10 Must-read Books on Data Science, Analytics, and Big Data


Being analytics professionals, this is a question we get a lot from C-suite professionals and analytics newbies alike.

“What are the MUST-READS in the world of analytics?’’

The best type of analytics books are ones that don’t just tell you how this industry works but helps you perform your daily roles effectively. They don’t just explain the nuances of data science or how to perform an analysis but teach you the art of storytelling.

If you want to position yourself as a digital transformation advocate, these books will show you ways to decode the art of transforming your business, digitally. They will also make you become a better analytics professional, whether you are a newbie or have been in the industry for decades.

Here’s BRIDGEi2i’s selection of ten bestselling data science must-reads based on readers’ reviews and upvotes by the Amazon and Goodreads communities.

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Data Analytics Made Accessible by Anil Maheshwari

Data Analytics made accessible by Anil MaheshwariWho should read it?

A newbie or an intern who has little or no idea what data science is.

The author, Anil Maheshwari, has got over 20 years of experience in various areas of management practices, including business development, marketing, global branding, social-media, program management, IT consulting, and training. Get the book here.

Why should you read it?

The book provides an extensive and rapid tour of all major topics and considerations one might expect when it comes to data analysis. The questions, examples, and exercises help you understand the subject deeply. The book is easy to comprehend and informative. It covers everything important, with concrete examples, and lures the reader into joining the data analytics field.

What are readers saying?

A reader says on Goodreads –

This is a sort of everything you want to know about Business Intelligence and Data Mining. Lots of bullet form, and checklists of knowledge you need to remember.

Storytelling with Data: A Data Visualization Guide for Business Professionals by Cole Nussbaumer Knaflic

Storytelling with Data: A Data Visualization Guide for Business Professionals by Cole Nussbaumer KnaflicWho should read it?

The data visualization expert who wants to think like a designer and utilize concepts of design in data visualizations.

About the author:

Cole Nussbaumer Knaflic crafts stories with data. She writes on the popular blog www.storytellingwithdata.com. Her workshops and presentations are highly sought after by data-minded individuals, companies, and philanthropic organizations all over the world. Get the book here.

Why should you read it?

If you’re into creating or designing dashboards, you should give this book a firm read. This book tells you how to tell the story behind data. Through this book, you will discover the power of storytelling and the way to place data as a pivotal element in your dashboard designs.

In each chapter, the author briefly discusses the business scenario and then breaks the dashboard into its component pieces analyzing what works well and what could have been done differently. This book demonstrates how to go beyond conventional tools and use your data to create an engaging, informative, and compelling design story.

What are readers saying?

There is something lovely about being consistent with your own teachings. Cole Nussbaumer Knaflic accomplishes that with her first book. She is an advocate for clarity and concision in visualization, and her book is as clear, concise, and practical as it gets. If you are a beginner in visualization, or if you struggle to produce good charts in your everyday job with tools like Excel, Tableau, Qlik, and the like, this is a great place to start learning the core principles.

– Alberto Cairo, Knight Chair in Visual Journalism and Professor of Visualization at the University of Miami, and author of The Functional Art

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Too Big to Ignore: The Business Case for Big Data by award-winning author P. Simon

Too Big to Ignore - The Business Case for Big Data,Who should read it?

The C-suite who wants to understand what big data can do for them and their business.

About the author:

Phil Simon holds expertise in translating technical information jargon-free. He has been a speaker who has made keynotes at companies like EA, Cisco, Zappos, and Netflix. Get the book here.

Why should you read it?

The book tells you why big data is the panacea for businesses. The author elucidates jargon-free advice for management teams and organizations looking to leverage and understand the benefits of big data technologies. With plenty of examples, case studies, and quotes from big data experts all over the world, this book is a must-read for CEOs, business owners, and industry leaders. This book can give your organization the drive it needs to turn data into intelligence, and intelligence into action plans.

What are readers saying?

As more and more entrepreneurs, investors, and customers talk about Big Data, it gets harder and harder to understand what the phrase means. Phil Simon does a great job defining it and making a clear business case for the ideas that are typically incorporated into the phrase Big Data. Ignore this book at your own peril.

– Brad Feld, Foundry Group, Managing Director and Author, Startup Communities

Performance Marketing with Google Analytics by Sebastian Tonkin, Caleb Whitmore & Justin Cutroni

Performance Marketing with Google Analytics by Sebastian Tonkin, Caleb Whitmore & Justin CutroniWho should read it?

The CMO who wants to boost marketing performance and improve brand health with analytics.

About the authors:

Sebastian Tonkin is an entrepreneur and a former member of the Google Analytics marketing team. Caleb Whitmore is a veteran Google Analytics consultant and the founder of Analytics Pros, a company dedicated to empowering and supporting Google Analytics users. Justin Cutroni is the author of the popular blog Analytics Talk, a Google Analytics seminars leader, and a consultant who helps companies understand how they can get the greatest value from Google Analytics. Get the book here.

Why should you read it?

The authors explain a comprehensive way to achieve your digital marketing goals with Google Analytics. They start with a broad level explanation of performance marketing strategy and get increasingly accurate, summarizing with step-by-step analysis, examples, and applications.

The chapters carry in-depth examples and case studies on increasing revenue from search advertising, optimizing an existing website, improving channels and campaigns, strengthening brand health, and more. The book also highlights key topics of Google’s conversion–oriented tools, including AdWords, AdSense, Google Trends, Webmaster tools, and search-based keyword tools.

What are readers saying?

It gives me eyes to see and maximize holistic marketing based on Google Analytics. It’s just not for how to use Google Analytics but how to build online marketing strategy in Google Analytics era. It has many practical advices and examples’.

– Minah on Goodreads

You Should Test That! by Chris Goward

Who should read it?

Strategists and change agents who are looking for leads, conversion optimization, and revenue.

About the author:

Chris Goward is the founder and CEO of WiderFunnel, a conversion optimization agency. He is recognized as a conversion optimization thought leader and has an influential blog (WiderFunnel.com/blog). Get the book here.

Why should you read it?

Chris Goward explains both the ‘whys’ and the ‘hows’ of conversion strategies. The book takes you through creating an optimization strategy for sales or marketing, which can support your business goals with appropriate analytics tools and generate quality testing ideas. It features hands-on exercises, case studies, and a full-color insert reinforcing key tactics.

What are readers saying?

You Should Test That! provides an easy-to-understand framework for testing and lots of excellent ideas on how to optimize toward specific goals. It’s a much-needed, comprehensive approach to testing.

– Jesse Nichols, Agency Partnerships, Google Analytics

Read more: How a Fortune 50 IT company optimized digital marketing spend

Ten Signs of Data Science Maturity by Peter Guerra and Kirk Borne

Ten Signs of Data Science Maturity by Peter Guerra and Kirk BorneWho should read it?

Data Science and analytics leaders who want to build competencies in data science and big data analytics.

About the authors:

Dr. Kirk Borne, Principal Data Scientist at Booz Allen Hamilton, supports the Strategic Innovation Group in the area of NextGen analytics and data Science. He was a professor at George Mason University in the graduate (Ph.D.) Computational Science and Informatics program, and worked for 18 years on NASA contracts, including as the Hubble Telescope Data Archive Project Scientist.

Peter Guerra is a Vice President in Booz Allen Hamilton’s Strategic Innovation Group, co-leading the data science team. His specialty is in highly available, large-scale distributed systems and advanced analytics, and is responsible for leading several advanced analytics and big data computing projects. Download the book here.

Why should you read it?

How well prepared is your organization to rise while embracing data science? How do you identify if your organization has mature data capabilities? How do you help your analytics team hone its skill set?

If you are a data science leader looking for answers to these questions, you should grab this book today. The book has a detailed report that provides a brief discussion of each of the ten signs of data science maturity. It encourages analytics professionals to give members of the organization access to all the available data, use agile, and leverage “DataOps” – DevOps for data product development, help your data science team sharpen its skills through open or internal competitions, and personify data science as a way of doing things, not a thing to do.

What are readers saying?

Any data science leader who wants to build competencies in data science should read this book and develop a mature analytics culture and practice within the organization.

– Meisha on Goodreads

Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

Who should read it?

Business leaders and C-suite professionals who intend to learn concepts around how people make decisions.

About the author:

Daniel Kahneman is Eugene Higgins Professor of Psychology Emeritus at Princeton University and Professor of Psychology and Public Affairs Emeritus at Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. He received the 2002 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences for his pioneering work with Amos Tversky on decision-making. Get the book here.

Why should you read it?

Kahneman explains how two ‘systems’ in the mind make decisions. ‘System 1’ is the fast, intuitive aspect of the mind. ‘System 2’ is the slower, logical and reasoning part of the mind. He explores the general subject of how and why we frequently make irrational decisions with fascinating examples. He offers practical and enlightening insights into how choices are made in both our business and our personal lives, and how we can use different techniques to overcome the rational glitches that often get us into trouble.

What are readers saying?

A tour de force. . . Kahneman’s book is a must-read for anyone interested in either human behavior or investing. He clearly shows that while we like to think of ourselves as rational in our decision-making, the truth is we are subject to many biases. At least being aware of them will give you a better chance of avoiding them, or at least making fewer of them.

– Larry Swedroe, CBS News

Weapons of Math Destruction by Cathy O’Neil


Data scientists and organizational decision-makers who want to understand the insidious side of big data-driven mathematical models.

About the author:

Catherine Helen O’Neil is an American mathematician and the author of the blog mathbabe.org and several books on data science. She was the former Director of the Lede Program in Data Practices at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, Tow Center, and was employed as Data Science Consultant at Johnson Research Labs. Get the book here.

Why should you read it?

Through real-world examples and lively storytelling, the author shows how big data algorithms and mathematical models are increasingly regulating people. The case studies used are engaging, succinct, and cogent. The book is a handy map for a datapreneur who wants to understand the invisible algorithms that have gained control of businesses.

For those curious about how big data can help them and their businesses, or how it has been reshaping the world around them, Weapons of Math Destruction is the place to start with.

What are readers saying?

Lucid, alarming, and valuable… [O’Neil’s] writing is crisp and precise as she aims her arguments to a lay audience. This makes for a remarkably page-turning read for a book about algorithms. Weapons of Math Destruction should be required reading for anybody whose life will be affected by big bata, which is to say: required reading for everyone. It’s a wake-up call – a journalistic heir to The Jungle and Silent Spring. Like those books, it should change the course of American society.

– Aspen Times


Weapons of Math Destruction is the Big Data Story Silicon Valley proponents won’t tell…. [It] pithily exposes flaws in how information is used to assess everything from creditworthiness to policing tactics…. a thought-provoking read for anyone inclined to believe that data doesn’t lie.

– Reuters

Infonomics: How to Monetize, Manage and Measure Information as an Asset for Competitive Advantage by Douglas B.Laney


CDOs and Business leaders who intend to succeed in data monetization and compete in the digital economy.

About the author:

Doug Laney is a vice president and distinguished analyst with Gartner’s Chief Data Officer (CDO) research and advisory practice. He is an accomplished practitioner and recognized authority on information and analytics strategy, and is a two-time recipient of Gartner’s annual Thought Leadership Award. Doug specializes in data monetization and valuation, open and syndicated data, data governance, and big data-based innovation. Get the book here.

Why should you read it?

Infonomics talks about the methods and strategies for quantifying information asset value and tactics for applying information as a competitive edge to drive growth. The book provides useful frameworks for valuing information and identifies the multitude of challenges faced by companies trying to maximize the value of information. Doug offers his funny yet rich examples and detailed foundations that CDOs can consider while formulating their data strategies.

What are readers saying?

Infonomics is an important work, laying the foundation for an emerging field of study and activity. Most business leaders seem to oblivious to information’s near limitless reproducibility and reusability, and how its low storage and transmission costs, coupled with a high degree of software automation, can render it as an incomparable resource. This book offers useful frameworks for valuing information, identifies the multitude of challenges faced by companies trying to maximize the value of information, and most helpfully, ways organizations must address these challenges to thrive in the new economy.

– Ian Oppermann, Chief Data Scientist, NSW Government’s Chief Data Scientist and CEO of the NSW Data Analytics Centre

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Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt by Michael Lewis


Finance guys or investors who intend to understand financial crisis and high-frequency trading under a microscope.

About the author:

Michael Lewis has published many New York Times bestselling books on various subjects. His most recent works are Moneyball, The Big Short, and Boomerang, narratives set in the global financial crisis. He is a columnist for Bloomberg View and a contributing writer to Vanity Fair. Get the book here.

Why should you read it?

Flash Boys explores the phenomenon of high-frequency trading and its complex corruption. Michael, with his narrative style, explains the mechanics of the stock market in depth. The book contains engaging stories and compelling characters. Despite the complexity of the subject, most of the concepts are well-explained. The book also brilliantly explains the current environment and its potential to harm our markets.

What are readers saying?

Wow! Fantastic! I loved it! Entertaining.

It has a guy Brad who is my hero. It reads like a John Grisham novel, but it’s a true story about stock exchanges, high frequency traders, and dark pools. The author is great at explaining complicated technical subjects and telling a good story around them. In the middle of the book, I was so angry at the rip-off of investors, I was thinking of writing letters. But by the end of the book, I didn’t have to. Some good things happened. And now, various government agencies are investigating the problems described in the book – SEC, FBI, CFTC, FINRA, NY attorney general, and US attorney general.

– Jane Stewart on Goodreads


Entirely engaging… Illuminates a part of Wall Street that has generally done business in the shadows.

– New York Review of Books

 Hit the bookstore or order the books online today and immerse yourself into the data world. But in the meantime, if you want to see analytics in action, reach out to BRIDGEi2i for capturing the nuances of the analytics industry. Also to check your proficiency in R, check out this data science test