We live in times when facts, claims, opinions, and even data are vying for our attention—ultimately aiming to drive us to some desired action—to purchase something, go somewhere, vote for someone, experience something, build something, etc. If we’re not careful, we are acting on someone else’s best interests—not necessarily your own. And if you are an engineer, or in a technical field, then critical thinking is all the more important to delivering the most effective and potentially novel, break-through solution you can. In this book series, we explore the key aspects of critical thinking: analytical skills, data analysis, interpretation, judgment, questioning evidence, recognizing similarities and differences, creativity, communication, and skepticism. In this first book, we delve into analytical skills—the ability to examine something carefully—whether it is a problem, a set of data, or text. People with analytical skills can examine information, and then understand what it means, and what it represents. That aptitude allows for much richer, better solutions to real-world challenges. Let’s start now with the elements of analytical thinking.