Wednesday, October 16, 2013

An Introduction to Data Science by Stanton: Book Review

An Introduction to Data Science by Jeffrey M. Stanton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This freely available book fills a nice little niche, people getting started in data analytics. The first problem people have in learning this is they tend to learn a number of techniques, but in practice they cannot get past the step of accessing and preparing the data. This book covers this and gives good practice in it. I plan on using this as the first of two texts for the course. This book will get them started (gently) in R and accessing and processing data, then a case based data mining book where they can use what they learn here to work with larger data sets that are then analyzed in the methods that the other book goes into more depth.

This book would be for those who are just getting started and need some hand holding as they get started with the R environment as well as those who don't really know where to get started with new data sources. It is most useful for those who are starting from nearly scratch, but also for those whose education included data analysis techniques, but whose training neglected those crucial steps on how to get started and why you should be using some class of method, not just the how. And since it is a free electronic book, it is a low cost way to get started.

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