A 2019 study by Deloitte & Lions revealed that companies focus on analytical skills more than creative skills when hiring for posts like Chief Revenue Officer and Chief Growth Officer
According to American Organisation Behaviour theorist Edward Glaser, analytical skills can be defined as a triumvirate of three things: (1) development of an attitude that is predisposed to approaching problems and subjects in a thoughtful way as they come within the range of an individual’s experiences, (2) a deep understanding of the methods of reasoning and logical investigation, (3) knowing how and when to apply the above methods.
Let’s take a real-world example, let’s consider an Equity Research Analyst looking for an ideal equity investment for a company that is in line with the company’s philosophy. He/she will have to gather large volumes of financial data available in the market, analyse the data and then come up with a viable low-risk solution. Without analytical skills, innovative business development frameworks are useless as not much can be done with them without a critical outlook.
Why Analytical Skills for Kids?
Therefore, when it comes to children, fostering analytical skills is the need of the hour because every other institution is pushing kids to think out of the box and drumming creativity into them. They have not realised the importance of thinking through the left part of the brain, which is considered the seat of logic and abstract thinking.
In the long run, the children who have grown up to be analysts in reputable firms or proud business owners, who lack analytical skills, will find it very difficult to implement creative ideas parameter-by-parameter. They may not be able to make good decisions or understand the consequences of a problem.
It is imperative the children are readied for the next 10 years of their life, especially because it most likely will be riddled with recessions and unemployment. Business opportunities may well be looking for all-rounders, as online education has been taken up a notch, and now only skills matter, not degrees.
The Many Applications of Analytical Skills
Children un-initiated in the art of analytics may miss out on a lot. Let’s take a look at the many applications of analytical skills that proselytise the argument for analytical skill training.
Make business strategies
An analytical outlook can prove beneficial in testing out strategic scenarios. It hands out tools to evaluate a roster of business strategies where the unfavourable ones can be eliminated. Nudged by analytical thinking, a child will later learn to use SWOT analysis, Quantitative Strategic Planning Matrix, and Monte-Carlo Simulations to make efficient business strategies.
Analytical problem solving
Sharp analytical skills speed up the time required to examine information and deduce key elements of a problem. Even before that, it helps identify the pain points and the crux of the problem. Based on what has been analysed, an analyst can think up a framework to solve the particular problem.
Implementation of creative solutions
To explain this point better, let’s take the example of Starbucks, a coffeehouse chain that can predict the purchases of its customers and the offers they are likely to be interested in. Business analysts of this chain implemented a loyalty card program. It’s a creative solution that gathers data on customer purchases.
With this data and business analytics tools, analysts were able to identify business trends and opportunities. All thanks to the analytical skills of the company analysts and the implementation of a creative solution.
The combination of analytical skills and business intelligence simplifies resource management. It teaches which resource needs to be imported and what needs to be discarded/exported, which is an important operation within database management. Hence, adept analytics skills can save one’s company a lot of capital that would otherwise be wasted through discarded goods.
With adept analytical skills, auditing large volumes of data can be done in a fraction of the original time taken. Knowing what to refine and what to eliminate helps organise data into actionable insights through analytics. It’s very important to have such skills if a youngster wants to take up database management in the future.
The end goal of analytical skills is to inculcate qualities that ready children against the hurdles of a professional environment or entrepreneurship. Strong analytical skills inspire confidence and can take a child to new heights, both academically and professionally.
However, it must be noted that while critical and analytical skills are important, it is necessary to keep a creative streak as well, since it’s an important part of solving real-world problems, especially to create revolutionary ideas and products.