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How Do You Know If You Are An Analytical Person?

By Junaid Tahir Analytical Skills help you in many ways in personal and professional situations. Through Analytical Skill...

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 whether you are an  analytical person?

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

1-    Do you question why something has occurred? Who is the triggering person or entity?
2-   Do you consider if the problem has occured because of some fault which could have been fixed? Or is this because of some human error which could have been controlled?
3-   Do you consider the quantum of the problem? How Small or big impact it may have caused?
4-   Do you consider on whether a specialist is required to eradicate the problem?
5-   Do you approach the problem solving through breaking down the situation into smaller chunks and then addressing each one by one?
6-   Do you apply 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 to them so you, being the boss, ask your team lead:
a.    Why was the hardware not delivered to the customer on time? (1st  WHY)
ANS: because it was not ordered by the project manager 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 did the IT system not release it on time? (3rd WHY)
ANS: IT system has some bugs which causes it missing some of the notifications/releases.
d.    Why does the IT system have 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 didn’t you 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 out that the 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 mitigated or fixed 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 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-   Break down the bigger problem, into 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, Fishbone 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. This article was published on on 30-Sep-14