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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An informative introduction to statistics
Statistical analysis underlies much of the modern scientific research. In fact, it is not too much of a stretch to say that many scientific fields have come of age and many other fields have become "scientific" thanks to the extensive use of statistics that they employ. The turning point seems to have been the advent of modern computer. For the first time in history the...
Published on 26 April 2011 by Dr. Bojan Tunguz

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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Handy introduction
Although excellent overall, the VSI series is variable in quality, with some gems (Psychology, Anthropology, et al) and some dross (Architecture, Locke, et al). This particular entry is somewhere in the middle. It starts very well but gets bogged down somewhat toward the end.

A problem that runs through the series is the inordinate number of typos - the...
Published on 7 Sept. 2010 by Peter Reeve


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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Handy introduction, 7 Sept. 2010
By 
Peter Reeve (Thousand Oaks, CA USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Statistics: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) (Paperback)
Although excellent overall, the VSI series is variable in quality, with some gems (Psychology, Anthropology, et al) and some dross (Architecture, Locke, et al). This particular entry is somewhere in the middle. It starts very well but gets bogged down somewhat toward the end.

A problem that runs through the series is the inordinate number of typos - the proofreading in the earlier editions was very poor. OUP seems to have fixed this, and I am happy to say I saw no errors in this book.

But another recurrent problem with the series - poor use of illustrations - does afflict this book, except that here it is simply the paucity of illustrations that is the problem. Statistics is a very visual subject and there are ideas which are very simple when presented in graphical form but extremely difficult otherwise. In the second half of this book, from chapter 4 onwards, when things get technical, there is a need for a great many illustrations, almost on every page. In fact, there are only eight illustrations in the entire book. Ironically, three of those are in a brief section called Statistical Graphics and do not relate to anything described in the text but are used simply to illustrate how helpful graphics can be! Hence, the second half of the book is much heavier going than it need be.

There is however much that is good in the book. There is a useful emphasis on the difficulty and importance of collecting good quality data. This, and a reference to the Sally Clark case, are among the ways the author grounds the subject in reality. He presents a good case for statistics being at the very heart of a great many disciplines.

So, a good short introduction, spoiled by having too few illustrations.
[PeterReeve]
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An informative introduction to statistics, 26 April 2011
By 
Dr. Bojan Tunguz (Indiana, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Statistics: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) (Paperback)
Statistical analysis underlies much of the modern scientific research. In fact, it is not too much of a stretch to say that many scientific fields have come of age and many other fields have become "scientific" thanks to the extensive use of statistics that they employ. The turning point seems to have been the advent of modern computer. For the first time in history the raw computational power has not been an issue any more, and the only limits on the quality of research became the amount of data that can be collected and the understanding of statistical methods that need to be employed for analysis.

This very short introduction deals with statistics as a method for analyzing empirical data. As such, it does not present statistics as a dry and self-contained mathematical subject. All the statistical methods are introduced in conjunction with particular practical problems that those methods are developed to address. The author, David Hand, is trying to convey the message that statistics is as much of an art as it is a rigorous mathematical method. No two research projects are the same, so no simple statistical procedure could be used to describe them all. A careful analysis of the problem at hand and a judicial choice of statistical methods are the most likely to yield the most useful information.

The book is divided in seven chapters and each one deals with a particular statistical concept or a particular way in which the statistics is used. The chapters are short but informative, and the whole book makes for one smooth read. It will not overburden you with mathematical detail, and it can be used as a springboard for further reading into the field of statistics.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars OK, 14 Mar. 2014
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This review is from: Statistics: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) (Paperback)
I liked the first few chapters of this book, but at times it can be too long for what it aims to explain. Perhaps better for someone who has never encountered statistics before. I have studied them slightly so I found it too easy to read. It is made interesting by incidences of misused statistics in the media in the first few chapters.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Overview, 3 Jun. 2010
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P. Kenny (Lichfield, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Statistics: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) (Paperback)
An excellent concise account of how statistics is used in a wide range of practical applications. The book is therefore for the interested general reader. Some of the ways that errors can arise in conclusions from statistical investigations are described. Although there is some theory, the book is not a text book and will not suit anyone wishing to learn how to do statistical analyses. Indeed the chapter on probability is quite difficult: there are easier-to-follow treatments elsewhere.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 19 Aug. 2010
This review is from: Statistics: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) (Paperback)
Like most books in this series, this is a nice and short explanation of a complicated theory. The author makes an interesting point about the way the computer age has influenced statistics. By having to spend less time on tedious calculations, we can now spend more time on conceptual issues, and that makes statistics a much more philosophical and interesting topic. Highly recommended!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great introduction, 26 Jan. 2014
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This book really grabbed my attention and interest, and made some of the fundamental ideas and philosophical bases underpinning statistics very accessible. It's not just about presenting statistical techniques without explanation of their importance; as a novice that's what I really liked about it.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Recommended for a basic overview, 24 Feb. 2014
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This review is from: Statistics: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) (Paperback)
A simple and informative book for anyone looking for an introductory text on the subject of statistics. Not much maths (for those who fear numbers!) and concepts are explained very clearly using everyday examples.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Basic and accurate, 9 Oct. 2012
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This review is from: Statistics: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) (Paperback)
This does as advertised a small pocket sized book that covers the basics. If you need to know just enough to tackle a complimentary or associated subject which refers to statistics then this is fine. Enough detail to illuminate the subject and to easy read. I particularly liked the front cover flap which can be used as a book mark. Pop it in your pocket and read a little more each time you have a spare 5 minutes.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 23 Feb. 2015
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This review is from: Statistics: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) (Paperback)
Really useful
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 3 Jan. 2015
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This review is from: Statistics: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) (Paperback)
as advertised
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Statistics: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)
Statistics: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) by David J. Hand (Paperback - 23 Oct. 2008)
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