Some of the most interesting and difficult decisions in the game CATAN come from the initial settlement placements. Making the right placement, and on top of that, predicting what placements your opponents are going to make, is a skill in itself.
Being able to predict a full board of settlements is a fun and gives a powerful feeling, but it also helps you improve your win-rate. If you can predict at what spots all players will go, you will know what spots are left open, where to point your roads towards and what win-condition (Largest Army or Longest Road) you’re able to take. Then, you can make adjustments in your opponents options before they even realize what options they have.
I believe making correct placements is the skill that allows you set yourself apart from your friends, family and many Catan players.