Top positive review
Tip of the Iceberg
27 January 2018
This book is a glorious introduction to the growing discipline of data science and uses it to uncover insights on important issues relevant to our lives. The book's title is very fitting, and Seth goes on to show that indeed people do lie as is shown by analysis done on datasets of Google searches. An alternative title could be that the 'Truth Hurts', because readers are given a glimpse of the darker and hidden aspect of human nature and the world- much of what we see and hear is divorced from reality. A great example he gives is the case of Barack Obama whose election victory was thought by many to be ushering in a 'post-racial world' but in reality fuelled a white nationalist movement that culminated in the selection of Donald Trump. I don't want to spoil the book for you and so will hold back from giving further examples, but there are many insights uncovered by the author that will change how you view humanity and life. It is only a fraction of what data science can uncover, in sports, politics, society, business, etc. It is only a tiny slice of all the discoveries that have yet to be made.
Seth explains data science and throws many fascinating insights from his studies at us. What he doesn't go through is the painstaking work he went through in collecting, organising, and exploring the data. There are no highly technical concepts for readers to wade through. But what if you want to start working with data yourself? My personal recommendation would be free data visualisation software called Tableau, which literally takes in large excel and CSV files, then spits out interactive insights through your manipulation (which doesn't take so long to learn). It allows everyone to engage in data analysis, and uncover their own insights about areas they are interested in.