Friday, October 17, 2008

Super Crunchers by Ian Ayres

Companies used to rely on human experts and their years of experience to guide them. Now, cutting-edge organizations are mining the data and crunching numbers instead, to come up with more accurate, less biased predictions. As Freakonomics detailed, statistical analysis can reveal the secret levers of causation. But economist, Ian Ayres argues that that's only part of the story: super crunching is revolutionizing the way we all make decisions. Beginning with examples of the mathematician who out-predicted wine buffs in determining the best vintages, and the sports scouts who now use statistics rather than intuition to pick winners, Super Crunchers exposes the world of data-miners, introducing the people and the techniques. It illuminates the hidden patterns all around us. No businessperson, academic, student, or consumer (statistically that's everyone) should make another move without getting to grips with thinking-by-numbers - the new way to be smart, savvy and statistically superior.

So, I know, I know, this book took me ages ... but as I've already said, I stopped reading half way thru and started on something else. It's not that this wasn't a good book, let me rather say it was an interesting book. But it's a tough read. It's very technical and not nearly as easy or fun to read as Freakonomics. But still, as I said it's very interesting. And if statistics interest you at all then I suggest you give it a try ... And even read something lighter in between if it helps ;)

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