Data Detective

Ten Easy Rules to Make Sense of Statistics

hardcover, 304 pages

English language

Published July 28, 2021 by Penguin Publishing Group.


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4 stars (4 reviews)

An informal approach to examining statistical information to determine its worth and, if it's worthy, extract its value.

1 edition

Review of 'Data Detective' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

“The cure for boredom is curiosity,” goes an old saying. “There is no cure for curiosity.” Just so: once we start to peer beneath the surface of things, become aware of the gaps in our knowledge, and treat each question as the path to a better question, we find that curiosity is habit-forming.

This comes near the end, but feels like the heart of the book to me. In "The Data Detective", Tim Harford provides a list of rules that can help us make statistics less arcane and daunting. There is a lot of good advice and discussion along the way, highlighted by anecdotes from history and current events. But a lot of it comes down to asking questions rather than taking things at face value.I love that Harford acknowledges how easy it is to become overwhelmed, and default to cynically dismissing everything. But he challenges that:

It’s not that …
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