Friday, April 20, 2007

Review: Statistics Hacks

Statistics Hacks, by Bruce Frey is the best kind of book. The kind that fundamentally changes how you see the world.

Despite what the title suggests, Statistics Hacks is really an entry level textbook on the topic. Having managed to avoid statistics beyond high school (or maybe middle school), it was exactly what I need.

The bottom line is that statistics allows me to solve a class of problems which would have normally been beyond my reach. Not only can you analyze data, but it goes beyond that to making predictions. And, thanks to statistics, you even know how likely your predictions are accurate.

If you are like me, and have no statistics background, I recommend picking up the book. If you have some past stats training, you might still want to pick it up simply because the hacks format may work as a refresher.

Why just this past week I solved a problem at work by using a statistical approximation instead of throwing up my hands and saying the data isn't there. I give the book a 9.3/10 for being a mind altering (and improving experience).

--Ben

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