There are specific questions that should always cross our minds when analysing numbers in a case. First is how relevant are the numbers that we want to select, and how the numbers will help us to make the right decisions required and the necessary recommendations.
The numbers in the case depend largely on the objectives and the criteria that we have selected. Whatever criteria you have selected, the question you are asking with those criteria is how this helps me to choose a better alternative. If the criteria have something to do with numbers, that is what should guide what numbers you should look out for. It is always the criteria that drive us to the required numbers. Be clear about your criteria first then look for the numbers that will help you to answer the criteria.
After stating your criteria, reframed them as questions, so that when you are into your analysis, you know what question you are trying to answer. For instance, if one criterion is the cost in a particular case, the cost could mean which option is cheaper but that same criteria of option can mean what is the cost of producing the item or product relative to what we have. Criteria cost can mean several things but when you reframe it as the question, it helps your thinking and help you to ascertain what you are looking for in the case.
Numbers are very important in case analysis but there are some numbers that may appear in a case, but they are not particularly relevant in our analysis and decision making. Also, there are some information that is crucial to our analysis, and we need the numbers to do the calculations in the case.
In order to understand and analyse the case properly as required, we are advised not to read a case casually but critically. All the details matter and are crucial because they ultimately help you to determine how you think about the solution. It is not just about the case. If you are trying to solve things in real life, details are important. It is because we ignore details that is why when we get to the end of the decision, we wonder why we failed. We continue to make errors because we do not pay attention to the details. We must pay attention to details because it helps us to state our decision problem and analyze the case properly. We fail a lot of times because we assume. We must be careful of the tendency to jump to answers without thinking deeply about the issues and their implication. Every action has several possible implications, and you must be clear about those implications before you decide to take the action.
Finally, you need to understand the context when analysing cases. Providing context helps you to understand the kind of solutions that you come up with when analysing a case. If you do not understand the context, you will simply jump outside and do something because you think it is an alternative idea. The bottom line is not every alternative is the alternative, same goes with numbers. Not every number in a case is relevant to the analysis.