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Analytical Thinking and Problem Solving

  • Analytical Thinking


  1. Purpose

Business analyst must be effective in generating new ideas for approaches to problem solving and also in generating alternative solutions.


Analytical thinking involves generating new ideas and concepts, as well as finding new associations and new applications of existing ideas and concepts. These concepts should be innovative ,  appropriate to the situation. Also in addition to identifying and proposing alternatives, the business analyst can be effective promoting the creative thinking in others by asking questions and challenging assumptions.

  1. Effectiveness Measures

The measures of successful creative thinking include:

  • Successful generation of new ideas and productive consideration of those ideas.
  • Application of new ideas for resolving existing problems.
  • Willing to accept new approaches by stakeholders.








  • Decision Making
  1. Purpose

Analysts must be effective in understanding the criteria involved in making an decision  and also in assisting to make better decisions.

  1. Definition

A decision is required whenever it becomes necessary to select an alternative approach from two or more options. Decision analysis includes gathering information relevant to a particular  decision, breaking down the information needed for a decision, making comparisons and tradeoffs between similar and dissimilar options, and identifying the option that is most desirable. Most of the Analysts must be aware of the traps that can impede successful decision – making, including the tendency to accept the initial framing of a problem, the sunk cost fallacy and also the tendency to place greater weight on evidence that confirm existing impressions.

  1. 3Effectiveness Measure

Some measures of successful decision making include:

  • Confidence of participants in the decision-analysis process that a decision is correct.
  • New information or alternatives that will cause a decision to be revisited are genuinely new and not simply overlooked.
  • Decisions are most effective in addressing the underlying problem.
  • The impact of uncertainty and new information when making decisions can be assessed effectively.
  • Problem Solving
  1. Purpose

Business analysts must be effective in defining and solving problems  to ensure that the real and underlying problem is understood and that solutions actually address the problem .

  1. Definition

Defining a problem mostly involves ensuring that the nature of the problem is understood by all the parties and that underlying issues are visible. Conflicts between goals and objectives of the stakeholders need to be articulated and addressed. Underlying assumptions must be identified and tested and the objectives that will be met once  the problem is solved need to be clearly specified and alternative solutions should be developed. Alternative solutions  are measured against the objectives to determine which possible solution is best and identify the trade offs that may exist between solutions. The analyst should be aware of a number of problem solving techniques that may be applied.

  1. Effectiveness Measures

The measures of successful problem-solving include:

  • Confidence of all the participants in the problem solving process that a selected decision is correct.
  • New solutions can be evaluated using the problem solving framework.
  • Selected solutions meet the defined objectives help in solving the underlying problem.
  • The problem solving process also avoids making decisions based on preconceived notions, organizational politics or any other traps that may cause a sub-optimal solution to be selected.


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