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Top 14 Must-Read Data Science Books You Need On Your Desk

The best 14 data science books by datapine“Big data is at the foundation of all the megatrends that are happening.” – Chris Lynch, big data expert

We live in a world saturated with data. At present, around 2.7 Zettabytes of data are floating around in our digital universe, just waiting to be analyzed and explored, according to AnalyticsWeek.

By gaining the ability to understand, quantify, and leverage the power of online data analysis to your advantage, you will gain a wealth of invaluable insights that will help your business flourish.

The ever-evolving, ever-expanding discipline of data science is relevant to almost every sector or industry imaginable – on a global scale. By acquiring a deep working understanding of data science and its many business intelligence branches, you stand to gain an all-important competitive edge that will help to position your business as a leader in its field. It is also wise to clearly make a difference between data science and data analytics in a business context so that the exploration of the fields bring extra value for interested parties.

That being said, here, we explore 14 of the best data science books in the world today, highlighting the very features, topics, and insights that make each of these institutional data-centric bibles crucial for the success of your career and business.

Exclusive Bonus Content: The top books on data science summarized!
Wondering which data science book to read? Download our free guide!

So, what makes the best book for data science? Read on and find out.

Why You Need To Read Data Science Books

Before we tell you why each of our entries makes the best books on data science, it’s important to give you a little context on this most exciting of modern fields.

In 2013, less than 0.5% of all available data was analyzed, used, and understood. Even now, there are colossal streams of data yet to be explored – a level of insight that could prove groundbreaking if used in the right way. For savvy data scientists, the potential that comes with unlocking this seemingly infinite ocean of information is enormous.

Data science, also known as data-driven science, covers an incredibly broad spectrum. This interdisciplinary field of scientific methods, processes, and systems helps people extract knowledge or insights from data in a host of forms, either structured or unstructured, similar to data mining.

By understanding all of the key elements of data science and being able to apply these methods to every aspect of your business, both internal and external, you will reap a wide range of long-term results, ensuring you remain relevant as well as competitive in the process.

We gave you a curated list of our top 15 data analytics books, top 18 data visualization books, top 16 SQL books – and, as promised, we’re going to tell you all about the world’s best books on data science.

If you’d like to acquire a sound practical understanding of data science or take your existing skills to exciting new heights, these best books on data science are must-reads.

Without further ado, here are our top data science books.

1) “Artificial Intelligence in Practice” by Bernard Marr

One of the best data science books: Artificial intelligence in practice by Bernard Marr

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Best for: Those looking for a practical means of understanding how artificial intelligence serves to enhance data science and use this knowledge to improve their data analytics strategies.

As the brainchild of data, legend Bernard Marr creates Artificial Intelligence in Practice as a masterclass in using data science for supreme business intelligence.

Based on 50 real-life business intelligence examples and case studies, this book is wonderfully crafted, incredibly entertaining, insightful, enlightening, intriguing, and result-driven.

One of Bernard Marr’s best offerings to date, this truly is one of the best books for data science in existence today – a must-read in today’s world.

2) “Deep Learning” by Ian Goodfellow, Yoshua Bengio and Aaron Courville

Deep learning by Goodfellow, Bengio, Courville**click for book source**

Best for: This best data science book is especially effective for those looking to enter the data-driven machine learning and deep learning avenues of the field.

Authored by a collective of prolific data science experts (Ian Goodfellow, Yoshua Bengio, and Aaron Courville) Deep Learning offers a wealth of insight into a broad range of subjects, and its this scope that makes it one of the planet’s best books on data science.

From the fundamental practical aspects of data science, right to complex networks and the application of machine learning in business and beyond, this data science book is as comprehensive as it is intriguing.

Every chapter is broken down into digestible sections, and if you’re looking to gain an extensive base knowledge of the most cutting-edge elements of the field – this is the book for you.

3) “Advanced R” by Hadley Wickham

Data science book: Advanced R by Hadley Wickham

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Best for: Budding ‘R’ users and those looking to improve their overall programming talents and analytical skills as well as peruse the intricate nuances of this invaluable data-driven language.

For those embarking on a journey to master the art of the ‘R’ language – a statistical computing program and framework for increased business intelligence-based success – Advanced R is intuitive, easy to follow, and will give you a well-rounded overview of this invaluable area of data science.

The author, Hadley Wickham, wrote chapters that are logical and clear, the jargon is kept to a minimum, and the book’s practical nature is a recipe for success – an essential addition to your bookshelf.

4) “Machine Learning Yearning” by Andrew Ng

data science book: Machine Learning Yearning

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Best for: Someone who has become all too aware of the machine learning and artificial intelligence craze but needs to get a grip on the subject. One of the best books for data science if you’re looking to hit the ground running with autonomous technologies.

Driven by the acquisition and processing of complex information, machine learning is an area of data science that has emerged monumentally in recent years. In fact, 20% of C-level executives worldwide are already using machine learning to make it a core part of their business.

With artificial intelligence changing the face of both our personal and professional lives, understanding the concept of machine learning and how silos of big data can be used to create autonomous, self-evolving machine learning systems is essential if you want to grasp the importance of data and how it’s used in the modern world.

Written by renowned computer scientist Andrew Ng, this gripping read not only offers an accessible introduction to machine learning and big data, but it also proves an excellent resource on collecting data, utilizing the power of deep end-to-end learning, and facilitating the sharing of key insights with a machine learning system.

Exclusive Bonus Content: The top books on data science summarized!
Wondering which data science book to read? Download our free guide!

5) “Python for Data Analysis: Data Wrangling With Pandas, NumPy and IPython” by Wes McKinney

data science book : Python for Data Analysis

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Best for: Someone with a sound working knowledge of Python who wants to understand how to use the language to enhance their data insights. Deservedly on our list of the best books for data science.

As one of the world’s most revered and widely used high-level programming languages, Python is a robust and versatile tool, particularly in the modern age.

The brainchild of American statistician and data scientist Wes McKinney, Python for Data Analysis: Data Wrangling with Pandas, NumPy, and IPython takes the reader deep into the realms of the language and its enormous potential for manipulating, processing, cleaning, and crunching data in Python.

If you’re looking to use Python as an effective means of solving a broad set of data analysis problems that will enhance the intelligence and productivity of your business, this book boasts a host of actionable tips and thought-provoking takeaways. A top data science book for anyone wrestling with Python.

6) “The Signal And The Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail – But Some Don’t” by Nate Silver

best data science book: The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver

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Best for: The CEO, Chief Digital Officer, Chief Information Officer, or business owner looking to seriously enhance their predictive analytics skills, both practically and theoretically. Hands down one of the best books for data science.

A New York Times Best Seller – and for good reason – The Signal and the Noise is a masterclass in using the power of big data analytics to make valuable predictions in an informed and potent way. It’s also one of the best books on data science around.

Crafted by American statistician Nate Silver, a spokesperson famed for successfully predicting the 2012 US Presidential election results, this book uncovers the genuine art and science of making predictions from data. Peppered with real-world case studies, interesting big data examples in the realm of data prediction, and citations of epic data-based failures, this book shows the reader how to filter out the noise and hone in on the right insights to make projections that not only matter, but also ensure sustainable levels of success. A top data science book for making sense of the overwhelming rafts of data that form the beating heart of our data-driven age.

7) “Automate This: How Algorithms Came To Rule Our World” by Christopher Steiner

data science book: Automate This: How Algorithms Came to Rule Our World by Christopher Steiner

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Best for: The technically-minded wizard or digital tech enthusiast looking to bridge the gap between big data analytics, complex algorithms, and the way these elements will shape our future lives. One of the best books for data science if you’re obsessed with the inner workings of algorithms.

Data science is largely about predictions, but a significant part of this ever-expanding discipline also boils down to sophisticated algorithms.

In this thought-provoking and, in many ways, timeless work of data science prose, author, and prolific programmer Christopher Steiner explains how algorithms are increasingly being used to take on high-level pursuits that were once tackled only by human beings with niche training – areas including medical diagnosis and foreign policy analysis.

Once you pick it up, Automate This: How Algorithms Came to Rule Our World is nigh on impossible to put down, gripping you from start to finish with its intuitive style and host of stunning observations on how, in today’s world, algorithms have far exceeded the expectations of their creators. A must for any budding data scientist’s home library. An inspiring addition to our rundown of data science books.

8) “Storytelling With Data: A Data Visualization Guide for Business Professionals” by Cole Nussbaumer Knaflic

best data science book: Storytelling With Data by Cole Nussbaumer Knaflic

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Best for: Budding data visualists and those looking to create inspiring narratives with their data for a wide range of audiences and outcomes. An essential data science book for your reading list.

Created by storytelling expert Cole Nussbaumer Knaflic, this methodical handbook is not only entertaining, but it also provides deep-rooted insights into a branch of data science that is often overlooked: the art of storytelling through metrics.

One of the best books for data science you’re likely to read this decade, Cole explains approaches to getting rid of unnecessary data that obscures clear communication and using these insights to build an effective narrative that connects with users on an undeniably personal level. The modern age content writer’s dream ticket. A must-explore book for data science that is as intriguing as it is rewarding.

While you’re waiting to get your hands on your copy, take a look at our dashboard storytelling tips to find out how to tell a great story after learning how to make a dashboard in nine simple steps.

9) “Inflection Point: How the Convergence of Cloud, Mobility, Apps, and Data Will Shape the Future of Business” by Scott Stawski

data science books: Inflection Point, by Scott Stawski

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Best for: The budding data manager or data miner with a desire to make sense of information in the modern age and beyond. Books for data science don’t get any better than this.

As far as books on data science go, this one is perhaps one of the most forward-thinking one in existence.

Penned by Scott Stawski, a data management leader at Hewlett Packard, Inflection Point focuses on how swift changes in cloud computing, big data, mobile devices, and apps are morphing the way businesses compete. With mind-blowing observations, astute predictions, and valuable takeaways, this data science book is a must-read for anyone trying to sift through silos of information and get ahead in today’s – and tomorrow’s – world. All future data science books should, well, take a leaf from this book.

10) “Hadoop, the Definitive Guide: Storage and Analysis at an Internet Level” by Tom White

data science book Hadoop, the Definitive Guide by Tom White

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Best for: The wide-eyed, budding Apache Hadoop warrior with an unquenchable thirst for creating scalable systems from data. One of the most exciting books for data science on our list.

In one of the best books on data science regarding processing language, Tom White takes his readers on a data-based journey to help them understand the importance of Hadoop and how, if used wisely, it can do a multitude of incredible things.

These incredible things include the ability to build and manage scalable systems with Hadoop and successfully running large Hadoop clusters. As it’s so well-formatted and digestible, dipping in and out of the various chapters of the book is as simple as it gets.

Exclusive Bonus Content: The top books on data science summarized!
Wondering which data science book to read? Download our free guide!

11) “Doing Data Science: Straight Talk from the Frontline” by Cathy O’Neil and Rachel Schutt

last of the best data science books: Doing Data Science: Straight Talk from the Frontline by Cathy O’Neil and Rachel Schutt

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Best for: The budding data scientist looking for a comprehensive, understandable, and tangible introduction to the field.

One of the best books on data science available, Doing Data Science: Straight Talk from the Frontline serves as a clear, concise, and engaging introduction to the field.

Based loosely on Columbia University’s definitive Introduction to Data Science class, this book delves into the popular hype surrounding big data. Written with confidence and a clear, practical understanding of the topic, this essential guide to data science will help you hit the ground running and bestow you with the knowledge you need to thrive in this ever-growing field of expertise.

A collaborative effort from mathematician Cathy O’Neil and News Corp’s Rachel Schutt, this book is cohesive and easy to digest – the go-to resource for any up and coming data scientist.

12) “Python Data Science Handbook” by Jake VanderPlas

Best data science book: Python data science handbook by Jake VanderPlas

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Best for: Anyone looking to sharpen, extend, and upgrade their existing Python skills and gain an edge on the competition by acquiring a deeper, more relevant insight into this crucial subject.

Written by a software engineer Jake VanderPlas, this best book on data science is a gem for anyone that uses Python as an everyday part of their job role or business strategy.

This most extensive, practical, and rewarding data science book of its kind will let you uncover a plethora of new methodologies while building on your core knowledge of Python in a business intelligence context.

If you want to become an Ipython legend, this is one of the best books on data science on offer at the moment. And the great thing about the Python Data Science Handbook is the fact that you can use it for quick reference while you’re tackling important tasks or projects. A data science book that just keeps on giving long after you finish it.

13) “R For Data Science” by Hadley Wickham and Garrett Grolemund

Data science book: R for data science by Hadley Wickham and Garret Grolemund

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Best for: Anyone looking to delve deeper into data science and learn to organize digital insights more effectively while extracting even greater value from the information available at their fingertips. One of the most thought-provoking best books for data science on our list.

The authors, Garrett Grolemund and Hadley Wickham created one of the top data science books for the digital age. Offering a host of unique insights based on many core avenues of the field, R for Data Science will tell you all you need to know to transform, transpose, adapt, and structure your data for success.

By learning how to manage your data more efficiently and strategically, you’ll become empowered to make your insights more valuable, more impactful, and exponentially more potent. And this best book for data science will help you get there, step by step.

Don’t miss out – it is one of the world’s best books on data science, after all.

14) “Data Science For Dummies” by Lillian Pierson

Data science for dummies by Lillian Pierson

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Best for: Anyone looking for a fun and understandable yet comprehensive introduction to data science in practice. This book covers all the basics – and a little more!

If you’re relatively new to data science and looking to gain a sound working knowledge of the subject, Data Science For Dummies is the resource you need on your desk at all times.

The author, Lillian Pierson, created a workbook that will help you hone your skills in areas including big data analytics, Hadoop, MapReduce, Spark, MPP platforms, and NoSQL, and machine learning (ML) or artificial intelligence (AI) best practices. It is one of the best in the biz for the ambitious novice looking for a quick yet meaningful data science fix.

”The goal is to turn data into information, and information into insight.” – Carly Fiorina

Exclusive Bonus Content: The top books on data science summarized!
Wondering which data science book to read? Download our free guide!

For a quick glance at our 14 best books on data science, here’s a summarized list of these incredible resources:

  1. “Artificial Intelligence in Practice” by Bernard Marr
  2. “Deep Learning” by Ian Goodfellow and Yoshua Bengio and Aaron Courville
  3. “Advanced R” by Hadley Wickham
  4. “Machine Learning Yearning” by Andrew Ng
  5. “Python for Data Analysis: Data Wrangling With Pandas, NumPy and IPython” by Wes McKinney
  6. “The Signal And The Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail – But Some Don’t” by Nate Silver
  7. “Automate This: How Algorithms Came To Rule Our World” by Christopher Steiner
  8. “Storytelling With Data: A Data Visualization Guide for Business Professionals” by Cole Nussbaumer Knaflic
  9. “Inflection Point: How the Convergence of Cloud, Mobility, Apps, and Data Will Shape the Future of Business” by Scott Stawski
  10. “Hadoop, the Definitive Guide: Storage and Analysis at an Internet Level” by Tom White
  11. “Doing Data Science: Straight Talk from the Frontline” by Cathy O’Neil and Rachel Schutt
  12. “Python Data Science Handbook” by Jake VanderPlas
  13. “R For Data Science” by Hadley Wickham and Garrett Grolemund
  14. “Data Science For Dummies” by Lillian Pierson

“Information is the oil of the 21st century, and analytics is the combustion engine” – Peter Sondergaard

Kickstart Your Data Science Journey Today!

When it comes to data science, there is an incredible amount to learn. In our opinion, these 14 best data science books will help you gain the knowledge you need to get started on your long, winding, and incredibly rewarding journey towards data-driven enlightenment.

Armed with your newfound understanding of data analytics, these best books for data science will bestow you with the power to tap into the potential of data for business intelligence, creating a wealth of strategic advantages for your business, complemented by cutting-edge online BI tools.

If you’re looking to make your business smarter, savvier, more sustainable, and more productive, these top 12 business intelligence books will make a great start.

And if you want to tackle deeper into the practical realm of data science, try our business intelligence software for a 14-day trial, completely free!

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