- Series: Behavioral Science
- Paperback: 688 pages
- Publisher: Pearson; 1 edition (1977)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0201076160
- ISBN-13: 978-0201076165
- Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.7 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #327,408 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Exploratory Data Analysis 1st Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
This book has served me well for decades: I have used most of its techniques in my statistical consulting practice and, more recently, have used it as a foundation for courses in data analysis that range from a few hours to an entire semester. Students always appreciate the practical experience and set of tools they acquire. The more experienced ones comment on the insight: "I never fully understood what the box-and-whisker plot really did until now" is a recent example from a mid-career engineering professional.
Nevertheless, it is true that some of the material is outmoded due to its focus on manual calculation and some of the rest may be too idiosyncratic for most. What remains--which is plenty--can be studied on its own, because this book is designed for self-study: most of the chapter groups are independent of all but the introductory material, they provide detailed examples, ask many thought-provoking questions, and supply many datasets for practice. Tukey's methods speak for themselves through the gains in insight they provide, so he is content to show *how* to do them and to provide copious examples. What he does not do is supply the mathematical theory. If you like, you can read about that in Hoaglin, Mosteller, and Tukey's "Understanding Robust and Exploratory Data Analysis".Read more ›
An earlier reviewer on this web page dismissed the EDA book as a pre-PC contribution, a dinosaur of the slide rule era. The comment recalled for me the experience of a colleague who, years ago, had the opportunity to visit the UIUC office of John Bardeen, who took Nobel Prizes in Physics in 1956 and again in 1972. He said that he went to the interview expecting to be impressed by the computing technology in this guy's office, but was dismayed to find that Bardeen's main tools were pencils, good quality graph paper, and a slide rule. Good enough for him to co-invent the transistor....
As my friend's experience reminds us, it's the ideas, not the tools, that really count. Tukey and his EDA book are gold mines of fresh ideas and approaches to data analysis. I recommend it strongly and without any reservation to every researcher who is interested in data analysis. It is a marvelous read.
...and lest anyone who is unfamiliar with Tukey's contributions feels that he is a light-weight on the computer side of things, he _did_ give computerese such fundamentals as the word "bit".
At the time I offered the not-very-prescient opinion that it would quickly become a classic. It has.
The various reviews on this site are all correct. Yes there are still wonderful ideas to be mined (easy univariate transformations to symmetry, transforms to linearity to aid in curve fitting, the crucial importance of robustness, of looking at outliers and fringeliers, and the dominant role that graphics plays in forcing us to see what we never expected).
And yes, there is some material that is out-dated (e.g. using break points to estimate logs in your head).
But these are beside the point -- Scholars still study Talmud and Newton's Principia. Why? Obviously there are many reasons varying with the work and the reader.
For me a principal reason for reading (and rereading) EDA is to get a close look at how a first class mind works, with the hope that when faced with a similar problem we can then try to emulate him. To this day as I read EDA I can see Tukey's smiling face patiently explaining to me how to look at data and exhorting me not to miss subtle hints.
This was a book to be treasured when it first became available, and I see no reason for that judgment to change now, or in the future.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I'd love to see this book updated to make it more user friendly. The formatting, layout and overcrowded pages make it difficult to follow. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Doc MB
This is a classic text book by the famous author, one of the FFT innovators, Tukey. Very fundamental skills how to grasp the numbers easily are shown step by step. Read morePublished on May 7, 2012 by bob
I was not surprised to see that one of the issues raised by previous reviewers is whether or not this book is still relevant, given the enormous improvements in computing since... Read morePublished on May 14, 2005 by J. Dale