Data science is the most competitive skill a person could have in 2022. It only got sexier than it was a decade ago.
Besides data scientists, many business leaders are trying to be more data-driven in their decision-making and the solutions they offer. Yet, the biggest roadblock for leaders in learning data science is that
- they can’t code;
- they don’t have the time to go through all the math and technicalities.
But, learning data science can be far easier if you could strip down the technicalities and make it more practical.
I have been suggesting data science books to non-technical managers for several years now. Some books stood out, educating them on essential statistics and data science concepts.
They make you more comfortable with the basics of data science and give you a practical approach to solving business problems.
Hence, I share the best of my recommendation for your benefit.
You can also buy the books from the links given under each section. I may earn a small commission for qualified purchases, but it never affects your price.
1. Storytelling with Data by Cole Nussbaumer Knaflic
Charts are everywhere. But they often fail to communicate the information they are representing. This book shows how anyone can become a master storyteller with data.
Storytelling with Data teaches you how to become a data storyteller.
As a data-driven business leader, improving your visual communication skills is crucial. But having a graphic with the correct data alone is insufficient. For it to serve the purpose, you need more tweaks.
You can show the same chart with the same data in countless different ways. This book helps you to design the best one for your audience scientifically.
The book considers the psychological effect of colors, shapes, and labels on the human brain. Applying these concepts will make your charts more impactful.
If you’re looking for a data visualization book, this is the best one.
If you like Storytelling with data, you may also enjoy
- Storytelling with Data: Let’s Practice!
- The Big Book of Dashboards: Visualizing Your Data Using Real-World Business Scenarios
2. How to Lie with Statistics by Darrell Huff
This book is a classic on learning about data. It was first published in 1954 and has since been used as one of the best data books for beginners.
How to Lie with Statistics helps identify common statistical traps.
Subtle changes to how we present data can profoundly affect its interpretation. Darrell Huff’s book explores these techniques and how to avoid them.
He also covers which charts to use, how to read them, and common statistical traps. You’ll learn essential skills such as estimating, sampling, and testing hypotheses.
Business leaders and managers with data science skills must have an in-depth understanding of statistical manipulations. After all, data can be easily misinterpreted if we’re not careful.
If you like How to Lie with Statistics, you may also enjoy The Data Detective: Ten Easy Rules to Make Sense of Statistics
3. How to Measure Anything by Douglas W. Hubbard
This book is about applying the principles of measurement to real-world problems. It shows how to measure anything, even if it’s immeasurable.
How to Measure Anything explains how to make insights with little information.
Businesses with a data science core often encounter situations with no data available. You have to get creative and develop unique measurement methods in such cases.
This book will teach you how to do just that. It’s packed with helpful information and real-world examples.
After reading this book, you’ll be able to measure anything, from the risk of a terrorist attack to the likelihood of success in a new business venture.
If you like How to measure anything, you may also enjoy
- How to Measure Anything Workbook: Finding the Value of Intangibles in Business
- How to Measure Anything in Cybersecurity Risk
4. Naked Statistics by Charles Wheelan
This is one of the best data science books for beginners because it makes statistics fun and easy to understand. Naked Statistic is a comprehensive book about statistics without mathematics.
Naked Statistics explains fundamental statistical ideas using entertaining case studies.
The author was careful not to temper the reader with too many technicalities. The book is straightforward, witty, and easy to read.
It’s also loaded with relatable examples that make the concepts more digestible. You’ll learn about Bayes’ Theorem, correlation, and regression topics.
If you’re looking for an enjoyable read that will still teach you a lot, this book is for you.
If you like Naked Statistics, you may also enjoy
5. The Art of Statistics by David Spiegelhalter
Statistics are integral to our lives and play a role in our many important decisions.
The Art of Statistics teaches us how to extract knowledge from raw data.
In this comprehensive guide to statistical thinking, David Spiegelhalter shows us how to derive knowledge from raw data. Drawing on real-world examples, he introduces complex issues and teaches us how to think like statisticians.
The Art of Statistics is the definitive guide to stats that every modern person needs.
Some key takeaways from the book include:
- How to determine the luckiest passenger on the Titanic
- Whether a notorious serial killer could have been caught earlier
- If screening for ovarian cancer is beneficial
I would recommend this book to anyone looking to improve their statistical literacy.
If you like The Art of Statistics, you may also enjoy