The Tao of Statistics
A Path to Understanding (With No Math)
- Dana K. Keller - Halcyon Research, Inc.
This Second Edition of The Tao of Statistics: A Path to Understanding (With No Math) provides a reader-friendly approach to statistics in plain English. Unlike other statistics books, this text explains what statistics mean and how they are used, rather than how to calculate them. The book walks readers through basic concepts as well as some of the most complex statistical models in use. The Second Edition adds coverage of big data to better address its impact on p-values and other key concepts; material on small data to show readers how to handle data with fewer data points than optimal; and other new topics like missing data and effect sizes. The book’s two characters (a high school principal and a director of public health) return in the revised edition, with their examples expanded and updated with reference to contemporary concerns in the fields of education and health.
This Second Edition retains all the charm and conciseness which made the original so tremendously helpful, and even enjoyable to read. I would not hesitate to recommend it to any student struggling to comprehend statistics. The Tao of Statistics' key benefit lies in its ability to overcome the anxiety which numbers provoke for too many beginners, or even for those struggling with more advanced statistical methodologies. The succinct, single-focus chapters compel readers, by asking that they just understand the intent and usefulness of each aspect, and no more. Thus, it maintains focus on the individual components rather than allowing them to become overwhelmed by the whole. One might say the individual trees can be appreciated once fear of the dark forest is allayed.
"The Tao of Statistics: A Path to Understanding (With No Math) appears in its second edition to provide a user-friendly guide to statistics that explains what they mean, with a difference - there's no math involved. Most books are loaded with formulas; this is loaded with explanation. The basic concepts are covered with attention to how and why they are applied, offering important keys to understanding. This second edition adds new coverage of 'big data' and its impact and concepts, material contrasting it with 'small data', and discussions on missing data and more. The result is a pick for any interested in more than math formulas."
“'For most people, the concept of statistics begins as a shadowy mathematical nightmare....' The author opens his introduction to the second edition with these words, and undoubtedly many engaged in statistical research would agree. Unfortunately, these persons sometimes find themselves gathering, processing, and interpreting data with a great sense of discomfort as they blindly follow a mathematical procedure without really understanding what the results actually mean. Keller (president, Halcyon Research, Inc.) clearly has this audience in mind. Purists may be startled by a statistics book without numbers, graphs, or formulas, but they should appreciate Keller’s brief, insightful discussions designed to clarify each of his fifty topics. Especially helpful are illustrations of how a high school principal, a public health director, or a sociologist might use the concept at hand. In some cases the author even explains why these individuals might not need a particular procedure at all, a refreshingly honest approach that reflects his sense of tao. Of course, statistics without graphs or data is not realistic, but the user of statistics has to have a basic understanding of what is being accomplished and, in that sense, the author has definitely succeeded."