Book Image

Data Smart

By : John W. Foreman
Book Image

Data Smart

By: John W. Foreman

Overview of this book

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. Why a spreadsheet? It's comfortable! You get to look at the data every step of the way, building confidence as you learn the tricks of the trade. Plus, spreadsheets are a vendor-neutral place to learn data science without the hype. But don't let the Excel sheets fool you. This is a book for those serious about learning the analytic techniques, math and the magic, behind big data.
Table of Contents (18 chapters)
Free Chapter
About the Author
About the Technical Editors
End User License Agreement

Wrapping Up

All right, you've learned how to navigate and select ranges quickly, how to leverage absolute references, how to paste special values, how to use VLOOKUP and other matching formulas, how to sort and filter data, how to create PivotTables and charts, how to execute array formulas, and how and when to bust out Solver.

Here's either a depressing or fun fact depending on your perspective. I've known management consultants at prominent firms who earn excellent salaries by doing what I call the “consulting two-step”:

  1. 1. Talk about nonsense with clients (sports, vacation, barbeque … not that there's anything nonsensical about smoked meats).
  2. 2. Summarize data in Excel.

You may not know all there is to know about college football (I certainly don't), but if you internalize this chapter, you'll have point number two knocked out.

But you're not here to become a management consultant. You're here to drive deep into data science...