If you are a regular reader of this blog you know that, from time-to-time, I review data-related books. Of course, it has been over a year since the last book review post, so this post is long overdue.
Today, I will take a quick look at a couple of recent books on analytics that might pique your interest. First up, is The Data and Analytics Playbook by Lowell Fryman, Gregory Lampshire and Dan Meers (2017, Morgan Kaufmann, ISBN 978-0-802307-5).
This book is written as a guide to proper implementation of data management methods and procedures for modern data usage and exploitation.
The first few chapters lay the groundwork and delve into the need for a new approach to data management that embraces analytics. Then, in Chapter 3, the authors guide the reader through steps to assess their current conditions, controls and capabilities with regard to their data. The material here can be quite helpful to assist you in gauging where your organization falls in terms of data maturity. Chapter 4, which chronicles the detailed activities involved in building a data and analytics framework comprises about a quarter of the book and this chapter alone can give you a good ROI on your book purchase.
Chapter 8 is also well done. It addresses data governance as an operations process, giving advice and a framework for successful data governance. If you are at all involved in your organization’s data management and analytics practice, do yourself a favor and grab a copy of this book today.
The second book I will cover today is a product-focused book on IBM’s Watson Analytics product. Most people have heard of IBM’s Watson because of the Jeopardy challenge. But if your only knowledge of Watson is how it beat Jeopardy champions at the game several years ago, then you need to update what you know!
So what book can help? How about Learning IBM Watson Analytics by James D. Miller (2016, Packt Publishing, ISBN 978-1-78588-077-3)?
This short book can help you to understand what Watson can do for your organization’s analytics. It shows how to access and configure Watson and to develop use cases to create solutions for your business problems.
If you are a nascent user of Watson, or are just looking to learn more about what Watson can do, then this is a superb place to start. Actually, if you learn best through books, then this is the only place to start because it is currently the only book available on IBM Watson Analytics.
As with any technology book that walks you through examples and screen shots, as the product matures over time, things may look different when you actually use Watson. But that is a small issue that usually won’t cause distraction. And with all of the advice and guidance this book offers in terms of designing solutions with Watson, integrating it with other IBM solutions, and more, the book is a good place to start your voyage with Watson.
Hopefully, you’ll find these two books as interesting and worthwhile as I did!