An important Engineering Thinking principle is measurement. If you ever have to choose between someone’s opinion, or your intuition, versus reaching out and actually measuring whatever it is that interests you, you are well advised to do the measurement.
Measurements, also known as empirical validation, are a part of experimental science. They are the bottom line, the proof of the pudding, the holy grail. Two analyses in the bush are worth much less than one good experiment in the hand.
Analysis is also important, because it can expand upon and offer insights into data that are provided experimentally, or even point the way to discovery. But analysis is theoretical and arguable, whereas measurement (done properly) is not arguable.
For an example of how engineers apply the important principle of measurements to a routine task such as cooking, please see “Cooking & Measurements: Why Engineers Get It Right” in the DACI 1st Qtr 2011 Newsletter.