Turning Numbers into Knowledge: Mastering the Art of Problem Solving, Third Edition

  • 4h 27m
  • Jonathan G. Koomey
  • Analytics Press
  • 2017

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.

About the Authors

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.

In this Book

  • Beginner's Mind
  • Don't be Intimidated
  • Information, Intention, and Action
  • Peer Review and Scientific Discovery
  • Explore Your Ideology
  • Get Organized
  • Establish a Filing System
  • Build a Toolbox
  • Put Facts at Your Fingertips
  • Value Your Time
  • The Power of Critical Thinking
  • Numbers Aren't Everything
  • All Numbers are not Created Equal
  • Question Authority
  • How Guesses Become Facts
  • Don't Believe Everything You Read
  • Go Back to the Questions
  • Reading Tables and Graphs
  • Distinguish Facts from Values
  • The Uncertainty Principle and the Mass Media
  • Reflect
  • Get Unstuck
  • Inquire
  • Be a Detective
  • Create Consistent Comparisons
  • Tell a Good Story
  • Dig into the Numbers
  • Make a Model
  • Reuse Old Envelopes
  • Use Forecasts with Care
  • Hear all Sides
  • Know Your Audience
  • Document, Document, Document
  • Let the Tables and Graphs do the Work
  • Create Compelling Graphs and Figures
  • Create Good Tables
  • Using Numbers Effectively in Oral Presentations
  • Use the Internet Well
  • Share and Share Alike