article, we discuss how to improve analytical skills in 11 simple steps and look at the benefits of improving your analytical skills.

Related: Analytical Skills: Definition, Tips And Examples

How to improve analytical skills with daily activities

Below are 11 useful steps that explain how to improve analytical skills with the help of your day-to-day activities:

1. Read more

Reading can help you explore situations you may never get the chance to be a part of in reality. It generates imagination and can make you think more creatively. Fiction can help you view the same story from the viewpoints of the characters to understand how it affects each person. This can help you develop your own outlook on things and allow you to examine every aspect of a situation.

Non-fiction content like the news, feature articles on specific topics, research papers and books written by experts on their subjects can also help. They can help you learn how to analyse a subject and derive reasonable conclusions or helpful solutions to a problem. Spend at least 30 minutes reading every day if you cannot do more due to time constraints.

2. Observe more

Observing even the minute details around you can help you enhance your analytical skills, as it may allow you to analyse how things function. For example, you can be more mindful of your surroundings at your workplace. This may help you identify potential problems or advantages there. It may also help you find solutions to those problems.

Related: Attention To Detail: Definition, Examples And Tips

3. Learn something new

Try to learn something new, such as a new skill, sport or hobby. The mind may develop and grow when you learn any new activity. You can start with skills that have been of interest but for which you could not make the time earlier. Gradually try to challenge yourself by moving on to more technical topics or skills with which you may be quite unfamiliar.

It might feel strange and difficult at first, but as soon as you begin to learn and progress, you may notice an improvement in your analytical skills. Understanding a new subject can give you an enhanced perception of many other things associated with it. You can also sign up for an online course on any of the popular online learning platforms. You can choose one skill or subject each week and complete a course on it.

4. Try to solve problems

Solving problems generally requires you to deliberately study the problem and understand its causes and effects. This can help you come up with viable and effective solutions. Your analytical skills can develop quickly if you attempt to solve problems at work, for yourself or others around you.

Related: Problem-Solving Skills: Definitions And Examples

5. Ask questions

Being curious can help you notice and observe things that you might miss otherwise. When you ask questions, you challenge your brain's capacity to think and scrutinise situations, events and subjects. Even if you have the slightest doubt about something, ask pertinent questions to get clarification on it. Asking questions can also help you gain a more in-depth understanding of a subject and more valuable insights. It may also help you remember things easily and for a longer time.

6. Play games

Playing games that challenge your intellectual and cognitive abilities can help you enhance your analytical skills. You can play games like crossword puzzles or chess. If you enjoy playing computer games, you can find some of these and many more online too. Games can help you think more strategically while exercising your analytical skills. While developing these skills, you might also earn an extra income by playing many play-to-earn games that pay you for completing each task and achievement. That can be another great source of motivation for working on your analytical skills regularly.

7. Evaluate your past decisions

You may have made many choices and decisions in your life and work in the past. You might challenge some of these decisions and may be extremely happy with others. Think about the situations associated with these decisions, and what led you to these decisions.

Try to replay the scenario in your head now to see how you could have analysed things better to make a more well-informed decision that you would be happy with today. There is a lot that you can learn from your past mistakes. Do the same with your well thought out decisions to see why they were better than others, what steps and approach you applied that led you to make those decisions.

Related: What Is Decision Making? Definition, Types And Tips

8. Study how others make decisions

If you have some examples of people around you who consistently make excellent decisions and have great insights, observe their thought processes and how they make those decisions. Notice the factors they consider and how they analyse a situation before making a decision. You can talk to these people and ask them why they made the decisions they did. You can learn from people who often analyse things and make several judgments regularly. These can be people in leadership positions, such as managers, business heads, teachers, doctors and even business analysts.

Related: What Is A Business Analyst? Definition And Career Advice

9. Participate in debates

Take part in healthy debates and employ good reasoning and analytical skills while doing so. If you are a student, you can get ample opportunity to do this in the classroom. When the teacher poses a subjective question, you can take part by giving your views and supporting them with logic and good reason. Usually, this can lead to varying opinions in the classroom, leading to a debate of various sorts.

You can also do this during work meetings when the manager asks for feedback or opinions from the team members. You might even participate in discussions on various topics with your friends or family. Take a deliberate approach to this by analysing everything carefully before expressing your views. While debating, do make sure that you maintain the decorum of the surroundings and consider the sentiments of the people present.

Related: 15 Top Group Discussion Tips To Help You Pass To The Next Round

10. Maintain a journal

Keep a journal where you can make entries about the events and situations you encounter during the day and how you manage them. Express your thoughts and feelings about these as elaborately as possible. This can help you reflect on these events in the future. Sometimes, you may get better judgments about past situations after some time passes. You can evaluate your past decisions and analytical abilities by doing this and thus improve them further.

11. Develop your mathematical skills

Mathematics generally includes solving equations in a structured flow to get an answer. Because all forms of mathematics are highly logical, improving your mathematical skills can be beneficial in enhancing your analytical skills. You can practice various types of math problems, which may help develop your logic and problem-solving capabilities. Solving these equations can often be trial and error. You can consider enrolling in online math classes. Reasoning with others can also help you develop your analytical skills.

Benefits of improving analytical skills

Analytical skills are generally useful professionally while making decisions and solving problems. They can be important in various professions, such as marketing, research, project management, data science, accounting and finance. They can help you analyse people and situations better to derive important conclusions that can enhance your judgments. Better judgments can help you achieve better results and make more rational decisions.

Having excellent analytical skills can also help avoid mistakes that you may have made if you could not predict problems by analysing situations. You may also be able to identify great opportunities and take them in time if you possess good analytical skills. This can especially be helpful to people who are looking for lucrative business opportunities.

Related: 10 Analytical Questions For Interviews With Answers And Tips

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