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Analytical Tools Cheatsheet

Analytical Tools Cheatsheet



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Published by James
14 Tools to use to do information analysis.
14 Tools to use to do information analysis.

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Published by: James on Oct 16, 2007
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Analytical Tool
: Things, Circumstances or conditio
: points or questions to be disputed o
* Study subtleties
: lightweight factors and
Thinking Patterns:Convergent
: bringing together and moving
View a problem more narrowly; wi
: Branching out, go in different di
Open to creative alternatives, consi
Four Types of Problems:
: There is only one answe
: Only one answer, bu
: Different answers are po
: Different answersbe identified
Sanity Checking
: Does it make sense? Is it p
Tool 1: Problem Restatement
 Shift to divergent thinking: Redefine the prmany different ways we can think of; let thfreely.1.
Use the
active voice
when creating the2.
: Restate using different wochanging the meaning3.
180 Degrees
: Reverse the situation into4.
Broaden the focus
: restate in larger co 5.
Redirect the focus
: Consciously change6.
Ask Why?
Of the initial statement, therestate the problems that cause something to happen; factors beget isr decidedissuesto a single focal pointnows the weak alternativesrections from a single pointders all alternativesrt it is determined by a formulasiblere possible, but some answers are conjecture, notractical? Or logical?blem in asideas flowlist.rds withouta negativetextthe focuswhy again and
Too vague or too broad
Focus is misdirected – defini
Statement is assumption dri
Statement is solution driven1suesll possible answers canion too narrowen
Tool 2: Pros and Cons
Steps for Creating Pros and Cons
List all Pros2.
List all Cons3.
Review and consolidate the Cons, merging andeliminating4.
Neutralize as many Cons as possible5.
Compare the Pros and unalterable Cons for all options6.
Pick one optionPro and Cons allows distilling what be the consequence if one was selected.It will be easier to do Cons humans are compulsivelycritical, but sometime negatives can overwhelm thepositive.
Tool 3: Divergent / Convergent Thinking
Step 1
. Brainstorm (Divergent)
Step 2
. Winnow and Cluster (Convergent)
Step 3
. Select practical, promising ideas (Convergent)
Rules of Divergent Thinking:
The more ideas, the better
Build upon one idea to another
Wacky ideas are acceptable; break conventionalwisdom
Don’t evaluate the ideas
Tool 4: Sorting, Chronologies and Timelines
Step 1
. As you are researching a decision or problem, makea list of relevant events and dates, Always list the datesfirst.
Step 2
. Construct a chronology, crossing off events as theyare included.
Benefits of Chronologies:
Chronologies shows timing and relevant events
Call attention to key events and to significant gaps
Identify patterns and correlationsTimelines can be designed horizontally or vertically.
Tool 5: Casual Flow Diagram
Casual Flow Diagram Construction Steps:
Identify major factors2.
Identify Cause-and-Effect Relationships3.
Characterize the relationship (Direct or Inverse)4.
Diagram the relationship5.
Analyze the behavior of the relationship when it isintegrated
CFD benefits:
Identifies the major factors – the engines – that drivethe system; how they interact, and whether theseinteractions are direct or inverse related.
Enables us to view the cause and effect relationshipsas an integrated system and discover linkages that areformerly dimmed and obscured
Facilitates our determining the main source of theproblem
Enables us to conceive alternative correctivemeasures and to estimate respective effects.
Casual Affect Factor Diagram
Create Causal/Affected Factor Matrix First; then diagram
Casual Flow Diagram (Visual Framework)Tool 6: Matrix
A matrix enables us to:
Separate elements of a problem
Categorize information by type
Compare one type of information with another
Compare pieces of information of the same type
See correlations (patterns) among the informationSetup the grid:Change the X and Y axis according to subject matter:

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