Data Science Book Review #1— Becoming a Data Head

Adam Sroka
4 min readJul 12, 2022

I recently finished Alex J. Gutman and Jordan Goldmeier’s guide to data and data science. Here are my thoughts.

Becoming a Data Head (image by author).

Introduction

Welcome to my first book review. I’m aiming to do this more regularly so, hopefully, I’ll get through some of the best books I’ve picked up over the years.

Today we’re talking about Alex J. Gutman and Jordan Goldmeier’s Becoming a Data Head; how to think, speak, and understand data science, statistics, and machine learning:

Why I picked this up

I write a lot about data science communication and spend a considerable chunk of my time thinking about the best way to get my ideas across. Playing that translator role between teams, stakeholders, customers, and the like is a skill that’s really unlocked my career.

With that in mind, I realised I hadn’t actually read much on communication for data science in a while. This book is aimed at teaching folks how to think more like a data professional — becoming a data head means getting into the headspace of those teams doing the data work.

From a quick scan it looked like a nice mix of technical and commercial content. I haven’t seen much in this space so I thought it would be worthwhile taking a look.

I’m also very aware that my opinions and ideas are shaped solely by my experiences, both authors have strong careers that are very different from mine — perhaps I could glean some new insight from their perspective and open up my thinking.

Who’s it for?

The back of the book claims:

Whether you’re a business professional, engineer, executive, or aspiring data scientist, this book is for you.

I think that’s not far from where I’d put it actually. If you have experience working in data, a lot of the material might be revision. It’s well put together and communicated in an easily digestible format so it serves as a…

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Adam Sroka

Dr Adam Sroka, Head of Machine Learning Engineering at Origami Energy, is an experienced data and AI leader helping organisations unlock value from data.