Must read books for Analysts (or people interested in Analytics)
One of the ways I continue my learning is reading. I read for 30 minutes before hitting the bed every day. This not only makes sure that I learn some thing daily, but also ends my day in a fulfilling manner. Over the years, I have read a variety of books on various subjects. In this article, I will share a list of 7 must read books, which I think should be present in every Analyst’s bookshelf.
I believe that each and every book listed below has helped me learn about Analytics and expect that they will immensely help people who want to learn about this field.
These books are chosen, not because they have best technical subject matter, but because they help you understand the impact of analytics. While none of these books will tell you how to build the best logistic regression model, they will definitely help you appreciate the need and impact of building a model.
So, if you wish to learn about analytics, do read these books and see how analytics is transforming the world around you:
[stextbox id=”section”]1. When Genius failed: The Rise and fall of Long-Term Capital Management[/stextbox]
This book is one of my all time favorite. It starts from a period when no one had heard of analysts being employed on Wall Street. A fast paced thriller, which is difficult to put down after reading first 50 pages. This book not only brings out how you can compete on data based decisions, but also why you need to keep human behavior in mind while taking decisions on data.
Here is a brief description about the story:
When it was founded in 1993, Long-Term was hailed as the most impressive hedge fund in history. But after four years in which the firm dazzled Wall Street as a $100 billion moneymaking juggernaut, it suddenly suffered catastrophic losses that jeopardized not only the biggest banks on Wall Street but the stability of the financial system itself.
[stextbox id=”section”]2. Scoring Points: How Tesco Continues to Win Customer Loyalty[/stextbox]
Written by Clive Humby, one of the founders of Dunnhumby (company which does Analytics for Tesco), this book brings out some of the practical challenges faced by Tesco and how they overcame them to create one of the biggest success story of customer loyalty.
A must read for any one dealing with customer data to study their behavior and then turning them in business insights.
[stextbox id=”section”]3. The Signal and the Noise: The Art and Science of Prediction[/stextbox]
In his recently published book, the political forecaster Nate Silver, who accurately predicted the results of every single state in the 2012 US election, reveals how we can all develop better foresight in an uncertain world. From the stock market to the poker table, from earthquakes to the economy, he takes us on an enthralling insider’s tour of the high-stakes world of forecasting, showing how we can use information in a smarter way amid a noise of data – and make better predictions in our own lives.
The book tells not only about the errors made by analysts, but also how to avoid them.
[stextbox id=”section”]4. Web Analytics 2.0: The Art of Online Accountability & Science of Customer Centricity[/stextbox]
Another recent addition by Avinash Kaushik, author of the leading web analytics and research blog Occam’s Razor. This book is a must read for any one working in Online industry or wants to learn web analytics. It provides specific recommendations for creating an actionable strategy, applying analytical techniques correctly, solving challenges such as measuring social media and multichannel campaigns and employing tactics for truly listening to your customers.
[stextbox id=”section”]5. Predictive Analytics: The Power to Predict Who Will Click, Buy, Lie, or Die[/stextbox]
What could be better than learning about Predictive Analytics from one of the most influential personalities in this domain. In this rich, entertaining primer, Siegel reveals the power and perils of prediction by including case studies from across the globe.
Aimed towards a common man, the book explains predictive modeling and its basics in lay man terms.
[stextbox id=”section”]6. Moneyball[/stextbox]
Another one of my favorites, this book is based on application of statistics to baseball. Inspiring story of a baseball team manager with low budget to run the team, who uses statistics to identify undervalued players and carves out a winning team out of them. The book has also been converted into a movie, but I prefer the book over the movie.
[stextbox id=”section”]7. Freakonomics[/stextbox]
This one is a classic, probably the first book where I read on how data and analysis can be used to reveal unknown insights. While analytics has evolved significantly since the time this book had come out, this book is still worth a read for the analysis it presents and delivers from the tools of previous era.
[stextbox id=”section”]These ones just missed…[/stextbox]
Apart from the ones mentioned, there were a few other books which I had considered in creating this list and are worthy of mention. The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham, Competing on Analytics by Thomas Devenport, The Black Swan by Nassim Nicholas Taleb fall in this category. All of these are good reads if you are interested in the subject.
This is my list of must read books for every analyst. In case you have any other recommendation or want to add more on any of the books mentioned, please feel free to add through comments.