9 Books to Start Your Business Analytics Journey
The global spread of the internet has made the availability of knowledge easy. Every information is at the grasp of our palms. As a result, we are seeing a global decline in the purchase of books and visits to the library. We will not be completely wrong in saying that the internet and e-books are becoming a substitute for books and libraries.
There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate’s loot on Treasure Island.” – Walt Disney
But it is a myopic mindset that forgets everything old. All the great leaders of the world still read and learn from books. Even the largely available e-books fail when compared with the psychological impact of reading and learning from books. What Walt Disney said passed the test of time. There is no replacement for a book and treasure you find is the key to further treasures of life.
Like any other subject, even business analytics professionals have a collection of books to broaden their minds. In this article, I will be talking about the various books to hone.
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Table of Contents
- Microsoft Excel Data Analysis and Business Modeling by Wayne L. Winston
- Naked Statistics: Stripping the Dread from the Data by Charles Wheelan
- Python for Data Analysis: Data Wrangling with Pandas, NumPy, and IPython by Wes McKinney
- SQL in 10 Minutes a Day by Ben Forta
- Storytelling with Data: A Data Visualization Guide for Business Professionals by Cole Nussbaumer Knaflic
- Practical Tableau: 100 Tips, Tutorials, and Strategies from a Tableau by Ryan Sleeper
- The Hundred-Page Machine Learning Book by Andriy Burkov
- The Pyramid Principle: Logic in Writing and Thinking by Barbara Minto
- Scoring Points: How Tesco Continues to Win Customer Loyalty by Terry Hunt
The 21st century has changed the game with respect to data storage and warehousing. Moreover, the plethora of data generated cannot be manually analyzed using statistics. Hence, began the reliance on statistical analysis on computer applications.
For more than 35 years, Excel has been one of the favorites for beginners to perform all types of statistical analysis. Mastering excel serves as a great stepping stone towards your analytics career.
Microsoft Excel Data Analysis and Business Modeling by Wayne L.Winston are one of the best books to learn MS Excel from scratch. The book not only covers the use of excel for basic statistics and probability but also has rich content for practical application of technical topics like multiple regression, time-series forecasting, etc. And the best part is the content extends to great lengths to make you an expert in excel with a lot of practical exercises for each topic.
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Business Analytics Professionals consider statistics as their foundational knowledge. It helps them understand the data in hand and find necessary relationships.
“[Wheelan] does something unique here: he makes statistics interesting and fun. His book strips the subject of its complexity to expose the sexy stuff underneath.”
– The Economist
Naked Statistics by Charles Wheelan is considered by many, the best book for beginners in statistics. It is fun and easy to read when it comes to explaining the topics of descriptive, inferential statistics, probability, and regression.
With technical concepts explained in layman terms, this not only serves as a great book for beginners. But for anyone just to revise or brush up the topics of statistics without getting bored.
Have you ever wondered how will you manipulate the data you have? How are you going to explore it in a depth, find relationships between variables and identify and transform various kinds of data types? These tasks can easily be performed with a simple line of code in python. Its most basic libraries not only helps you perform data analysis but easily helps you explore and transform the data too with just a couple of lines of code.
Business analytics professionals often use Python for performing descriptive analytics. They also perform Exploratory Data Analysis to find patterns, trends, and various relationships between the variables to draw insights and aid in better decision making for the business.
This is one of the most used books for business analytics professionals. The book goes deeply through the important libraries like Numpy, pandas, matplotlib, statsmodel, scikit-learn, and also helps one learn python with ease.
Here is a course for you if books are not your way of learning – Introduction to Python
Data Retrieval is one of the most basic skills which people forgo. A lot of business analytics professional does not know how to proceed.
Structured Query Language(SQL) makes the job easy. Just a couple of lines of codes will help you get 1000’s of rows of data. Also, not only does this give examples for syntax in MySQL but in multiple languages such as Oracle, PostgreSQL, etc.
The concepts of database and database management are explained in a beginner-friendly manner with practical examples. But the name suggests the best feature of the book- one has to spend just 10 minutes regularly to become an expert.
Here is a course for you if books are not your way of learning – Structured Query Language (SQL) for Data Science
5. Storytelling with Data: A Data Visualization Guide for Business Professionals by Cole Nussbaumer Knaflic
This book teaches you the foundational knowledge of visualization and how to communicate effectively with data.
The above book gives business analytics professionals pragmatic guidance on how to present data in an understandable manner. Moreover, the book contains an abundance of information, insights, and counsel that can help almost anyone to master the skills needed. In addition, this book demonstrates how to go beyond conventional tools to reach the depth of your data and how to use your data to create an engaging, informative, and compelling story.
Tableau is one of the favorite visualization and dashboarding tools in the industry. The popularity is further confirmed by Gartner’s Magic Quadrant where it has acquired a leadership position for long now. Practical Tableau is a perfect book for beginners to learn and become professional. In addition, author Ryan Sleeper is a qualified Tableau consultant and he has imparted his rich experience in the easiest manner possible.
The book is divided into 5 parts- Fundamentals, chart types, tips and tricks, framework, and storytelling. Each part has an in-depth explanation of concepts along with practical examples to go by. Practical Tableau answers questions like-
- Why are we creating this chart?
- How are we going to create this?
- What if you create this visualization
Here is a course for you if books are not your way of learning – Tableau for Beginners
The Hundred-Page Machine Learning Book by Andriy Burkov is recommended book for beginners in data science. This book is one of the best introduction to machine learning I have ever read. It successfully retains the required amount of mathematical rigour without intimidating the newbies. Thought leader like Peter Norvig has also endorsed this book. Beginner or established, every data scientist should get their hands on this book.
The Pyramid Principle by Barbara Minto is one of the eye-opening books. The book is crystal clear when it comes to explaining communication and structured thinking for people of any career. This book is used in many colleges and also by companies like EY, Delloite, etc to teach them to communicate effectively.
Even after 25+ years of publishing, people regard it as the best book in how-to-write guides for technical and persuasive work in any language. If you were to read one book on how to present an idea, then this is it. Further, it helps you make your presentation concise, understandable, and impactful.
Scoring points is one of the most thought-provoking books. Author Terry Hunt presents a case study where he explains how Tesco became one of the Supermarket Giants in the UK by the use of customer loyalty marketing. The customer loyalty program was created by deeply analyzing the data to reach a business decision.
It is one of the best reads for any business analytics professionals to understand one of the most successful business analytics stories. It is one of the best case studies highlighting the value and challenges of business analytics.
To summarize, in this article, we read about some of the 8 relevant books that will help a business analytics professional hone his/her skills. Meanwhile, if you want to explore your interests in business analytics, we recommend you check out this free course-
Also, in case you are confused between a data scientist and a business analytics professional, I recommend this article-
I hope this article was fruitful. Comment your favorite business analytics books.