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Head First Data Analysis: A learner's guide to big numbers, statistics, and good decisions

Today, interpreting data is a critical decision-making factor for businesses and organizations. If your job requires you to manage and analyze all kinds of data, turn to Head First Data Analysis, where you'll quickly learn how to collect and organize data, sort the distractions from the truth, find meaningful patterns, draw conclusions, predict the future, and present your findings to others.

Whether you're a product developer researching the market viability of a new product or service, a marketing manager gauging or predicting the effectiveness of a campaign, a salesperson who needs data to support product presentations, or a lone entrepreneur responsible for all of these data-intensive functions and more, the unique approach in Head First Data Analysis is by far the most efficient way to learn what you need to know to convert raw data into a vital business tool.

You'll learn how to:

  • Determine which data sources to use for collecting information
  • Assess data quality and distinguish signal from noise
  • Build basic data models to illuminate patterns, and assimilate new information into the models
  • Cope with ambiguous information
  • Design experiments to test hypotheses and draw conclusions
  • Use segmentation to organize your data within discrete market groups
  • Visualize data distributions to reveal new relationships and persuade others
  • Predict the future with sampling and probability models
  • Clean your data to make it useful
  • Communicate the results of your analysis to your audience

Using the latest research in cognitive science and learning theory to craft a multi-sensory learning experience, Head First Data Analysis uses a visually rich format designed for the way your brain works, not a text-heavy approach that puts you to sleep.

About the Author

Michael Milton likes books. Before his first day of high school wrestling, he checked out a stack of books on technique from the library and practiced on his not-terribly-enthusiastic little sister. Then he spent the first few minutes of tryouts kicking the butts of other newbies, until the experienced wrestlers realized how much fun it would be to kick his. Within a few months, he became a decent wrestler, but he always stayed a bit ahead of the other newbies because of those books.

His life has consisted of gleefully going through that process over and over again in completely unrelated fields. Naturally, he's a Head First fanatic.

Until recently Michael spent most of time looking at databases to help nonprofit organizations figure out how to make more money. He has a degree in philosophy from New College of Florida and one in religious ethics from Yale University. When he's not in the library or the bookstore, you can find him in-line skating, taking pictures, and brewing beer.

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