How to become more analytical


Kevin Mangelschots

Building reasoning ability is important since it allows us to find answers to challenging questions and issues. We can use these skills to form purposeful action plans to reach our goals and to make better choices.
That’s why we need to know how to become more analytical by applying the following tips.

How to develop analytical skills

  1. Think critically

    Image describing how reasoning, problem-solving, and evaluating are all needed for critical thinking.

    Thinking critically is required to think analytically since it involves comparing data, and figuring out what is truthful, and what is not.

    Far too many follow the herd and fall prey to group thinking instead of reasoning for themselves. If you don’t learn to think for yourself, then you can’t learn how to make good decisions based on knowledge and objective truths.

  2. Practice problem-solving

    Good problem-solving skills involve figuring out what went wrong, and what we can do to fix it, all the while creating and executing a strategy to resolve our issues. Of course, this means we’ll probably have to make some adjustments along the way because things don’t always go according to plan.

    Good problem-solving behavior is required to thrive since our existence is constantly changing. This means endless new challenges to tackle, but also novel opportunities to flourish.

  3. Be introspective

    The quote, “we do not learn from experience, we learn from reflecting on experience” written on a background with a woman staring.

    We can’t learn to reason if we don’t reflect on what we need to work on.

    Being introspective allows you to figure out what your strengths are, but more importantly, what your weaknesses and personal biases are.

    Prejudices such as confirmation bias can prevent us from thinking critically and analytically. We need to rely on facts and our ability to think logically instead of reasoning with our emotions and subjective feelings.

  4. Search for patterns

    Life runs in patterns. And when we gain mastery in multiple areas, we gain a new understanding of how those things are connected. We might have missed these links when we were not as skilled or knowledgeable before.

    For example, a lot of the same characteristics that make one successful at weightlifting such as discipline, consistency, and learning to delay gratification are all important to flourish in business as well.

    That’s why we can apply these same principles to both activities since they’re essential to succeed in whatever we do in life.

  5. Do empirical research

    A stamp with the word “evidence” on it.

    Analytical thinking is based on empirical evidence rather than basing our judgment on the premise of our emotions and how we’re currently feeling.

    That’s not to say that our feelings are always wrong, or can’t provide guidance. But they’re not always right, either. That’s why we should always search for the objective truth since that remains the same, no matter what anyone else says.

  6. Focus on objective truths and data

    You must dig deep to figure out what the truth is, and what the data says based on empirical evidence.

    Lots of people are making judgments and decisions based on their emotions. Regularly not even realizing how opinionated and uninformed they are by doing so.

    The need to be right and being unwilling to admit that they’re not perfect and can be wrong as well is regularly too strong for people to form well-informed opinions supported by facts and scientific knowledge.

  7. Take responsibility

    Image of a finger pointing at a single human signifying his personal responsibility.

    Take responsibility for your actions and choices. It’s easy for us to take ownership of all the good things that happen in our lives, but rarely do we feel the same about our mistakes and failures.

    Yet, it’s paramount to develop and improve. We can’t learn how to reason properly without blundering along the way. We’re going to be bad at first when attempting something novel before we can get a chance to become better at it.

  8. Learn new things

    We can’t improve if we don’t learn new things. Life’s too complex to know it all during one lifetime, and that’s why we should never stop building new knowledge.

    Gaining a new understanding lets us make connections between seemingly unrelated events, and makes it easier to tie the loose ends together. We need all the available familiarity with that subject that we can get to make rational decisions based on empirical evidence.

  9. Challenge yourself

    You can’t learn anything novel or become proficient at something if you never challenge yourself. That means you have to be courageous enough to attempt such a difficult feat and be willing to fail since that will inevitably happen.

    Yet, we need to comprehend that most growth typically occurs when doing things that are unknown and feel scary to us. That’s precisely why we must test ourselves by undertaking new challenges.

  10. Learn how things work

    We need to know how things operate before we can even attempt to make it work. How can you learn to think analytically when you don’t know what it is, or what abilities it’s comprised of?

    It’s a broad subject that covers a wide range of skills that are all required to reason logically to get the best outcomes.

  11. Pay attention to detail

    The quote, “the difference between mediocrity and excellence is attention to detail” written on a background of a man taking a picture.

    You should pay attention to detail to gain a better understanding of the situation. While it’s true that the big picture is most important, it’s extremely hard to know what that is or to gain a deep understanding of everything when we don’t care for all the components.

    Take your time to point out all the small details about the situation. This requires a true acquaintance of the circumstances.

  12. Ask questions

    Asking questions can give us new information and novel insights into the things that weren’t clear to us at first.

    Inquiries allow us to learn more about the topic at hand, and how to apply that new understanding rationally.

  13. Think about your choices

    Image of 4 notes saying “yes, no, maybe, don't know”, with multiple notes with a question mark on surrounding them.

    Humans aren’t perfect. That’s why we should always consider our options carefully while analyzing if we’ve made the right choice, and if there’s anything that we could’ve done better.

    No matter how smart we are, there’s no way we’re always going to make the right selection. Especially not when we have a large amount of picks to choose from.

  14. Read more

    We need to possess great wisdom if we want to make informed decisions based on objective data instead of how we feel.

    Reading can give us a new perspective and understanding that would’ve taken us much longer to develop on our own. That’s because the work to apprehend the subject and its intricacies has already been carried out by someone else.

  15. Write things down

    Image of a pen lying on top of a notebook.

    Writing things down makes things a lot clearer while allowing us to revise the situation at a later date without making thinking errors or letting recency bias influence us too much.

    Having visual feedback can help to make things more organized as well.

  16. Become aware and observe

    Becoming aware of your surroundings helps you to observe what’s going on. It’ll teach you more lessons than you would just going through life subconsciously without ever thinking things through.

    Who knows, it can even save your life since it’s much easier to prevent trouble when we notice something is up rather than having to fix or run from a dangerous situation.

  17. Debate others

    Image of people debating each other.

    Debating others improves your ability to reason logically since you’ll have to convince them with rational thoughts that can’t be easily disputed.

    Nevertheless, there are always those who argue with solely their feelings, a lot of anger, and yelling. These are discussions that you should end immediately since there’s nothing to be gained from such conversations because they’re unreasonable and don’t listen to logic.

  18. Improve your mathematical skills

    Mathematics is logical and can break down the facts, all the while using models to figure things out.

    It’ll allow you to make sense of these issues and to become more mathematically capable in the process as an added benefit.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What are analytical skills?

Image describing how reasoning, problem-solving, and evaluating are all needed for critical thinking.

Analytical skills cover many skills such as:

  1. Critical thinking
  2. Data analysis
  3. Research
  4. Communication
  5. Creativity

How do analytical thinkers think?

Analytical thinkers are curious individuals who are always looking to get to the bottom of things to gain a deeper understanding of the topic at hand so that they can find the best possible solution or answer.

Everything they know or think is up for questioning. They don’t simply accept the status quo, and opt to doubt and question everything to find the objective truth instead.

Can you teach yourself to be analytical?

You can teach yourself to be more analytical since it’s a skill.

And we know that our abilities can be enhanced by gaining a better understanding, and through practical experience by employing our skills in the real world.

Can you train someone to be analytical?

Illustration of a man teaching his employees.
You can train someone to become more analytical by instructing them so that they gain a better understanding, and what talents to apply. This means that it’s a learned skill.

They can improve upon their baseline skill by practicing and through experience.

Is analytical thinking slow?

Analytical thinking is a conscious effort, which makes it slower than intuitive reflection by default. However, the main advantage is that reasoning logically is less prone to mistakes such as biases and thinking errors.
Intuitive insight on the other hand happens automatically and outside our awareness. That’s why it’s faster, but more inclined to make blunders.

Final note

Image of the word, “conclusions” written on a black backboard with white chalk.

Building reasoning skills allows us to solve complex problems and formulate an acceptable answer to challenging questions.

No matter what you do in life, being able to think critically and analytically will always help you to make good choices. That’s undoubtedly helpful to become successful in life.