7 Must-Read Books for the Budding Data Scientist
If you’re a budding data scientist, getting started in this exciting yet intimidating field can be quite overwhelming. The field is so vast, you might not know where to start. But fret not, getting that start could be a few pages away. Consider this an essential reading list of books that explain the basics of various aspects of data science.
1. Big Data at Work – Thomas H. Davenport
A great book to kick start your journey into data science, it goes into the big picture. The ‘how’ of data science and why data matters so much to organizations. We recommend it as a good first read because it gives you an insight into the industry, and familiarizes you with all the terminologies data scientists like to brandy about.
2. An Introduction to Statistical Learning - James, Witten, Hastie and Tibshirani
More textbook-y than our previous recommendation, this is a great book for beginners who don’t have much exposure to predictive modelling, and want to enter the world of data science. If you’re planning to do your PG Diploma in Data Science, it gives you a solid foundation into the nitty-gritties of statistics. Best of all, it’s free!
3. The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail, But Some Don't – Nate Silver
A fascinating book, Nate Silver takes a wide-ranging, in-depth look at the ways that we are wired to make predictions (and the reasons that these are so often wrong). Great to read for pleasure, it is full of insights about patterns and their probabilities. Our favourite part about this book is the wide range of predictive environment he covers: from chess to politics to terror attacks, so it never gets dull!
4. R Cookbook – Paul Teetor
This book is simply the best resource to start working with R programming. From file input / output, data manipulations, merging and sorting to building a regression model, this book has it all, and is a fantastic resource to have by your side even as your career progresses.
5. Web Analytics 2.0 – Avinash Kaushik
The internet, the great repository of data about you, your friend, and her cousin’s cat. Learning the basics of web analytics makes you an invaluable resource to companies and businesses that are struggling to be heard on social media and internet platforms, and this book helps you do just that.
6. Pattern Recognition and Machine Learning – Christopher Bishop
Coming back to our textbook-y books, this book assumes no prior knowledge of data mining, although we admit, it’s much easier to digest after you take a day to brush up on your high-school algebra and calculus. Bishop talks about how machine learning and the vast amount of ever-increasing data are being leveraged by data scientists to create computers that make better and faster decisions than any human ever could. You want to be that data scientist!
7. Lean Analytics - Alistair Croll and Benjamin Yoskovitz
This one is for all our entrepreneurially minded readers! Teeming with specific and actionable advice and examples, Lean Analytics is full of guidance about how to create data driven products and market them. Say hello to your startup dreams by learning the basics of product development and data analytics.
We’d love to hear about some of your favourite books on Data Science. Just leave a comment below.