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Are You an Analytical Person?

By Junaid Tahir Analytical Skills help you in many ways in personal and professional situations. Through Analytical Skills, not...

By Junaid Tahir
Analytical Skills help you in many ways in personal and professional situations. Through Analytical Skills, not only you find the root cause of the problems but also work on the possibilities to resolve them.  So the question is that whether you are analytical person?

In order to judge yourself, please check if you ask yourself these questions for any problematic situation?

1-    Why this issue has occurred? Who is the triggering person? What was the reason for this triggering?
2-   Is this because of some fault which could have been fixed? Or is this because of some human error which could have been controlled?
3-   What is the quantification of the issue?
4-   Do we need to involve some specialist or can we manage at our own?
5-   Can we break down the problem in smaller problems and address each small problem one by one?
6-   Have we applied 5 Ys principal?

5 Ys Principle is used to find out the root cause of any problematic situation. For a given justification of any problem, you ask “WHY” at least 5 times to know the actual cause of the issue.   
Let’s take a practical example to understand the 5 WHY principle and sharpen our analytical skills:
Your customer is not happy due to delayed material delivery so you, being the boss, ask your team lead:
a.    Why the hardware was not delivered to customer on time? (1st  WHY)
ANS: because it was not ordered on time.
b.    Why it was not ordered on time (2nd WHY)
ANS: The IT system did not release it to the Procurement Manager on time.
c.    Why IT system did not release it on time. (3rd WHY)
ANS: IT system has some bugs which causes it missing some of the notifications/releases.
d.    Why IT system has some bugs, who will fix it? (4th WHY)
 ANS: the IT engineer does not have the skill set to handle this.
e.    When did you come to know about this issue? Why you didn’t chase this delivery right from the day our customer ordered the hardware? (5th WHY)
In this example, the Boss has dug down the problem and found that IT system is not responding the way it should.. Also you found out that the team lead was not following up the End-to-End delivery otherwise he could have mitigate or fix the issue in advance.

So, from above analysis what you have concluded:
1-    The Team Lead needs to be trained so that he can have more strong follow up on the tasks.
2-   To restore your customer’s trust, give him/her some benefits as he/she is not happy due to delayed material delivery and might cancel future orders.
3-   Resolve IT issue ASAP so that other customers do not get impacted. Resolving this IT issue requires further analysis:  
a.     Is this a small bug which your IT engineer can handle through reading product’s manual?
b.    Is there any online forum through which you can seek help?
c.    If the IT system is secret then should you hire specialized services to resolve the problem?
d.    Is the software version is up-to-date?
e.    Do you need to hire a more experienced IT engineer to support the junior IT engineer.

In Summary, if you would like to enhance your analytical skills then:
1-    Ask a lot of questions for any problem/situation like Who, what, when, how, where etc.
2-   Breakdown the bigger problem, in smaller problems and then work on each smaller issue one by one to resolve.
3-   Think about the problem from Emotional perspective, financial angle, social aspect as well as logical view point.
4-   Use the right tools (Microsoft excel pivots, graphs, trend analysis tool, Fish bone diagram etc)
5-   Apply Six Sigma’s DMAIC Tool (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control)
6-  Perform Need Vs Want Analysis to make a decision. 

About Author:
Junaid Tahir, a Telecom Engineer,  a Program Manager and a Blogger, writes articles on wisdom, happiness and stress management at his personal blog. His personal Google Group can be joined here. He is reachable at for all kinds of constructive feedback.