The Art of Statistics by David Spiegelhalter

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Rating: 5 out of 5.

All models are wrong, but some are useful.

Art of Statistics is a crisp and very engaging introduction to statistics. Prof. Spiegelhalter has used stories and anecdotes as a medium to introduce the concepts and methodology of various statistical techniques. As a person who has studied statistics at an academic level, I found this method of explanation highly effective. The book introduced me to many new concepts that I haven’t studied in-depth and has a lot of quotes that I can borrow to explain similar concepts in layman’s terms.

This book is divided into multiple chapters ranging from data analysis to hypothesis testing. Every chapter comprises various real-life stories, projects, and case studies. Prof. Spiegelhalter used these as the tool to break down very complex and advanced concepts into simple ones and doesn’t through off anyone with heavy mathematical terminology. This is the reason the concepts stick better and can be read by all people irrespective of their prior knowledge of the subject.

I particularly like the first chapter that introduced the Harold serial killer case. How data analytics was used to solve a decade-long murder spree. The way of storytelling made the statistics book seem like a thriller book. The last few chapters, which talk about data journalism are a must-read for everyone. Since we all consume data in everyday life and nobody can escape it in their daily life, developing a better understanding of what quoted data implies and why we need to consume statistics with a grain of salt. is essential. The exploitation and misinterpretation of such reporting are very common, and it’s as much important that we read between the lines by improving our understanding of data thrown at us in big headlines.

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