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Read These 5 Data Analysis Books to Jump-Start Your Career

Do you want to pivot into a data analyst role, but you are unsure where to start? Do you do analytics in your job and would like to learn more about the big picture of data? Are you looking for a great data analysis book to read? In this article, you will find our selection of the best books on data analysis!

If you are a business professional thinking about picking up data analytics skills, you may be wondering how you should start. If you are working in a data-driven company, or if the current trend of data democratization is impacting your organization, knowing data analysis is especially useful so that you can use data to answer business questions.

However, data analytics is a vast topic, and there is a huge amount of material out there. It is hard to decide what you need to learn, how, and from what source.

In this article, I have a list of data science and data analysis books you can read even if you have no technical background. The list provides you with a great book for different situations. You will find a book about business uses of data analytics, fundamentals of statistics, data visualization and storytelling, startup analytics, and statistics of human behavior.

We have placed links for the books, but we do not receive any commission or other payment from the authors or the distributors. Our selection is subjective and is based on personal experiences and opinions about data analysis books. And believe us, we've read a lot of them!

1.  Data Science for Business: What You Need to Know About Data Mining and Data-Analytic Thinking

5 Data Analysis Books to Jump-Start Your Career

If you are interested in using data science in your business, Data Science for Business is a great book to read.

The authors summarize an MBA course they have taught for over ten years at New York University. By reading this book, you learn to approach business problems as data analysis problems and use data science techniques to support your decisions.

The book is well written and is full of examples of data science applications on real-world business problems. It teaches the fundamentals of data-analytic thinking and how to think in terms of evidence and probabilities.

It provides a great overview of data-mining and predictive analytics techniques. This book describes the most common models, how they work, and what you should look for when working with them. You learn how to use these models to extract useful knowledge about your data and predict business metrics.

You also learn from the book to think about the uses of data science in your business at a high level. Including data science into your strategy means considering data as a business asset and actively thinking about getting value out of it.

When you read this book, you gain a strong sense of the use of data science in your business, how to cooperate with your data and analytics teams, and how to participate in data science projects.

2.  The Art of Statistics: How to Learn from Data

5 Data Analysis Books to Jump-Start Your Career

Doing data analysis requires some degree of statistical knowledge. If you have not been exposed to statistics before, learning it from textbooks can be a confusing experience. The Art of Statistics gives you a high-level overview of the most important statistical concepts currently used. It helps you understand what to expect from statistics and how to read and use statistical data analysis.

The strength of this book is its relative accessibility and comprehensive scope. You gain solid statistical and data literacy from the book and learn ways to derive knowledge from data.

The book focuses on concepts and connections behind the math and demonstrates their use through several real-world examples.

It also teaches you how to think like a statistician by using the scientific means of asking questions, articulating assumptions, setting expectations, and interpreting results. If you are looking for an accessible but well-thought-out guide to statistics, you will find this book valuable.

Are you interested in statistics? Take this great online course called Statistics 101.

3. Storytelling with Data: A Data Visualization Guide for Business Professionals

5 Data Analysis Books to Jump-Start Your Career

Does your work involve generating reports? Do you wonder how you can present data effectively and tell a compelling story? Storytelling with Data is a book written for you!

This book is a great introduction to data visualization for business purposes. You learn the fundamentals of data visualization and how to tell a story with your data.

It teaches you to use storytelling by considering the context and the audience when creating data visualizations. Doing so helps you decide what graphs to use in what situation to resonate with your audience.

The book also gives you several tricks about how to make your visualizations better. It introduces essential design concepts and teaches you ways to eliminate information clutter, direct attention to the most important parts of your visualization, and make data a focal point of your story.

It is a nice balance between theory and practice with real-world examples. It even gives you tips on going beyond the capabilities of your visualization tools and reaching the root of your data.

If you would like to learn how to communicate effectively with data and create high-impact visual stories that stick with your audience, read this book!

4.  Lean Analytics

5 Data Analysis Books to Jump-Start Your Career

Are you working in a startup or a startup-like business experiencing rapid growth and using agile practices? Lean Analytics may be the book for you.

Lean Analytics gives you an overview of the most common metrics in specific stages of your business and provides plenty of practical advice about applying them.

The authors wrote the book based on case studies and interviews with startup founders and inventors.

Fast-growing businesses go through different business phases in rapid succession. This pace means that the most important metric about the business changes depending on the current situation and goal. The book promotes focusing on the "one metric that matters" and being disciplined in tracking it.

You can learn here how to validate your business problems, what metrics to use to find the right customer, and what to build for them. There are also specific metrics for monetization and product promotion.

If you are working at a startup or are planning to join one, reading this book helps you understand what is important for growing the business and measuring it.

I can tell you confidently that the creators of have also read this book and appreciate it very much. They use the things they learned from this book every day.

5.  The Data Detective: Ten Easy Rules to Make Sense of Statistics

5 Data Analysis Books to Jump-Start Your Career

The Data Detective is a bit of an outlier on this list. It focuses on the relationship between statistics and human behavior.

Tim Harford, a popular economics writer, rethinks how we use statistics in our thinking and decision-making.

He draws on research in science and psychology to make a case for using numbers to understand human behavior. While there are other ways to do this, sometimes statistics is the only way to get insights about what is really going on.

However, to do so, you also have to understand how statistics works and what the constraints are. The book provides strategies to use when you read and use statistics to improve your thinking and decision-making.

Using these strategies helps you recognize and tackle your preconceptions, erase your biases, and replace them with a better set of personal characteristics. Read this book if you want to use statistics to improve your thinking and better understand people, including yourself.

Learn Data Analysis the Fast Way!

Reading data analysis books is wonderful, and we hope you found great tips in this article. However, data analysis is a craft you learn only by practice. By actively practicing data analysis, you also learn faster.

You can start learning data analysis most directly by learning SQL. It is a lightweight language used worldwide.

You can take multiple approaches to learn SQL. As a start, we recommend checking out our blog. It explains the fundamentals of SQL, teaches you how to do basic data analysis, and gives you plenty of examples from many topics like finance.

You can also read SQL books. We have collected the best ones here and here.

You can speed up your learning process even more by joining an interactive SQL course. We have courses that teach you specific aspects of SQL data analysis, like writing queries. By following our tracks organized around particular business goals, you can become an expert in SQL reports or a master of SQL data analysis.

So, how do you decide? What is the next step you make on your data analyst journey? My analysis shows you will definitely achieve your goals!