February 9

3 Great Data Science Books for Aspiring Data Scientists

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If you're not sure how to get started in Data Science, our pick of the top 3 best Data Science books will help you get started.

There are lots of great books for Data Scientists, but where should you start and which ones should you read first?

This post will help you make those decisions and hopefully guide you to a great career in Data Science.

To start out with, I'll make recommendations on the best Data Science books.

From here I'll show you the best data analytics books and data strategy books.

Then I'll give you my pick of the best data mining books, and finally the best Big Data books.

By the time you've got a working knowledge of each of these areas your Data Science skills will really be in great demand!

More...

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What is Data Science?

Data Science is the study of data, with the goal being to gain insights and knowledge from any type of data, whether structured or unstructured.

While statistics can be described as involving recording, storing, and analysing data to effectively extract useful information, Data Science can also be described similarly. Where they differ is that Data Science often involves developing methods or applications to achieve these goals.

Data Scientists help to solve difficult problems using a combination of computer programming, statistics, Machine Learning and domain-specific expertise.

That sounds quite difficult - and it is - which is why Data Scientists need all the help they can get to fine-tune their craft. The Data Science books we highlight in this post will help you on your path...

Best Books For Data Science

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How is Data Science Used?

The importance of Data Science is based on the ability to take existing data and combine it with other data points to generate insights that can be used to learn more about its audience and end-users.

As technology advances, the field of Data Science is growing and big data collection and analysis techniques become more sophisticated. Techniques such as Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence are becoming increasingly important to extract meaningful information and to predict future patterns and behaviours.

In the Data Science books highlighted here you'll see how leading Data Scientists use data to find meaning in difficult situations.

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Where Should I Start with Data Science?

Data Science combines mathematics and statistics with programming skills, Machine Learning and domain expertise, to extract meaningful insights from data.

I would recommend the following track for a career in Data Science, probably in this order (with overlaps in various places):

  1. 1
    Read 1-2 (or 3-4) introductory books
  2. 2
    Take 1-2 introductory courses
  3. 3
    Learn the basics of programming
  4. 4
    Learn basic statistics and mathematics
  5. 5
    Learn Machine Learning
  6. 6
    Learn data mining
  7. 7
    Practice with projects
  8. 8
    Interact with other Data Scientists via social networks, groups, and meetings

This should keep you busy for a decade or two!

Our list of the best Data Science books in this post will help you with the first part of your career path.

If you've already made a start, our picks of the best data analytics books, the best data mining books and the best Big Data books will help you jump to new levels.

Did you know that you can get Data Science audiobooks for FREE with an Audible Trial?

Check them out!

Top 3: Best Data Science Books

In this post - the 2nd in a series of 8 in which we bring you 21 Inspirational Books for All Aspiring Data Scientists, we highlight 3 of the best Data Science books for Data Scientists - whether new to the field or just looking to see what others are doing:

They are all easy-readers, very entertaining and give you a great idea of what it's like to be a Data Scientist and what tools of the trade you're going to need.

If our pick of the best Data Science books doesn't inspire you, there are some more books for Data Scientists further down the post.

We also have some data strategy books and data analytics books, and you'll also find our recommendations for the best data mining books and the best Big Data Books for beginners too.

Enjoy!

#1
Doing Data Science - Cathy O’Neil and Rachel Schutt

4.2 of 5 stars

Doing Data Science

Straight Talk from the Frontline

Cathy O’Neil and Rachel Schutt

Now that people are aware that data can make the difference in an election or a business model, data science as an occupation is gaining ground. This insightful book, based on Columbia University’s Introduction to Data Science class, tells you what you need to know...

FULL BLURB

Now that people are aware that data can make the difference in an election or a business model, data science as an occupation is gaining ground. But how can you get started working in a wide-ranging, interdisciplinary field that’s so clouded in hype? This insightful book, based on Columbia University’s Introduction to Data Science class, tells you what you need to know.

In many of these chapter-long lectures, data scientists from companies such as Google, Microsoft, and eBay share new algorithms, methods, and models by presenting case studies and the code they use. If you’re familiar with linear algebra, probability, and statistics, and have programming experience, this book is an ideal introduction to data science.

Topics include:

  • Statistical inference, exploratory data analysis, and the data science process
  • Algorithms
  • Spam filters, Naive Bayes, and data wrangling
  • Logistic regression
  • Financial modeling
  • Recommendation engines and causality
  • Data visualization
  • Social networks and data journalism
  • Data engineering, MapReduce, Pregel, and Hadoop
#2
Data Science For Dummies - Lillian Pierson

4.3 of 5 stars

Data Science For Dummies

2nd Edition

Lillian Pierson

Jobs in data science abound, but few people have the data science skills needed to fill these increasingly important roles. Data Science For Dummies is the perfect starting point for IT professionals and students who want a quick primer on all areas of the expansive data science space...

FULL BLURB

Discover how data science can help you gain in-depth insight into your business – the easy way!

Jobs in data science abound, but few people have the data science skills needed to fill these increasingly important roles. Data Science For Dummies is the perfect starting point for IT professionals and students who want a quick primer on all areas of the expansive data science space. With a focus on business cases, the book explores topics in big data, data science, and data engineering, and how these three areas are combined to produce tremendous value. If you want to pick-up the skills you need to begin a new career or initiate a new project, reading this book will help you understand what technologies, programming languages, and mathematical methods on which to focus.

While this book serves as a wildly fantastic guide through the broad, sometimes intimidating field of big data and data science, it is not an instruction manual for hands-on implementation.

Here’s what to expect:

  • Provides a background in big data and data engineering before moving on to data science and how it’s applied to generate value
  • Includes coverage of big data frameworks like Hadoop, MapReduce, Spark, MPP platforms, and NoSQL
  • Explains machine learning and many of its algorithms as well as artificial intelligence and the evolution of the Internet of Things
  • Details data visualization techniques that can be used to showcase, summarize, and communicate the data insights you generate
#3
Data Smart - John W. Foreman

4.4 of 5 stars

Data Smart

Using Data Science to Transform Information into Insight

John W. Foreman

Data Science gets thrown around in the press like it’s magic. Major retailers are predicting everything from when their customers are pregnant to when they want a new pair of Chuck Taylors. It’s a brave new world where seemingly meaningless data can be transformed into valuable insight to drive smart business decisions...

FULL BLURB

Data Science gets thrown around in the press like it’s magic. Major retailers are predicting everything from when their customers are pregnant to when they want a new pair of Chuck Taylors. It’s a brave new world where seemingly meaningless data can be transformed into valuable insight to drive smart business decisions.

But how does one exactly do data science? Do you have to hire one of these priests of the dark arts, the “data scientist” to extract this gold from your data? Nope.

Data science is little more than using straight-forward steps to process raw data into actionable insight. And in Data Smart, author and data scientist John Foreman will show you how that’s done within the familiar environment of a spreadsheet.

Another 6 of the Best Data Science Books

If you didn't know, Data Science is the sexiest job of the 21st century. As such, there are now so many great books for Data Scientists that I found it difficult to whittle down my list of the best Data Science books to just 3, so here are another 6:

Best Data Analytics Books

If our list of the best Data Science books isn't quite what you're looking for, perhaps some data strategy books or data analytics books might help. Here's a list of the 6 best books on data analytics for your bookshelf:

Best Data Mining Books

Or maybe you're at a slightly more advanced stage and are ready for some data mining books. If so, here is our pick of the 6 best data mining books:

Best Big Data Books

Big Data is a really important area of Data Science, so you're going to need to check a few of the best Big Data books.

Even if you're just getting started, perhaps one of these Big Data books for beginners might be just the thing.

Data Science Courses

If books aren't really your thing and you prefer to learn by video course, we have a post dedicated to The Best Udemy Courses for Data Science.

Check them out - you won't be disappointed!

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Best Data Science Books - Summary

I hope you enjoyed our pick of the best Data Science books. Between them, these books for Data Scientists will give you an excellent start to your Data Science career.

I suggest you pick one from each list - pick one from our list of the best Data Science books, one of the data strategy books, one from the list of the best data mining books and one of the best Big Data books.

Once you have a working knowledge of each of these areas your skills will be very much in demand!

If you've read any of these books, please leave a comment below.

Did you enjoy them? Did you learn something new? Did any of them take your Data Science skills to a new level?

If you think there are any other, better, books that should be on this list of the best Data Science books - let me know. I might just change my recommendations...

This post forms part of a series on the best books to get started in Data Science.

For more detail, choose from the options below:


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data science books, ebooks


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