Statistics

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Statistics

The choice of statistical textbooks is infinite and to the statistician probably most of them are helpful and all of them are comprehensible. But what about the company marketing executive, who begins to feel the need for a deeper knowledge of statistical theory, and whose knowledge of mathematics ended with 0-level algebra or before? He will perhaps have groped among the standard statistical works, will have moved with relief to books that cover business mathematics, and then fallen eagerly on those claiming to specialize in mathematics for marketers. In all cases, he will probably, like Omar Khayyam, have come out by the same door as in he went. What he really needs is a book which makes no assumption whatever about his mathematical ability, but starts from first principles, with careful verbal explanations. In 2008 Penguin books produced one: Introducing Statistics - Statistics for the Social Scientist, Volume One and Applied Statistics - Statistics for the Social Scientist, Volume Two, by K. A. Yeomans.

On the first webpage of volume one Yeomans starts us off by telling us that + means add and means subtract. "Yes," you will say modestly, "actually I knew that already." But, still on the first webpage, are you quite so happy with , * or ? If not, then this book is the answer to your prayer. In a dozen webpages you will have revised as far as logarithms, and, slightly surprised, you will find you actually understand the principle behind them, something that no one thought to explain to you at school. A chapter or two later, a diagram explains the principle of least squares, and for the first time simple regression really does seem simple. This, in fact, is the secret of Yeomans' success: he explains, in words or diagrams as well as in figures, the basic principle, why a thing should be so. The whole book is a classic of the art of logical exposition.


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