Home / BLOG

BLOG

Numeracy

The ability to think well in quantitative contexts is required for personal, academic, workplace and professional success today.

People with strong numeracy skill apply their critical thinking to solve quantitative reasoning problems. Being better able to analyze and interpret quantitative information, they can draw more accurate conclusions.  They can explain how they reached those judgments.  And, considering what the quantitative information tells us, they can better evaluate the claims others may make.

What is Numeracy?

Numeracy is simply the application of critical thinking skills like analysis and interpretation, along with mathematical basics, like algebra, to quantitative information. More than being able to compute a solution to a mathematical equation, numeracy includes the understanding of how quantitative information is gathered, manipulated, represented, and communicated verbally and visually, such as in texts, graphs, charts, tables and diagrams. Another name for numeracy is “Quantitative Reasoning.”    

       An example: engaging numeracy skill to analyze TV news

Where is the Numeracy in Everyday Life?

Our complex culture offers many opportunities to apply our numeracy skills. Quantitative information is everywhere. 

  • Consumers can apply numeracy skills to understand better the quantitative information found on food packaging and pricing.
  • Saving money by comparison shopping is all about trying to find the best value.  To be good at that demands that we apply our numeracy skills.  
  • Everyone who works in an office where management information comes in part through charts and graphs have ample opportunities to apply numeracy skills. Spreadsheets, bank statements, phone bills, investment portfolio reports, the specifications on electronic goods and even the gas mileage and other data on the car’s digital dashboard all offer us valuable knowledge in the form of quantitative information. 

Numeracy, applying critical thinking to quantitative information, is essential in today’s world.

Where is the Numeracy in Professional Life?

There is no professional field or academic discipline, including the arts and humanities, which does not rely at least in part on quantitative information. 

  • Some fields, like the STEM disciplines, and all the professions from agriculture and aerospace, to banking, engineering, health care, manufacturing, shipping, and transportation rely very heavily on scientific, mathematical, or technological information. For the tens of millions who work in these professional fields, numeracy is vitally important.  
  • Specific examples are too numerous to mention.  Depending on the field, professionals may ask themselves questions like these: What is the rate of return on this investment? How strong must these beams be to hold up this bridge?  How many BTUs must the furnace produce to properly heat this new house? What is the proper dosage of this medicine for this patient?  How much postage do we need to ship this package?

As mundane as these questions may seem, they are all very important to the professionals and their clients.  They all require the application of critical thinking, along with specific knowledge of the professional field and some basic mathematics, to solve problems and to make decisions involving quantitative information. They all require numeracy.

Educators and employers prize the ability to think critically in ambiguous contexts, precise contexts and in quantitative contexts. 

To fully understand strengths and weakness in an individual's critical thinking skills requires the assessment of numeracy as well as the traditional metrics (analysis, inference, evaluation, deduction, induction and others).  All Insight Assessment testing tools provide this comprehensive measurement of critical thinking strength.

Contact us for the complete solution to the assessment of critical thinking of:

INSIGHT: teamwork

Investing in the training of critical thinking using INSIGHT Development Program and INSIGHT businesss assessments is a strategic decision. If you have been asking yourself whether you will see immediate value from an initiative to strengthen critical thinking in new hires, current employees or newly admitted business students, consider how critical thinking is applied on the job:

Business Critical Thinking in Action:

  • analyzing and explaining risks
  • designing & implementing initiatives
  • allocating resources
  • anticipating & preventing errors
  • analyzing markets
  • using & managing information systems
  • assessing opportunities & competition
  • evaluating the effects of initiatives
  • identifying & analyzing emergent concerns
  • developing data security protocols
  • evolving long term goals and plans
  • communicating effectively with team members
  • evaluating customer service
  • anticipating the implications of actions taken
  • hiring and promoting leaders
  • analyzing and resolving personnel issues
  • explaining policy and procedures
  • designing & evaluating departmental reports

The list of business critical thinking goes on almost indefinitely, particularly in high-stakes workplace settings requiring employees to engage unexpected problems and make time sensitive judgments.

It’s easy to see why critical thinking is highly valued by employers. Businesses can no longer afford to be mistaken about best thinking, when error rates are already in question, when difficult problems and decisions must be addressed, and where poor judgments can lead to irreparable damage and even cost lives.  

Building critical thinking strength throughout a business is an investment that pays off every day.

Insight Assessment is leading an effort to improve the quality of decision-making in business. We offer a proven training and development self-study program that focuses building essential workplace thinking skills and mindset attributes. INSIGHT Development Program is an integrated solution that incorporates online training modules and access to our industry leading assessment tools.  It can be implemented to supplement existing employee improvement plans or as a new human resources benefit.

Insight Assessment provides industry leading critical thinking assessments that measure the thinking skills and mindsets required for success in the workplace. The INSIGHT Business suite of assessments are tailored for Business, Health, Defense, First Responder, Government/Law, and Science/Engineering uses.  INSIGHT objective, online assessments provide  individual and group metrics on the strengths and weaknesses of key aspects of decision-making. 

Contact us to discuss implementing your strategic investment to improve the quality of decision-making in your organization.

Follow our blog, Thinking INSIGHT , for resources and further discussion of the measurement of thinking skills and mindset.

Critical Thinking for Business

We are often asked about the correlation between critical thinking skills and strong business reasoning skills. 

Many clients are preparing to make a commitment to growing their businesses by building strength in decision-making skills. Often they want to know if the thinking skills their employees need can be assessed.

The landmark 1990  APA Delphi Report identified the core cognitive skills and characteristics of critical thinkers.  

The relationship between critical thinking and business reasoning skills is clear: critical thinking is the term originating with this research for many of the skills and mindsets that businesses identify as problem solving or decision-making skills.  In consultation with experts and working professionals and from decades of research on thinking and reasoning in human decision making, Insight Assessment has identified core skills and mindsets that are necessary for high stakes decision making in the business world. 

Five Thinking Skills for High Stakes Decision-making

The relationship of these core business problem solving or decision making skills to key critical thinking skills is shown on the table below ( available in PDF form) .

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~—

Thinking in Leading, Deciding, and Motivating

  • Identify  Critical Elements
    • Analyze the strategic environment, identify its elements and their relationships
    • Interpret events and other elements in the strategic environment for signs of risk, opportunity, weakness, advantage
  • Project Logical Consequences
    • Infer, given what is known with precision and accuracy within the strategic environment, the logical and most predictable consequences of various courses of action
  • Navigate Risk and Uncertainty
    • Infer, given the range of uncertainty and risk in the strategic environment, the full range of the possible and probable consequences of each possible course of action
  • Assess Decision Options
    • Evaluate anticipated results for positive and negative impacts
    • Evaluate risks, opportunities, options, consequences
    • Explain the rationale (evidence, methodology, criteria, theoretical assumptions, and context) for deciding on the integrated strategic objectives and for the planning and action parameters that compose the strategy
  • Double Check Everything:  At every step review one’s own thinking and make necessary corrections.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~—

INSIGHT assessments are proven tools for measuring strengths and weakness in the essential business thinking skills described above.

INSIGHT offers more options and better fit with your needs because it provides multiple levels calibrated for business , healthcare , science and engineering , first response , defense and  legal organizations. Assessments provide objective data for prescreening candidates, placement and talent development.

INSIGHT Development Program  is a proven self-paced online employee training program designed to build critical thinking in teams as well as in individuals.

INSIGHT Development Program can be integrated into your training programs or can be implemented as new initiative.  Modules focus on specific essential thinking skills and mindset attributes. Each purchase includes:

  1. series of modules targeted to strengthen an individual’s thinking characteristics
  2. the use of the corresponding Insight Assessment testing instrument and individual reports that can be used for individual professional development, continuous improvement initiatives, talent identification and other quality improvement programs.

Assessing thinking is the first step to improving the quality of decision-making in your organization. Be sure you are assessing the skills you need.

Contact us. We will show you how easy it is to incorporate thinking skills assessment into your hiring, training and employee development programs.

staff on phone

Are you looking for practical problem solvers?

24/7 in every economic sector, employees are trying to solve problems—with a customer, a part, a change, an application and more.  Competent staff members are expected to be able to do what it takes to accomplish their tasks.  If the right person was selected for the job, many things play into the solution—an awareness of company policies and procedures, the correct identification of the core issue, knowledge of available options and the commitment to finding the best resolution.  If the staff member doesn’t have good problem solving skills, then too often the business suffers.

5 Business staff problem solving skills needed to achieve company goals:

  • Situation Comprehension: the ability to analyze and understand business situations, to keep details in proportion, and to focus on the elements of the work that matter.  Staff members with strong analytical and interpretive skills contribute to team productivity and efficiency.
  • Evaluating Choices:the ability to differentiate the quality of different possible choices and to explain the reasons behind that evaluation. Successful problem solvers offer sound opinions and provide good reasons for their thought process.
  • Anticipating Outcomes: the ability to anticipate logical consequences and outcomes of actions and decisions. Strong skills enable staff to contribute to team problem solving, to anticipate the needs of clients and customers and to offer suggestions which can help an organization deliver its products and services more effectively and efficiently.
  • Numeric Literacy:the ability to perform well when vital information is presented in charts, graphs, text or tables. Numeric literacy is essential in today's workplace, but particularly for those whose work involves sales, budgets, invoicing, payables, receivables, or responding to customer questions about any of these concerns.
  • OVERALL Workplace Problem Solving Skills: the integration of thinking and reasoning skills needed to address workplace situations requiring practical problem solving at the organization's staff levels.

INSIGHT Business Staff is calibrated to objectively assess these job related judgment skills needed for customer satisfaction and project success.

INSIGHT Business Staff presents everyday scenarios which require staff to understand business situations, keep details in proportion and focus on elements of the work that matter. Problems require anticipating the needs of clients, understanding numerical information and contributing to team problem solving. Reports provide objective metrics rigorously calibrated to document the ways effective staff members apply reasoning skills to job-related situations. Comprehensive individual strengths and weaknesses are analyzed for these 5 business problem solving skills and 10 business work ethic attributes .

Contact us discuss the uses and benefits of assessing staff thinking.
Student success depends on critical thinking skills & mindset - Insight Assessment

Insight Assessment academic clients depend on validated critical thinking test instruments for their outcomes assessment, accreditation, and quality enhancement projects.

  • Returning from a conference focusing on how deans can improve student success, Dean Jackson now saw student success not as an end result, but as a process that began at admission and could be highly predicted by a student’s first months on campus. It was time to re-focus the Freshman Experience program. One colleague dean had described adding the HSRT to the admission process to screen for critical thinking skills indicative of a readiness to complete a degree program in Physical Therapy. “Failure means an empty seat, and an empty seat means I’m producing one less clinician.” Students with borderline scores were still admitted, but referred for preemptive academic assistance in the learning center.
  • Dean Jackson liked the idea of an assessment that looked at reasoning skills, because these were needed inside and outside the classroom.  Jackson learned that the CCTST is the best fit for baccalaureate students in the Arts and Science, used by many schools for entry cohort advising and as a solution to the student retention problem. Although it was already July, Dean Jackson offered to fund CCTST assessment for any college program that chose to participate in a Year One pilot. As it turned out there were seven program directors eager to address faculty concerns about student readiness for their programs. Many of their students completed the CCTST in the Learning Center that Fall. Each student received a copy of their individual report to carry to their next advisor meeting.
  • After that, things just kept happening. The accreditation committee saw this program as an example of college support for student success and discussed this in their self-study report. The engineering program added the CCTST as an official admission requirement to their impacted program. Assessing critical thinking at entry became a signal to students that developing stronger reasoning and problem solving skills was an expected outcome of their educational experience in the college. That Spring, the Director of Assessment examined Freshmen students’ CCTST scores in relationship to units completed and core course grades and found low scores on the CCTST could be used as early warning sign that students were at risk.

Our assessment specialists hope this scenario demonstrates the power of the metrics provided by our thinking skills and mindset test instruments. Insight Assessment services include exceptionally versatile delivery options, peer benchmark norms, individual and group reports, complimentary learning resources, and more. Contact us to discuss ways the assessment of thinking can increase your student success and institutional effectiveness.

Now is the time for change

Whether your organization is thriving, just getting by or faltering, you are in a transition.  The success stories of the future will be from those whose transition was critically thought through. If your transition will be politically motivated, you don’t need us.  If you want to be the hit of the financial news, we can help you make sure your transition team includes the best thinkers available.

Effective leaders in times of transition are strategists who have the strong decision making skills needed to navigate risks, identify opportunities, ask tough questions and establish priorities while setting clear direction. To make change happen, innovative leaders must be resilient, driven to achieve the vision, able to inspire the team, and committed to highest standards of excellence. INSIGHT Executive delivers objective metrics on 15 key skills and mindset attributes that define winning leaders’ decision making.

Transition strategies succeed or fail in the implementation and follow up processes. The highly skilled professionals responsible for achieving your company goals will require strong problem analysis skills, the ability to evaluate critical data and to identify the possible consequences of complex decisions. Strength in determining solutions with the strongest likelihood of success requires a strong commitment to company goals, the mindset to focus on working through problems, an appetite for innovation and the ability to communicate enthusiasm to others.  INSIGHT Professional Business objectively measures 15 core cognitive skills and characteristics that drive managers to excel.

When you make a commitment to promote change throughout your organization, make sure that your transition team has the necessary strong decision making skills and the drive to make change happen. Insight Assessment reports and analytics   deliver the metrics you need to position effective decision makers where they will achieve your goals.

It’s never too late to benefit from prioritizing strong thinking. Contact us to preview how easy it is to use INSIGHT tools to drive your strategic plans forward.

Insight Assessment invites you to follow our blog, Thinking INSIGHT .

INSIGHT Executive Logo

Success in leadership positions requires strong decision making skills.

Decision-makers must be able to create clarity out of ambiguity, evaluate risks and opportunities, and make a commitment to achieve the goal.  But how do you keep the leadership team on goal? Each individual’s decision may be reasonable but you need assurance these decisions maintain company vision. High stakes, high pressure, complex situations, opportunity deadlines, too much, too little or conflicting information; it’s the reality of being a leader. 

Decision making in complex situations is never easy.  But businesses can’t afford to get it wrong.  Here are five critical leadership decision skills measured by INSIGHT Executive .

Successful decision-making leaders must:

  • Identify critical factors which will affect the outcome of a decision: A strongly skilled decision-maker requires excellent analytical and interpretive skills to determine the issues that must be addressed and accounted for in the deliberative and implementation phases.
  • Evaluate options accurately and establish priorities: Effective leaders must be able to evaluate the quality of alternatives and explain the reasons behind that evaluation.
  • Anticipate outcomes and see logical consequences: In order to see the applications and the implications of regulations, policies, basic assumptions, core principles and protocols which both shape and constrain decision making, strong strategists must draw logical inferences in precisely defined and tightly structured contexts.
  • Navigate risk and uncertainty: Successful managers must be able to see the most probable and best justified inferences to draw in contexts where the information given may be uncertain or ambiguous, or where the best inference is not a foregone conclusion.  
  • Reason well in contexts requiring quantitative analysis:  Leaders must be able to analyze, interpret and evaluate vital information that is presented in charts, graphs, text or tables; they must understand what the numbers mean and how they impact options.

INSIGHT delivers the data you need to assure leaders have the critical thinking skills to succeed.

  • The metrics reported on INSIGHT assessments have been rigorously calibrated to objectively identify how decisions were made and measure the application of reasoning skills.
  • Comprehensive  individual reports document strengths and weaknesses in essential leadership mindset attributes and cognitive skills required for high stakes decision making. 
  • Effortless integration into your current human resource processes, easy online administration, results in your inbox within minutes will take the stress out of employee assessment.

Vision and decision strength start at the top. Contact us to preview how INSIGHT Executive delivers the reliable analysis you need to validate that your leadership team is ready to implement corporate goals.

sample app image
Are you a good thinker?

Thinking skills are essential life skills. Now you can measure your thinking skills and mindset using the Critical Thinking Insight app , downloadable from your app store. These authentic reasoning skills tests and mindset evaluation tools are based on the employment and educational tests Insight Assessment provides to businesses, health care agencies, colleges and high schools around the world. This is the first time these kinds of quality instruments are available for your personal use.

Are you looking for a good self-test of your thinking skills? Find out if you the skills and mindset to make good decisions.

Get started today with the free sample reasoning skills questions and free sample reasoning mindset items. Then measure your thinking with the in-app purchasable personal assessment options including more detailed and challenging thinking skills tests and mindset measures including My Thinking Skills – Adult Level , My Thinking Mindset – Adult Level , My Leadership Potential – Adult Level , My Learning Mind – Ages 11-17 and My Learning Mind – Ages 5-10 .  Purchases of personal assessments include a numerical score, a qualitative rating and an analysis of your scores on key elements of good thinking. Specific suggestions for improvement help you interpret your scores and grow even stronger in each area covered by the personal assessment.

3 thinkers

What are employers looking for when hiring?  They want candidates who have the ability to apply gained knowledge in a wide variety of real world settings.  Critical thinking skills like the ability to analyze and solve complex problems, to evaluate information from multiple sources, to work with numbers and to work effective with people of different views are cited as essential for career success.  In the recent Hart Research Associates survey, Falling Short? College Learning and Career Success, 400 employers wanted candidates to have more than field specific knowledge; they seek new hires who can demonstrate proficiency in skills like critical thinking and the ability to apply a broad range of knowledge.

This won’t surprise many businesses. Hiring managers see the impact of new employees with strong thinking skills and motivated mindset. Candidates who can demonstrate strength in analytical thinking and problem solving skills are consistently more productive. It’s equally important that new hires have the consistent internal motivation to engage problems and find solutions.

That’s why our clients rely on Insight Assessment metrics and data to take the guesswork out of personnel assessment and to identify candidates or trainees with the thinking skills and mindset to reach company goals.  INSIGHT Business Professional delivers objective metrics for the reasoning skills and mindset attributes required for high stakes decision making.  The core thinking competencies measured by these instruments have been validated as vital to business and civic life by key leaders in the USA:

  • INSIGHT measures the essential analytic reasoning skills businesses need: problem identification and analysis, evaluating alternatives, anticipating consequences, interpreting information in quantitative contexts and identifying optimal solutions.
  • INSIGHT also reports on 10 mindset measures of willingness and motivation to apply knowledge, experience and skills to increase results as well as focus, adaptability, honesty and tolerance for different viewpoints.   

Comprehensive individual reports provide reliable data about the specific strengths and weaknesses of 15 essential reasoning skills of test takers.  Easy to use online assessments are available 24/7.

If this is the type of data you need to prescreen candidates for hiring and promotion, contact us.

know your best thinkers

Do you know how many of your employees are good thinkers?

If you’re not assessing thinking abilities, then you’re guessingINSIGHT's group reports deliver the objective metrics on the overall reasoning and complex problem solving skills that will enable you to identify the strengths and weaknesses of teams, departments or divisions.

You need to understand how employees will think on the job.  Do they have strong problem solving skills? Do they have the analytical skills to evaluate risks and alternatives? Do they have the focus and drive necessary for innovation? Will they be motivated to reason through complex decision making processes? Will they be fast learners? INSIGHT reports these metrics.

INSIGHT Business Professional provides you with the tools you need to make staffing decisions based on the most important job qualification: does this candidate or employee have the thinking skills and motivation to get the job doneWithin minutes of the completion of the INSIGHT assessment, a printable report will be sent to you documenting the individual's strengths and areas for growth in 15 key thinking skill and mindset metrics.

Insight Assessment provides validated, objective measurements of the core thinking skills and reasoning mindset that make business operations run more smoothly. Our easy to use, online assessments give you the reliable analysis you need for hiring, promoting and future planning.

And the bonus: talent development . Training costs money and time for your organization, so invest in employees who can succeed. INSIGHT metrics include the data you need to strategically build strong teams throughout your organization. You can increase performance by identifying the best thinkers for leadership and promotion. Professional development programs can be targeted to improve specific areas of weakness in your staff.

Thinking and decision-making skills and a commitment to your company’s mission, vision and values are important considerations at every level of your organization. So why would you make a hire without assessing these metrics? Contact us; you don’t have to wait to start building teams of smart, strong thinkers.

Good thinking is in demand. Download Critical Thinking Insight from your app store today:

Contact Us

* Required fields

Insight Assessment will not share your data with anyone. Click here to view our privacy statement.

[ Hide ]

Contact Us

* Required fields

Insight Assessment will not share your data with anyone. Click here to view our privacy statement.


C
O
N
T
A
C
T

U
S