Analytical thinking

Management behavioural competency (PDF, 87 KB)

Definition: Conducts causes and effect analysis on commercial, business, scientific, technological and other information in a systematic, step-by-step manner. Includes identifying key issues, testing hypothesis, diagnosing problems and opportunities, making sound inferences from available information and drawing logical conclusions.  It includes applying deductive reasoning skills to problems often in a linear fashion (i.e., the process by which an individual makes conclusions based on previously known facts).

Scale progression: The scale progresses based on the complexity of causal analysis. It goes from breaking problems into components to making complex, deep and multifaceted causal analysis of problems. The scale also reflects the concrete vs. abstract nature of the problems being analyzed.

Level 1

Breaks down straightforward problems into their components

  • Breaks down concrete problems into parts and organizes information in a concise manner.
  • Recognizes pertinent facts and issues that make up a problem or issue.
  • Asks standard questions and follows first line of investigation to identify the key elements of a situation or problem.
  • Uses sound judgment to determine what information is needed to assess a situation.
  • Uses known procedures, standard operating models or approved problem-solving methodologies to address a given problem or situation.

Level 2

Analyzes relationships between concrete situations

  • Identifies the cause-and-effect relationship between two aspects of a situation (i.e., A leads to B).
  • Weighs the relevant factors of a situation or problem and draws logical conclusions.
  • Analyzes the pros and cons of a solution and the risk in a given solution.
  • Assesses the strengths and weaknesses of arguments to judge the merits and/or validity of a case and the actions to take.

Level 3

Analyzes multiple relationships involving difficult problems and situations

  • Analyzes multiple causal relationships among several parts of a problem or situation (A leads to B, leads to C which leads to D).
  • Defines and confirms the nature of the problem; looks at it from different angles and considers alternative solutions before moving forward with a plan to resolve it.
  • Anticipates the risks or implications inherent in a suggested plan of action and devises appropriate strategies to mitigate their impact.
  • Makes a well-reasoned response even when faced with incomplete or contradictory information.
  • Navigates ways around a wide range of guidelines; is an agile interpreter of guidelines.
  • Synthesizes complex ideas, issues and observations into a clear understanding.

Level 4

Draws cause and effect inferences and solutions to address multi-faceted issues or situations

  • Analyzes multiple causal relationships among several parts of related problems or situations (A leads to B, leads to C which leads to D – and M leads to N, which leads to O and P, etc.).
  • Identifies several potential causes of events or multiple-part consequences.
  • Analyzes complex, evolving circumstances and takes corrective action to avoid resource constraints and meet deadlines.
  • Compares and contrasts evidence and information from various sources in a comprehensive and time sensitive manner.
  • Identifies several viable solutions and evaluates each one by considering the implications (pros and cons) against a desired outcome.

Level 5

Applies advanced analytical strategies to complex events or situations

  • Evaluates and interprets situations or issues that are complex or multidimensional and integrates the analyses into a complete and comprehensive response.
  • Draws interpretative commentary from complex numerical or financial data.
  • Uses complex analytical techniques as necessary to integrate thinking into an appropriate conceptual framework.
  • Evaluates alternative responses systematically for possible implications and consequences before reaching a judgment.
Date modified: