"In the past, one could get by on intuition and experience. Times have changed. Today, the name of the game is data. Ian Ayres shows us how and why in this groundbreaking book Super Crunchers
. Not only is it fun to read, it just may change the way you think."—Steven D. Levitt, author of Freakonomics
"Data-mining and statistical analysis have suddenly become cool.... Dissecting marketing, politics, and even sports, stuff this complex and important shouldn't be this much fun to read."—Wired
"[Ayres's] thesis is provocative: Complex statistical models could be used to market products more intelligently, craft better movies, and solve health-care problems—if only we could get past our statistics phobia."—Portfolio
"When statistics conflict with expert opinion, bet on statistics....Businesses, consumers, and governments are waking up to the power of analyzing enormous tracts of information."—Discover
shows that data-driven decisionmaking is not just revolutionizing baseball and business; it's changing the way that education policy, health care reimbursements, even tax regulations are crafted. Super Crunching is truly reinventing government. Politicians love to tout policy proposals, but they rarely come back and tell you which ones succeeded and which ones failed. Data-driven policy making forces government to ask the bottom line question of 'What works.' That's an approach we can all support."—John Podesta, President of the Center for American Progress
"A lively and yet rigorously careful account of the use of quantitative methods for analysis and decision-making.... Both social scientists and businessmen can profit from this book, while enjoying themselves in the process."—Dr. Kenneth Arrow, Nobel Prize winning economist, and Professor Emeritus at Stanford University
“Ayres’ point is that human beings put far too much faith in their intuition and would often be better off listening to the numbers.... The best stories in the book are about Ayres and other economists he knows, whether they are studying wine, the Supreme Court or jobless benefits.... Ayres himself is one of the [statistical] detectives. He has done fascinating research.”—The New York Times Book Review
"Ian Ayres [is] a law-and-economics guru."—Chronicle of Higher Education
“Lively and enjoyable.... Ayres skillfully demonstrates the importance that statistical literacy can play in our lives, especially now that technology permits it to occur on a scale never before imagined.... Edifying and entertaining."—Publishers Weekly
presents a convincing and disturbing vision of a future in which everyday decision-making is increasingly automated, and the role of human judgment restricted to providing input to formulae."—The Economist
"Insightful and delightful!" —Forbes
From the Hardcover edition.
Companies used to rely on human experts and their years of experience to guide them. Now, cutting-edge organizations are mining the data and crunching numbers instead, to come up with more accurate, less biased predictions. As Freakonomics detailed, statistical analysis can reveal the secret levers of causation. But economist Ian Ayres argues that that's only part of the story: super crunching is revolutionizing the way we all make decisions. Beginning with examples of the mathematician who out-predicted wine buffs in determining the best vintages, and the sports scouts who now use statistics rather than intuition to pick winners, Super Crunchers exposes the world of data-miners, introducing the people and the techniques. It illuminates the hidden patterns all around us. No businessperson, academic, student, or consumer (statistically that's everyone) should make another move without getting to grips with thinking-by-numbers -- the new way to be smart, savvy and statistically superior.
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