Developing Your Analytical Skills: How to Research and Present Information

American Management Association

How long?

  • from 2 days
  • online, in person

What are the topics?

American Management Association

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Who should attend

All business professionals who want to learn basic analytical skills that they can apply to their jobs to make more informed and successful business decisions.

About the course

Quickly synthesize qualitative data, determine implications, and make informed decisions.

When making decisions, how do you assess the credibility of information? Do you conduct research and gather data methodically, or act on instinct and follow the latest trends? Do you know what key questions to ask? Feel confident you’re making valid decisions?

Whether you are developing a new product or service, presenting findings on a competitor’s product, or deciding how to allocate resources, you need to be able to support your conclusions with valid and credible evidence. In this course, you’ll learn the basics to implement a process for analysis that ensures you’re focusing on the most critical information, involving the right people, and conveying your message in terms your audiences will understand.

How You Will Benefit

  • Identify relevant information
  • Research and organize data from multiple sources in appropriate formats
  • Categorize data for analysis
  • Make difficult decisions involving qualitative data
  • Perform analysis from multiple perspectives
  • Recognize patterns and determine what they mean for the business
  • Evaluate the evidence to identify the best opportunity or most rational solution
  • Communicate findings and recommendations clearly

What You Will Cover

Analytical Skills and Data Analysis

  • Identifying core analytical skills
  • Exploring the challenges of collecting, evaluating, and presenting information
  • Describing the steps in the analytical process: plan, analyze, conclude

The Planning Phase

  • Defining the purpose of the analysis
  • Improving your analytical skills by clarifying relevant issues: Why? Who? What are the options, benefits, and risks?
  • Identifying issues that are essential for comprehensive understanding
  • Deciding on an approach for an analysis project
  • Creating a data collection plan for obtaining information

The Analysis Phase

  • Organizing, collecting, and evaluating data via graphic tools
  • Performing affinity grouping to aggregate unstructured data into categories
  • Using a 2x2 grid and SWOT analysis to evaluate ideas and analyze strategies
  • Determining risks and performing cost-benefit analysis
  • Evaluating data and addressing information gaps

The Conclusion and Reporting Process

  • Understanding the characteristics of valid conclusions
  • Getting from conclusions to recommendations
  • Presenting conclusions graphically

Telling Your Story

  • Utilizing tools, tips, and techniques to present your story to multiple audiences
  • Creating and delivering a brief presentation that inspires and persuades

Outline – Classroom

Learning Objectives

  • Apply Techniques to Information to Help Determine What Is Relevant
  • Put Information into a Form That Can Be Analyzed
  • Analyze Information in Order to Identify the “Best” Opportunity for Your Business, and Explain Your Reasoning
  • Recognize Patterns, and Discern What They Can Mean for Your Business
  • Identify a Framework as the Basis for Creating Presentations That Use Information You’ve Derived from Your Analysis

Analytical Skills for the Business Professional

  • Identify Core Analytical Skills Commonly Used By Business Professionals
  • Describe Some of the Challenges Business Professionals Face in Collecting, Evaluating, and Presenting Information and Recommendations
  • Identify the Basic Steps in the Analytical Process

The Plan Phase

  • Identify the Purpose of the Analysis
  • Use a Tool for Clarifying Questions
  • Decide on an Approach for Completing an Analysis
  • Discuss the Importance of Considering the Needs of Your Audience When Developing Your Plan
  • Create a Data Collection Plan

The Analyze Plan

  • Use an Outline to Organize Data for Analysis
  • Aggregate Unstructured Data into Segments Based on Common Characteristics That Define Them
  • Organize Data via Graphic Tools
  • Assess the Potential Risk Associated with an Analysis
  • Use an Outline to Evaluate Data and Deal with Information Gaps

The Conclude Phase

  • Describe the Characteristics of Valid Conclusions
  • Explain How to Get from Conclusions to Recommendations
  • Develop Recommendations That Can Be Used in a Presentation

Telling Your Story

  • Discuss Tools, Tips, and Techniques for Presenting Your Findings/Telling Your Story to Multiple Audiences
  • Create and Deliver a Brief Presentation Highlighting Your Conclusions and Recommendations

Outline – Online

LESSON ONE

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

  • Apply Techniques to Information to Determine What Is Relevant
  • Put Information into a Form That Can Be Analyzed Analyze Information in Order to Identify the “Best” Opportunity for Your Business, and Explain Your Reasoning
  • Recognize Patterns and Discern What They Can Mean for Your Business
  • Identify a Framework for Creating Presentations That Uses Information You’ve Derived from Your Analysis

Analytical Skills for the Business Professional

  • Identify Core Analytical Skills Commonly Used By Business Professionals
  • Describe Some of the Challenges Business Professionals Face in Collecting, Evaluating, and Presenting Information and Recommendations
  • Identify the Basic Steps of the PAC Model Analysis Process

LESSON TWO

The Planning Phase

  • Identify the Purpose of the Analysis
  • Use a Tool for Clarifying Questions
  • Decide on an Approach for an Analysis
  • Discuss the Importance of Considering the Needs of Your Requester and Audience When Developing the Plan
  • Create a Data Collection Plan

LESSON THREE

The Analyze Phase

  • Use an Outline to Organize Data for Analysis
  • Aggregate Unstructured Data into Segments
  • Organize Data via Graphic Tools
  • Assess the Potential Risk Associated with an Analysis
  • Explain the Significance of a Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Develop a Decision Matrix  Use an Outline to Evaluate Data and Deal with Information Gaps

The Conclude Phase

  • Describe How to Develop Valid Conclusions
  • Explain How to Get from Conclusions to Recommendations
  • Develop Recommendations That Can Be Used in a Presentation

Telling Your Story

  • Discuss Tools, Tips, and Techniques for Presenting Your Findings/Telling Your Story to Multiple Audiences
  • Deliver a Brief Presentation Highlighting Your Conclusions and Recommendations

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Developing Your Analytical Skills: How to Research and Present Information at American Management Association

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