7 Analytical Thinking Boosters for Your Career

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Ken Chase, Freelance Writer

8 min read

5 Tips to Boost Your Analytical Thinking Skills

Learn the top tips to boost your analytical skills and advance your career

In an ever-evolving economy, the ability to analyze complex data and situations has become an increasingly important skill for job candidates. In many instances, these analytical thinking skills can be the deciding factor in any hiring decision. 

  • But how can someone become a more analytical thinker? 

  • Are there tips to boost your analytical skills and help you become the type of analytical thinker that today’s employers need?

In this post, we’ll explain what analytical thinking is and how it differs from other types of thought processes. In addition, we’ll explore some strategies you can use to boost your ability to think analytically so you have the skills needed to advance your career.

What is analytical thinking?

So, what is an analytical thinker? 

Analytical thinking is a type of thought process that allows you to evaluate information by breaking it down into its component parts. This linear approach to examining information and situations can provide a more in-depth review of available facts in a step-by-step way.

By examining each part of a problem, the analytical thinker can identify causes and effects, patterns, and trends that can help them understand how those components connect to one another. Ultimately, that analysis is used to draw conclusions based on all available information.

Analytical thinking, step-by-step

There are several common steps used in the analytical thought process:

  • Begin by gathering all the relevant facts and data points

  • Examine the evidence as it is, attempting to identify issues and concerns

  • Break down any complex information into its component parts for easier analysis

  • Look for patterns that help to explain causes and effects, problems, or other areas of concern

  • Work to understand how the component parts connect to one another and the whole

  • Set aside irrelevant information and organize the remaining components

  • Use reasoning and logic to draw the right conclusion

Of course, these steps are just a basic overview of a typical analytical process since no two individuals or situations are exactly alike. Sometimes, various steps will need to be repeated multiple times to ensure a complete analysis. In addition, analytical thinkers should use critical thought to test their conclusions and to ensure that their analysis has the best chance of being correct.

Examples of analytical skills

To fully understand the important role analytical thinking can play in any problem-solving process, it’s helpful to identify some of the major analytical skills. There are several abilities that can be defined as analytical skills, including:


Research skills are vital for analytical thinking since you need to know how to gather the right data and information to fuel your review. This may require reviewing written materials, poring through databases, or conducting online research.

Data analysis

Sound analysis requires the ability to analyze complex data sets, find connections between seemingly disparate bits of information, and organize that information for deeper review.


An analytical thinker must be able to organize more than just the data under review. They also need to be able to organize and manage their analysis processes, collaborative efforts with other team members, and the final conclusions that they include in any reports or presentations.


While analytical thinking focuses on hard facts and evidence, a certain degree of creativity is needed to apply conclusions to real-world problems. Creativity is also vital for inferring connections between pieces of evidence that may, at first glance, seem to have little relation to one another.


Since analytical thinking is often used to solve problems, you’ll also need communication skills to relay your findings to management, team members, or other stakeholders. These skills should be broad enough to enable you to convey those conclusions in a simple, understandable way.


Keen observational skills are critical for any analysis. They help to identify relevant data that others might miss, understand how different component parts interact with one another, and determine causes and effects.

Analytical thinking vs critical thinking

It may also be helpful to compare analytical thinking to other ways of processing information and solving problems – like critical thinking, for example. Critical thinking differs from analytical thinking in several important ways. 

While analytical thinkers focus only on the information at hand, critical thinkers take a more holistic approach to solving problems. They do consider the facts and evidence before them, but also apply their own reasoning, logic, and existing knowledge base to form sound conclusions.

The critical thinker will also consider a variety of alternative conclusions, testing each possibility to determine if a conclusion can be supported by the evidence at hand. This process enables them to use analytical skills to evaluate information, common sense to assess the value of each bit of available data, and vital inference skills to craft theories that connect data points to form viable conclusions.

Tips to boost your analytical skills

Even if your analytical thinking skills are already somewhat developed, they can always be improved. Below, we’ve compiled some of the top tips to boost your analytical skills.

1.     Focus on observation and curiosity

Given the important role that keen observation skills play in analytical thinking, you should focus on strengthening your ability to observe everything around you. Force yourself to take note of even the most mundane things you see and develop a habit of asking questions like “how?” and “why?” 

  • How does a plane stay in the air? 

  • Why does a rose smell the way it does?

2.     Create a learning library or database

With the rise of the internet, analytical thinkers have access to a vast array of resources for learning and research. There are whole websites filled with articles and videos and online communities dedicated to almost any topic you can imagine. Develop your own library of bookmarked or downloaded pages of information relevant to your career, interests, and thought processes.

3.     Familiarize yourself with analytical tools

Many times, sound analysis will require the use of various technological tools. Familiarize yourself with software and other technology that can help simplify or automate various steps of your analysis process. 

There are a whole host of business analytics tools available online. You can even gain analytical insight by using common tools like Excel. If you’re more adventurous, you can also take advantage of the emerging artificial intelligence sector by using one of the new AI tools.

4.     Stimulate your mind

The human mind can become dull when it isn’t constantly challenged. One way to increase your mental capacity is to find ways to stimulate your mind. Strategy-based games like chess, mental puzzles, and brain-training exercises can all be used to stimulate and expand your ability to analyze situations, form logical connections, and focus your attention on tasks and problems.

5.     Find an online community of like-minded individuals

Another great way to expand your thought processes is to engage in meaningful and thoughtful discussions with others. Sites like Reddit have community pages devoted to almost any topic or interest you can imagine. Even a simple Google search can put you in touch with like-minded individuals with whom you can network and share ideas.

6.     Get in the habit of considering alternate viewpoints

Great analytical thinkers are always cognizant of their own biases and strive to consider opposing viewpoints when they’re conducting their analyses. 

One way to increase your self-awareness and avoid bias is to make a habit of playing devil’s advocate when you’re considering any issue. Whether you’re analyzing a data set or forming an opinion, try to take a few moments to consider conclusions and ideas that run contrary to your first assessment.

The idea is to challenge your own assumptions by evaluating the merits of other conclusions and arguments. This can help minimize your own confirmation bias, ensure that you’ve considered other viable solutions, and reinforce the evidence that supports your own conclusions. 

Over time, regular consideration of those alternative ideas will help to boost your analytical abilities.

7.     Take online analytics courses

One of the best tips to boost your analytical skills involves a more formal approach: take an online course in analytics. You could consider getting a Google Data Analytics Certificate or a similar certificate from IBM. You can also take an online course in data analysis from a whole host of universities that offer online study.

Practice these tips to boost your analytical skills and fuel greater career success!

Strong analytical skills can be vital for any job seeker who wants to advance their career. By understanding the types of abilities needed to be an analytical thinker and using these tips to boost your analytical skills, you can develop the talents that you’ll need to succeed in today’s complex business environment.

Want to make sure that your resume showcases your analytical thinking skills? Get a free resume review from our team of experts today!

This article was written by Ken Chase in 2023 and was updated by the author in April 2024.

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Written by

Ken Chase, Freelance Writer

During Ken's two decades as a freelance writer, he has covered everything from banking and fintech to business management and the entertainment industry. His true passion, however, has always been focused on helping others achieve their career goals with timely job search and interview advice or the occasional resume consultation. When he's not working, Ken can usually be found adventuring with family and friends or playing fetch with his demanding German Shepherd. Read more resume advice from Ken on ZipJob’s blog.

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