Dummies for Data Science - A Reading List

There are two new books in the "... For Dummies" series that are targeted to our profession: "Data Science For Dummies" by Lillian Pierson, and "Data Mining for Dummies" by Meta Brown. I don't know about you, but I am happy to be called a dummy when I see books like this -- not only do I want them for my bookshelf, but I wish that I had thought of it! :) Well, actually, I did think of it! Over a decade ago, before I went to George Mason University, I told a colleague that I wanted to write a book with one of those titles. He said that the title was too negative, and that it would be unprofessional for me to write such a book -- he said that it would harm my image. Well, I am happy to say that he was wrong, and that these two books are coming to my collection, and I applaud Lillian and Meta for writing them. I am in awe of their contributions to Data Science (and to Data Mining in particular) and how these two books will bring an increasingly positive image to our data profession (innovators and disruptors that we are!).

One of the most important roles that we should be embracing right now is training the next-generation workforce in the art and science of data. Data Literacy is a fundamental literacy that should be imparted at the earliest levels of learning, and it should continue through all years of education. Education research has shown the value of using data in the classroom to teach any subject --- so, I am not advocating the teaching of hard-core data science to children, but I definitely promote the use of data mining and data science applications in the teaching of other subjects (perhaps, in all subjects!). See my "Data in the Classroom Reading Listhere on this subject. The two new "...For Dummies" books can help in those situations, to bring data literacy to a much larger audience (of students, business leaders, government agencies, educators, etc.). And here is one more that I believe is an excellent data literacy companion: The Data Journalism Handbook.

For those who want to see other books in my collection, follow the links here:


Happy Reading!

Follow Kirk on Twitter @KirkDBorne

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Tags: bigdata, datamining, datascience


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Comment by Deborah Samuel on August 6, 2015 at 6:50pm

As a beginner, I didn't know where to start. The "dummies" title really drew me in. Thanks for the reading list!!

Comment by Lillian Pierson on August 1, 2015 at 9:09am

Thank you so much, Kirk! I just feel so honored to be mentioned in this way, and along side Meta!! WOW! And I really like your point about data literacy! I am actually in negotiations now to help build and deliver a data science education program to middle schools and high schools in Canada. I will definitely be passing this article around. Once again, THANK YOU (and I hope we get the chance to both attend IBM Insight again this year, it would be fun to catch up).

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