December 18, 2016

An Analytics Reading List

Filed under: Uncategorized — wwinston @ 9:14 am

Here is a list of books I feel any analytics expert (not just sports) should have encountered. I am biased towards my books a bit, so some of mine are on the list. I am not an expert programmer so I do not have any favorites for programming.

You need to be great at high school math (not just good) so you should work every problem in the beautiful

Art of Problem Solving by Sandor Lehoczky and Richard Rusczyk.

For probability I love

Understanding Probability by Henk Tijms, 3rd edition

Henk is probably the world’s greatest probabilist (excuse the pun!)

For calculus based probability (joint distributions, etc.) I love the underrated gem by George Wadsworth

Introduction to Probability and Random Variables.

For a practical guide to stochastic processes I recommend Ed Kao’s masterful

An Introduction to Stochastic Processes.

Ed’s book is great on non-stationary stochastic processes.

By far the best introduction to intermediate stats book I have seen is

Statistics and Data Analysis: From Elementary to Intermediate by Dorothy Dunlop and Ajit Tahane

After mastering this book you can move on to

All of Statistics, Larry Wasserman which gives you a concise view of statistical theory

I think resampling is vastly underused in analytics and I love

Mathematical Statistics with Resampling and R Laura Chicara and Tim Hestenberg.

A great book on R and Analytics is Johannes Ledolter’s

Data Mining and Business Analytics with R.

You cannot go wrong with any of Ledolter’s books so I also recommend

Testing 123 (experimental design)

Statistical Methods for Forecasting

To get to the frontiers of modern statistics I recommend

Elements of Statistical Learning by Trevor Hastie and Robert Tibshirani.

For multivariate statistics

Applied Multivariate Statistical Analysis by Richard Johnson and Dean Wichern is tops.

For an introduction to operations research I recommend my

Operations Research

Most important  OR topic that most analysts know little about is dynamic programming which I introduce, but then I recommend Dimitri Bersetkas’ two volume classic

Dynamic Programming and Optimal Control

For learning how to think Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking Fast and Slow is a masterpiece. Don’t miss Michael Lewis’ new The Undoing Project which humanizes Tversky and Kahneman. The Undoing Project will break your heart several times.

For a goo understanding of microeconomics I recommend

Microeconomics by Besanko and Brautigan.

For game theory I recommend Gibbons’

Game Theory for Economists


For a quick introduction to critical thinking I love The Art  of Thinking Clearly by Rolf Dobelli

To know everything that Excel can do (short of macros) I recommend my book (just out)

Microsoft Excel 2016 Data Analysis and Business Modeling.

For Excel macros the analyst needs to master my colleague and coauthor’s book

VBA for Modelers 4th edition

For books on specific analytic subjects see below


No book is adequate but (I am biased) I think my Mathletics will get you going. You need to keep searching the Internet daily to keep up. Definitely read the Rating Teams chapter for a quick intro on how to rate sports teams.


For an introduction I recommend my book Marketing Analytics but the advanced reader needs to master Blattberg and Kim’s opus magnus Database Marketing.


There are so many great books here but I love David Luenberger’s Investment Science  (2nd edition) and John Hull’s Options Futures and Other Derivatives (9th edition)

Supply Chain

At a basic to intermediate level I love Chopra and Meindl’s  Supply Chain Management 6th edition.

For advanced readers try

Fundamentals of Supply Chain Theory by  Snyder and Shen and David Simchi-Levi’s The Logic of Logistics, 2013.

Hope this list is helpful!






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