Starter Books for Data Science

I’m working on a Data Science book list at the moment, but it always takes a little time to get these things sorted out, so I thought I’d get a couple of books up for people who are just looking for a flavour of what Data Science is about.

What is Data Science

Mike Loukides

What Is Data Science?If your completely new to Data Science and aren’t sure what it means or is about, then O’Reilly have a free 22 page booklet that gives a nice introduction here:

What Is Data Science?






Introduction to Data Science

Jeffrey Stanton

Introduction to Data Science by Jeffrey Stanton

This a quite a gentle introduction to Data Science that guides the reader through some of the basic concepts by using examples in R. It goes from basic data manipulation, through data mining, to visualisation. It also covers accessing online data access by showing an example in Twitter. It introduces you to statistics by working through some concepts in R. And it’s free 🙂



Doing Data Science

Cathy O’Neil & Rachel Schutt

Doing Data SciencePaperback (306 pages)
Print ISBN:978-1-4493-5865-5 | ISBN 10:1-4493-5865-9
Ebook ISBN:978-1-4493-6388-8 | ISBN 10:1-4493-6388-1

Order from O’Reilly: Doing Data Science (Affiliate Link)

Order from Amazon: NoSQL Distilled: A Brief Guide to the Emerging World of Polyglot Persistence (Affiliate Link)

This is a more detailed introduction to Data Science, but does assume a knowledge of linear algebra, and some probability and statistics. If your not from a stats back ground you might find this book a little intimidating but it’s worth working your way through it.

NoSQL Distilled: A Brief Guide to the Emerging World of Polyglot

 Pramod J. Sadalage & Martin Fowler

NoSQL Distilled: A Brief Guide to the Emerging World of Polyglot Persistence

Paperback (192 pages)
ISBN-10: 0321826620
ISBN-13: 978-0321826626

Order from Amazon: NoSQL Distilled: A Brief Guide to the Emerging World of Polyglot Persistence (Affiliate Link)

This is a great introduction to NoSQL. It covers the concepts behind it and the different types of NoSQL databases. If your completely new to NoSQL this is the first book I’d read. It’s written in a fairly easy style and it’s not too thick so it’s not intimidating.  It’s easy to read a couple of chapters a day from this book and finish it in a week.

And finally …

If you have some money to spare. O’Reilly do an excellent bundle package of eBooks that contains the above book “Doing Data Science”. At least half of these books are on our “Highly Recommended” list :-D. it’s a lot of money, but if you are really are looking to learn about Data Science this is an excellent bundle. If you read and understood these books you’d be well on the way to be a Data Scientist.

O’Reilly Data Science Starter Kit of eBooks

O'Reilly Data Science KitO’Reilly Data Science Starter Kiy ($170)

Contains (as of Mar 2014):
Data Science for Business
Doing Data Science
Agile Data Science
Bad Data Handbook
Data Analysis with Open Source Tools
Python for Data Analysis
Machine Learning for Hackers
Mining the Social Web
R Cookbook
R in a Nutshell
Interactive Data Visualization for the Web
MapReduce Design Patterns
Feedback Control for Computer Systems



Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.

Les Brown

Author: Jamie

I blend and clarify data in novel ways to create new and illuminating insights.

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