Turning Numbers into Knowledge: Mastering the Art of Problem Solving

Turning Numbers into Knowledge: Mastering the Art of Problem Solving

Turning Numbers into Knowledge: Mastering the Art of Problem Solving

Turning Numbers into Knowledge: Mastering the Art of Problem Solving

Paperback(Third Edition, Third edition)

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This book (intended for beginning analysts, students, and the people training them) bridges general business problem solving and mathematics for improved effectiveness in work and life. Full of tools for solving real-world problems, this new edition is an ideal training manual for those who are intimidated by quantitative analysis and an excellent refresher for those looking to improve the quality of their data, the clarity of their graphics, and the cogency of their arguments. In addition to numerous updates—references, URLs, and reading lists—this third edition includes revised chapters and many new and updated examples. Mastering the art of problem solving takes more than proficiency with basic calculations; it requires understanding how people use information, recognizing the importance of ideology, learning the art of storytelling, and acknowledging the important distinction between facts and values. This beginner's guide addresses these and other essential skills.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781938377068
Publisher: Analytics Press
Publication date: 10/01/2017
Edition description: Third Edition, Third edition
Pages: 251
Product dimensions: 6.90(w) x 9.90(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Dr. Jonathan Koomey is a lecturer at Stanford University. His academic work, summarized in nine books and more than 200 articles, spans engineering, economics, public policy, and environmental science. Dr. John P. Holdren was Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and Co-Chair of the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology in the Obama administration. Before that he was a professor and program director at Harvard University and Woods Hole Research Center. His awards include a MacArthur Foundation Prize Fellowship and the John Heinz Prize in Public Policy, among others. He returned to Harvard as a professor in 2017.

Table of Contents

Foreword     xiii
Preface     xv
Acknowledgments     xxiii
Introduction: The Information Explosion     1
Things to Know     3
Beginner's Mind     5
Don't Be Intimidated     7
Information, Intention, and Action     9
Peer Review and Scientific Discovery     22
Be Prepared     29
Explore Your Ideology     31
Get Organized     34
Establish a Filing System     38
Build a Toolbox     41
Put Facts at Your Fingertips     44
Value Your Time     52
Assess Their Analysis     57
The Power of Critical Thinking     59
Numbers Aren't Everything     62
All Numbers Are Not Created Equal     65
Question Authority     68
How Guesses Become Facts     73
Don't Believe Everything You Read     76
Go Back to the Questions     81
Reading Tables and Graphs     84
Distinguish Facts from Values     87
The Uncertainty Principle and the Mass Media     90
Create Your Analysis     93
Reflect     95
Get Unstuck     97
Inquire     99
Be a Detective     102
Create Consistent Comparisons     105
Tell a Good Story     107
Dig into the Numbers     111
Make a Model     125
Reuse Old Envelopes     129
Use Forecasts with Care     136
Hear All Sides     143
Show Your Stuff     145
Know Your Audience     147
Document, Document, Document     149
Let the Tables and Graphs Do the Work     161
Create Compelling Graphs and Figures     166
Create Good Tables     177
Use Numbers Effectively in Oral Oresentations     186
Use the Internet     189
Share and Share Alike     201
Conclusion: Creating the Future     209
Epilogue: Some Parting Thoughts     213
Further Reading     223
Notes     241
Index     245

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"There is nothing else like this book out there. Nobody who deals with problems where numbers matter — and everybody in today’s world really needs to — should be without it."  —John P. Holdren, past president, American Association for the Advancement of Science, from the Foreword

"A lively, well-written, attractively packaged book on the art of critical thinking."  —Skeptical Inquirer

"Dr. Koomey's book deserves to be widely read and shared, especially by those who take seriously the fragile yet critical role of an informed citizenry in increasingly complex democratic societies."  —Professor Michael Maniates, Allegheny College

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