Happy Book Lovers Day!
Today is National Book Lover’s Day, and the perfect opportunity to indulge your inner bookworm. According to a Huffington Post blog on the occasion, one of the best ways to celebrate is by giving the gift of reading and passing along a favorite book to others who might enjoy it.
With that in mind, we asked some Information Builders colleagues for their best “data reads” and below is a sampling of their suggestions:
- Dr. Rado Kotorov, chief innovation officer and vice president of market strategy: The Undoing Project by Michael Lewis. This book should be read by every analyst and decision maker. The key point is that data and analytics by itself is not sufficient for making good decisions. The reason is simple: even when we are equipped with the best data and analysis, humans have inherent biases that impact decision making. As important as it is to know the facts, it’s equally important to know yourself and the sources of your biases. The book commemorates the work of Nobel prize winner David Kahneman and Amos Tversky in what has become known as the field of behavioral economics.
- Kevin Quinn, vice president, product management: Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything is the debut non-fiction book by University of Chicago economist Steven Levitt and New York Times journalist Stephen J. Dubner. While it’s not specifically a data analytics book it does show how cause and effect aren’t always about the obvious. In analytics you often look for the obvious reasons behind lost sales, shrinking margins, poor quarters, etc., but this book shows that sometimes the reasons are not what you expect.
- Melissa Treier, vice president, product sales: Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t by Jim Collins. I think this is one of the best business books in general. While not specific to data, it certainly applies to today’s data-driven companies and speaks to the enormous opportunities that exist for those organizations that leverage data for market differentiation better than their competition. The first line of the book says it all: “Good is the enemy of great.”
- Curtis Franklin, conference coordinator: Moneyball by Michael Lewis. The raw beauty of data is on display in Lewis’ Moneyball—the true story of Oakland A’s manager Billy Beane and his quest to win with very little. You don’t have to be a sports fan to enjoy seeing Beane eschew convention and embrace statistics; a move so bold it revolutionized nearly every modern sport.
- Terri White, vice president, corporate marketing. Aligned to Achieve, How to Unite Your Sales and Marketing Teams into a Single Force for Growth by Tracy Eiler and Andrea Austin. I’m a marketer who relies on data to help make decisions, but the data also plays a very important role in my relationships, especially with my colleagues in sales. Data helps to align us and helps to take emotions out of hard decisions. Data brings us together and helps us to function as one unified team focused on the same goals rather than in silos that can’t scale. This is a great book for anyone in Sales and Marketing who is looking for ways to bridge gaps to improve performance. Conversational and fun to read – not totally data-related but close enough!
We may be biased, but no analytics reading list is complete without a copy of our book Organizational Intelligence: How Smart Companies Use Information to Become More Competitive and Profitable. Written by Information Builders’ President and CEO Gerald Cohen and Dr. Kotorov, the book examines the evolution of BI and analytics and features case studies from leading brands across industries.
We hope you join us in celebrating Book Lovers Day by checking out one of the above reads, or another analytics book of your choosing. As English poet Joseph Addison put it, “Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.” So, get out there and start exercising your brain (and your analytics aptitude!)