Distinguish Ourselves with Exceptional Analytical Skills

Can a job candidate with exceptional analytical skills set him/her apart from the sea of applicants? Furthermore, will good analytical skills be able to help people advance their career?

According to Julie Martin, the Controller and Director of Operations at the Sheraton Syracuse University Hotel and Conference Center¹:   

Analytical skills are very important. Sometimes, it equals to “smart” even though there are smart people who might not have good analytical skills. … People with good analytical skills will be able to present their arguments with numbers and facts, which makes their statements more convincing. … Besides “numbers,” analytical skills can also be referred to a person’s ability of analyzing a complex issue and identifying the possible solutions to the problem(s).

Julie’s words remind me a qualitative study of mine in 2011, in which I asked a group of hospitality recruiters: “What intellectual skills are important in hiring a hospitality senior? Why are they important?” Analytical skills and problem solving skills were mentioned by a few recruiters. They expected college graduates must understand numbers and are able to solve business issues on their own.

I agree. Analytical skills are extremely important, no matter if we are working in a business or a not-for-profit organization. The bottom line is every organization must operate in a budget. Without the ability of generating incomes and controlling expenses, no operations can sustain. As a result, if we want to be a leader of some sort, we must understand how to make informed decisions with supporting data and rational reasons.

Have you ever worked with someone who possesses above-average analytical skills? Does this person look smart to you? Do you prefer to work with this person over others with below-average analytical skills? Why or why not? To think deeper, how can a person develop his/her analytical skills?  

1. I invited Julie Martin to speak in my Hotel and Resort Operations class last week. I interpret our conversation based on my notes; Julie might not have said those sentences word by word. 

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