analytics books
September 22, 2019

Recommended Data & Analytics books for leaders who keep learning

By Paul Laughlin

To complement other book reviews we have published, in this post, I share a selection of data & analytics books.

These are not ones I have read & reviewed myself, but rather the best of recent book reviews I have found online. Hopefully, they are a useful addition to the review I posted of my recommended textbook, Guerrilla Analytics from Enda Ridge.

This month’s focus on data & analytics books is a response to reader requests. Despite the popularity of past recommended books on Data Visualisation, Leadership, Coaching & Productivity. Some of you have asked for a more technical focus.

So, building on those themes, here are Data & Analytics books that look really helpful…

15 books for Analysts

Given the rise of Data Science in popular culture, it is not perhaps surprising that most recommended book lists are aimed at them. It seems the blogosphere is full of recommended lists of books for Data Scientists.

Aiming to balance that, I have previously published not only Enda’s Guerilla Analytics” book, but also Martin Squire’s recommendation of John Tukey’s “Exploratory Data Analysis“. A few years ago I also recommended Judea Pearl’s “Causality“. However, these books get less limelight.

So, it was pleasing to find the Datapine DataViz software company recommend not 1, not 2, but 15 books aimed at analysts. Although this recommended list is now a year old, there is much to still recommend it.

There are a couple of books more aimed at the hype over Data Science & Big Data. But most are well-grounded advice. I would particularly recommend Analytic Philosphy” by Michael Beaney & Data Smart” by John Foreman.

The Best Data Analytics & Big Data Books You Should Read

The saying “knowledge is power” has never been more relevant, thanks to the widespread commercial use of big data and data analytics. This trend has been brought about by the new demands of the modern marketplace, and it’s here to stay. The rate at which data is generated has increased exponentially in recent years.

1 practical book for Model builders

What about a book for the more technical analytics roles? Those who might identify as modellers, or more likely these days as Data Scientists.

Well, there are plenty of books focussed on learning or mastering R or Python. Several of which I have shared previously. However, many fewer focus on the way to use these skills & the other steps in developing & deploying effective predictive models.

So, I was pleased to find this positive and detailed book review from Terry McCann of Advanced Analytics. He recommends “Machine Learning Logistics” by Ted Dunning & Ellen Friedman. Looks like this book usefully covers most of the practical challenges of using machine learning in practice.

You can even download a copy & see videos to help you get started:

Book Review: Machine Learning Logistics: Model Management in the real world – Advancing Analytics

DevOps for Data Science part 5 – Machine Learning Logistics: Model Management in the real world

The textbook for the role of CDO

The most common plea I get for recommending books is from those with the data leader role. Whether they are formally titled CDO or not, the de facto leaders of data strategy & governance for their organisations want advice. Guidance from this who have been there & done that for this increasingly exposed role.

So, I’m glad to have a clear recommendation for them. A couple of years ago I was there at the launch party of “The Chief Data Officer’s Playbook“, to hear Peter Jackson explain what led him to coauthor this modern classic, together with Caroline Carruthers.

Since then it has gone on from strength to strength. In fact, given the amount of coverage this has received at events & on social media, I’d be surprised if you hadn’t heard of it. They have since written an updated sequel “Data-Driven Transformation“. But the former is the book for CDOs.

So, let me just add my voice to those recommending this as a practical guide. It demystifies what the role really involves and how to approach your priorities. I think the main reason for its popularity is how grounded it is in Peter & Caroline’s experience of fulfilling this role.

The Chief Data Officer’s Playbook.

Presented by Caroline Carruthers and Peter Jackson. A presentation given to the BCS Data Management Specialist Group, the Chartered Institute for IT, on 19th March 2018 by Caroline Carruthers and Peter Jackson. Caroline and Peter gave a walk through of their recently released book, The CDO Playbook

Which books have helped you improve as an Analyst or Data Leader?

I hope those recommended books are helpful for you. Are there any you expected to see? Which books have helped you most in your career?

For the rest of this month I am going to be focussing on this topic, so please feel free to recommend ones in Comment boxes below. Better still, if you are passionate about a book that has helped you, please Contact me to discuss sharing guest blog post with our readers.

Happy reading. Remember those who want to lead read.