Data Science for Dummies


Data Science for Dummies by Lillian Pierson is a 364-page educational book that introduces the reader to data science basics while delving into topics such as big data and its infrastructure, data visualization, and real-world applications of data science. It is a well-formatted book, and Pierson’s use of charts, graphs, and pictures helps the reader further understand the material.

One of my favorite sections of the book was Chapter 9, “Following the Principles of Data Visualization and Design.” In this chapter, Pierson talks about creating basic types of data visualizations, tailoring them to your audience, and crafting powerful visual messages using the right data graphics. I especially liked the part when she talked about incorporating design artistry into your data visualization that invokes an emotional response in your target audience. Throughout the book, readers can see how helpful and practical data science can be when applied to real-life situations.

The book certainly covers a wide variety of topics; Chapter 4, for example, talks about machine learning, while Chapter 5 discusses math, probability, and statistical modeling. And you can go from learning about making maps from spatial data in Chapter 13, to learning about using Python for data science in Chapter 14. The variety of subject matters covered in the book makes the text fun and interesting to read.

I believe that an introductory guide to a subject should follow two almost paradoxical rules: it should be easy enough for a beginner to understand, but also contain enough rich and engaging information for the beginner to truly learn something about the subject and set a good foundation for additonal studies on that subject. Fortunately, Data Science for Dummies follows both of those rules; the content is easy for a beginner to jump into, but the book is also thorough enough to really educate the reader about data science.

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