Blog / Analytical Thinking

Analytical thinking skills: definition, examples & ways to improve

Analytical skills are required in every industry. They help employees investigate a problem and find an efficient solution for companies’ success. In this article, we’ll explore why analytical skills matter, how to highlight them in various scenarios, and improve.

What’s analytical thinking?

Analytical thinking involves the research and analysis of complex issues for developing new ideas or finding solutions. Analytical skills are critical for work and listed as required in many job descriptions.

When do we use our analytical skills at work?

We need analytical skills for working with data and brainstorming ideas, solutions, and making decisions based on factors and options.

When we use critical thinking at work, we follow several steps before we create an idea or find a solution. The result of analytical thinking is usually followed by gathering and analyzing information.

Why are analytical thinking skills important?

Analytical skills are crucial because they allow you to solve problems and make decisions. These abilities are in demand by many employers in various industries.

Nowadays job applicants are measured both by hard and soft skills. Analytical skills are soft skills you can use in any industry. They show the level of professionalism, so you can highlight them if you want to get a job.

Companies value employees’ analytical skills because they help them achieve corporate goals and stay competitive on the market. Understanding problems and analyzing the situation are vital for every business.

Many jobs require using analytical thinking, including programming, customer service, teaching, marketing, and others. Some positions may require industry-specific hard skills, too. Still, analytical skills can be transferred to every industry. If you have strong analytical skills, you can apply for many vacancies.

"Strong analytical skills can help you in professional growth. If you want to rise through the ranks in your current workplace, analytical thinking is a must-have skill."

5 must-have analytical skills

Many valuable analytical skills are worth including on your resume. Here are five must-have skills.

Creative thinking

Creative thinking relates to problem-solving and is a key skill for many jobs. To analyze information you need to be creative to notice hidden spots or trends not everyone can see. Creative thinkers can find a non-trivial solution that is more valuable than the obvious one. Creative people think outside the box to work out an effective solution or brainstorm ideas.

If you are a creative thinker, you will be able to:

  • Optimize processes and operations.
  • Collaborate for brainstorming with others.
  • Solve complex problems in a non-trivial way.
  • Think strategically.
  • Integrate massive volumes of information into existing solutions.


Conducting an in-depth research is an integral part of analytical thinking. To solve a problem, you need to learn more about it. In simple words, you need to gather information before analyzing it.

This part of the analytical thinking process can involve various types of research and depends on the source of data. You can do online research, gathering information by comparing competitives, reviewing official documents, or interviewing experts, etc. It’s also valuable to know what kind of data is required for problem-solving.

To conduct a research, you need to be able to:

  • Investigate the topic based on different data sources.
  • Work with metrics.
  • Prioritize data sources.
  • Pay attention to the accuracy of the collected data.

Data analysis

Data analysis is one of the most crucial parts of analytical thinking. To solve a problem, you need to be able to analyze the information for identifying trends in a large volume of raw data. It is not enough to just read the information; you need to understand which information is worth highlighting for decision-making.

Using analytical thinking, you may need to be able to conduct some of the types of data analysis below:

  • Quantitative/qualitative analysis
  • Business analysis
  • Industry or competitor analysis
  • ROI analysis
  • Process/Operational analysis
  • Financial analysis


After you collect and analyze the information, you need to identify the problem. Once it’s identified, you can find a reasonable solution. How? With your problem-solving skills, you need to be able to sort the data to find a rational and effective solution.

Sometimes you may need to identify small problems that cause a more significant way. Problem-solving skills will help you detect them and prevent a bigger one.


It’s useful to be able to research, analyze, and solve problems, but it means nothing if you lack compelling communication skills. Working with a team, you need to express your idea as clearly as you can. An effective communicator will not only solve the problem but will also save time.

How to show analytical skills?

Now you understand which of the analytical skills you possess, you need to know how to highlight them to do your best at getting a job or growing your career.

Mention on your resume

Including analytical skills on your resume, you will make it more attractive for employers. You can include them in the following sections:

  • Professional history
  • Skills
  • Summary

Tell in the job interview

When telling about your working experience, be as specific as you can. Give detailed responses and show how analytical skills improved or solved your former employer’s issues.
You may also be offered to do a pre-employment test to show your analytical skills.

Use at the workplace

Once you get a job, don’t stop using analytical skills. Be proactive in solving problems. Don’t be afraid of being a volunteer to participate in problem-solving and decision-making. It will be a great opportunity to highlight the analytical skills you possess.

7 ways to improve analytical skills

Like other skills, analytical thinking skills are natural but not inborn. To land a job you want or succeed in professional growth, you need to improve analytical skills. Use these tips we’ve worked out for students and employees who are interested in developing analytical skills.

1. Play brain games

If you want to improve analytical skills, you play brain games like chess, Sudoku, puzzles, and others. They can help you train thinking critically. Playing 15-20 minutes a day can stimulate your brain function and strengthen analytical skills.

Brain games are fun and make your pastime more productive. Instead of watching TV all evening, play a brain game alone or with your family. The best part is that you can play them online wherever you are.

LogicLike is an excellent brain training app with access to 3500 tasks in your smartphone for free. This is a unique platform with a systematized complex that makes up the best collection of brain games up to date. At any point, you can run a memory test or IQ quiz to check the progress and focus on improving your thinking skills.

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2. Take an online course on a new topic

After graduating from university, we may become passive about learning new things. Once we get a job and know what we are good at, we stop learning and may relax for some time.

Indeed, education plays an important part in professional growth. You should try to expand your knowledge to stay competitive in the job market.

You can take up an online course on the topic you are not good at. For example, not many employers are advanced users of MS Word. If you have time for education, it’s time to challenge yourself with a new topic. You will not only get new knowledge but also improve your analytical skills, including data research and analysis.

3. Solve math problems

Mathematics involves logic and solving a problem step-by-step. Since all math problems are based on logic, solving them will sharpen your analytical skills.

Practice various forms of math problems that will build your problem-solving abilities. You can visit additional math classes at college or university. Reasoning with others will also develop your communication skills. If you prefer doing it online, you can download an app with math games on your smartphone.

4. Participate in debates

Debates are one of the best activities that improve analytical skills, ranging from research to communication. If you are unfamiliar with this activity, you should try it. You can join your local debate club or organize a debate evening with your friends.

Why is it useful for analytical skills?

Taking part in a debate, you become more sociable because you meet new people and discuss various topics. To be well-prepared for debates, you need to research the topic, ask questions, and be ready with substantial arguments.

Debates are an efficient way to challenge yourself and improve your analytical skills.

5. Join online communities

Online communities are a good place to find like-minded people to discuss any issue you are interested in. Researching and reasoning together with other community members will encourage your analytical skills.

Don’t be shy when you need to ask or express your point of view. Anyway, you are there for getting new knowledge or sharing your ideas with others.

6. Develop curiosity by asking questions

Asking questions is the inborn talent we use from childhood. Indeed, questions are a good tool for developing curiosity. Curious people are more motivated and creative.

When you are interested in any topic, don’t be afraid of asking questions. Ask anyone who is an expert in the field of knowledge are you are interested in. Finally, the more questions you ask, the more answers and information you get.

After all, curiosity encourages us to ask questions. Don’t leave them unanswered!

7. Never make quick and crash decisions

To be an efficient problem-solver, you need to take time to think about the problem. Thinking about things and considering multiple factors and options are good habits if you want to develop analytical things.

Useful tips to have at hand:

  • Analyze different scenarios of the solution you find to solve the problem. Think of their pros and cons.
  • Consider the solution from multiple sides before you choose the best option.
  • Don’t choose the easiest solution that lays on the surface. If you think more, you may find another solution that is more efficient.

Key takeaways:

  • Analytical skills are soft skills required in many industry fields.
  • Among the must-have analytical skills are creative thinking, research, data analysis, problem-solving, and communication.
  • You can highlight your analytical skills on your resume, on the job, and at the workplace.
  • You need to improve your analytical skills. You can play brain games, take an online course on a new topic, solve math problems, join a debate club, or online communities.
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