100 books like Effective Data Storytelling

By Brent Dykes,

Here are 100 books that Effective Data Storytelling fans have personally recommended if you like Effective Data Storytelling. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Competing on Analytics: The New Science of Winning

Jeremy Adamson Author Of Minding the Machines: Building and Leading Data Science and Analytics Teams

From my list on for data science and analytics leaders.

Who am I?

I am a leader in analytics and AI strategy, and have a broad range of experience in aviation, energy, financial services, and the public sector.  I have worked with several major organizations to help them establish a leadership position in data science and to unlock real business value using advanced analytics. 

Jeremy's book list on for data science and analytics leaders

Jeremy Adamson Why did Jeremy love this book?

This is a foundational book on analytics and data science as a business function and helped to shape the development of the practice. It provides a view of the discipline through a business lens and avoids deep technical examinations. Though much has changed in the 15 years since it was originally published, it is still essential reading for a leader in the field. No book since has captured as well the competitive differentiation that analytics provides.

By Thomas H. Davenport, Jeanne G. Harris,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Competing on Analytics as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

You have more information at hand about your business environment than ever before. But are you using it to "out-think" your rivals? If not, you may be missing out on a potent competitive tool. In Competing on Analytics: The New Science of Winning, Thomas H. Davenport and Jeanne G. Harris argue that the frontier for using data to make decisions has shifted dramatically. Certain high-performing enterprises are now building their competitive strategies around data-driven insights that in turn generate impressive business results. Their secret weapon? Analytics: sophisticated quantitative and statistical analysis and predictive modeling. Exemplars of analytics are using new…


Book cover of Be Data Literate: The Data Literacy Skills Everyone Needs to Succeed

Jeremy Adamson Author Of Minding the Machines: Building and Leading Data Science and Analytics Teams

From my list on for data science and analytics leaders.

Who am I?

I am a leader in analytics and AI strategy, and have a broad range of experience in aviation, energy, financial services, and the public sector.  I have worked with several major organizations to help them establish a leadership position in data science and to unlock real business value using advanced analytics. 

Jeremy's book list on for data science and analytics leaders

Jeremy Adamson Why did Jeremy love this book?

Not everybody needs to be a data scientist, but everybody does need to be data literate. Without an intentional focus on evangelism and building a strong data culture in your organization it will be an uphill battle to make meaningful change. This book helps individuals and leaders to understand what data literacy is, and how we can build it like any other skill.

By Jordan Morrow,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Be Data Literate as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the fast moving world of the fourth industrial revolution not everyone needs to be a data scientist but everyone should be data literate, with the ability to read, analyze and communicate with data. It is not enough for a business to have the best data if those using it don't understand the right questions to ask or how to use the information generated to make decisions. Be Data Literate is the essential guide to developing the curiosity, creativity and critical thinking necessary to make anyone data literate, without retraining as a data scientist or statistician. With learnings to show…


Book cover of People Skills for Analytical Thinkers

Jeremy Adamson Author Of Minding the Machines: Building and Leading Data Science and Analytics Teams

From my list on for data science and analytics leaders.

Who am I?

I am a leader in analytics and AI strategy, and have a broad range of experience in aviation, energy, financial services, and the public sector.  I have worked with several major organizations to help them establish a leadership position in data science and to unlock real business value using advanced analytics. 

Jeremy's book list on for data science and analytics leaders

Jeremy Adamson Why did Jeremy love this book?

Since data science is, at its core, people helping people make decisions, it is essential that we can establish productive relationships with our stakeholders. This is a skill that needs to be given the same level of effort as we give to coding or statistics. Gilbert’s book is a great resource to help technically oriented people to advance their people skills.

By Gilbert Eijkelenboom,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked People Skills for Analytical Thinkers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"For the engineer, scientist, or technology professional seeking to communicate better in the business world, this is the book you've been craving your entire career!" ”
— Douglas Laney, Innovation Fellow, West Monroe, and best-selling author of "Infonomics"

Your analytical skills are incredibly valuable. However, rational thinking alone isn’t enough.

Have you ever: Presented an idea, but then no one seemed to care? Explained your analysis, only to leave your colleague confused? Struggled to work with people who are less analytical and more emotional?

In these situations, people skills make the difference, and research shows these skills are becoming increasingly…


Book cover of The Practice of Management

Jeremy Adamson Author Of Minding the Machines: Building and Leading Data Science and Analytics Teams

From my list on for data science and analytics leaders.

Who am I?

I am a leader in analytics and AI strategy, and have a broad range of experience in aviation, energy, financial services, and the public sector.  I have worked with several major organizations to help them establish a leadership position in data science and to unlock real business value using advanced analytics. 

Jeremy's book list on for data science and analytics leaders

Jeremy Adamson Why did Jeremy love this book?

Management as a skill is typically established and honed by osmosis, mimicry, and corporate crash courses. Data scientists pursuing management roles need to understand management from base principles to create meaningful change and establish productive team conventions. After almost 70 years, Drucker’s book still stands up as a foundational piece of reading.

By Peter F. Drucker,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Practice of Management as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A classic since its publication in 1954, The Practice of Management was the first book to look at management as a whole and being a manager as a separate responsibility. The Practice of Management created the discipline of modern management practices. Readable, fundamental, and basic, it remains an essential book for students, aspiring managers, and seasoned professionals.


Book cover of Fundamentals of Data Visualization: A Primer on Making Informative and Compelling Figures

Valliappa Lakshmanan Author Of Data Science on the Google Cloud Platform: Implementing End-To-End Real-Time Data Pipelines: From Ingest to Machine Learning

From my list on if you want to become a data scientist.

Who am I?

I started my career as a research scientist building machine learning algorithms for weather forecasting. Twenty years later, I found myself at a precision agriculture startup creating models that provided guidance to farmers on when to plant, what to plant, etc. So, I am part of the movement from academia to industry. Now, at Google Cloud, my team builds cross-industry solutions and I see firsthand what our customers need in their data science teams. This set of books is what I suggest when a CTO asks how to upskill their workforce, or when a graduate student asks me how to break into the industry.

Valliappa's book list on if you want to become a data scientist

Valliappa Lakshmanan Why did Valliappa love this book?

It is not enough for a data scientist to be able to analyze data and build ML models. You have to be able to communicate the insights to decision-makers concisely and accurately. This book shows you bad and good visualizations — you’ll be surprised by how often you would have defaulted to the bad way without the guidance provided by this book!

By Claus O. Wilke,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Fundamentals of Data Visualization as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Effective visualization is the best way to communicate information from the increasingly large and complex datasets in the natural and social sciences. But with the increasing power of visualization software today, scientists, engineers, and business analysts often have to navigate a bewildering array of visualization choices and options.

This practical book takes you through many commonly encountered visualization problems, and it provides guidelines on how to turn large datasets into clear and compelling figures. What visualization type is best for the story you want to tell? How do you make informative figures that are visually pleasing? Author Claus O. Wilke…


Book cover of W. E. B. Du Bois's Data Portraits: Visualizing Black America

Colin Koopman Author Of How We Became Our Data: A Genealogy of the Informational Person

From my list on data ethics (and data politics).

Who am I?

Colin Koopman researches and teaches about technology ethics at the University of Oregon, where he is a Professor of Philosophy and Director of the interdisciplinary certificate program in New Media & Culture.  His research pursuits have spanned from the history of efforts in the early twentieth century to standardize birth certificates to our understanding of ourselves as effects of the code inscribed into our genes.  Koopman is currently at work on a book that will develop our understanding of what it takes to achieve equality and fairness in data systems, tentatively titled Data Equals.

Colin's book list on data ethics (and data politics)

Colin Koopman Why did Colin love this book?

W.E.B. Du Bois is widely acknowledged as the leading activist for racial equality of his generation. But until very recently little had been known of his deep commitment to the pursuit of equality within and through data technology. As Du Bois was preparing notes for his famous 1903 book The Souls of Black Folk, he was also preparing an exposition of what we would today call “infographics” (or what the editors of this volume aptly call “data portraits”) for exhibition at the 1900 Paris Exposition world’s fair. This volume handsomely reproduces for the first time a full-color complete set of Du Bois’s charts, graphs, maps, and ingenious spirals. A beautiful book to live with, it also subtly transforms one’s understanding of the history of racial progress and inequality in America.

By The W E B Du Bois Center at the Universi,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked W. E. B. Du Bois's Data Portraits as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"As visually arresting as it is informative."-The Boston Globe

"Du Bois's bold colors and geometric shapes were decades ahead of modernist graphic design in America."-Fast Company's Co.Design

W.E.B. Du Bois's Data Portraits is the first complete publication of W.E.B. Du Bois's groundbreaking charts, graphs, and maps presented at the 1900 Paris Exposition.

Famed sociologist, writer, and Black rights activist W.E.B. Du Bois fundamentally changed the representation of Black Americans with his exhibition of data visualizations at the 1900 Paris Exposition. Beautiful in design and powerful in content, these data portraits make visible a wide spectrum of African American culture, from…


Book cover of R for Data Science: Import, Tidy, Transform, Visualize, and Model Data

Tilman M. Davies Author Of The Book of R: A First Course in Programming and Statistics

From my list on intro to programming and data science with R.

Who am I?

I’m an applied statistician and academic researcher/lecturer at New Zealand’s oldest university – the University of Otago. R facilitates everything I do – research, academic publication, and teaching. It’s the latter part of my job that motivated my own book on R. From first-year statistics students who have never seen R to my own Ph.D. students using R to implement novel and highly complex statistical methods and models, my experience is that all ultimately love the ease with which the R language permits exploration, visualisation, analysis, and inference of one’s data. The ever-growing need in today’s society for skilled statisticians and data scientists means there's never been a better time to learn this essential language.

Tilman's book list on intro to programming and data science with R

Tilman M. Davies Why did Tilman love this book?

For those intending to use R with an eye on the popular 'Tidyverse' suite of packages – which facilitate the handling, manipulation, and visualisation of data setsit's hard to go past this book. From the founding contributors of the RStudio/Tidyverse worlds, this is a great way to learn about this dialect of R against the overarching backdrop of statistical data analysis and data science.

By Hadley Wickham, Garrett Grolemund,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked R for Data Science as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Learn how to use R to turn raw data into insight, knowledge, and understanding. This book introduces you to R, RStudio, and the tidyverse, a collection of R packages designed to work together to make data science fast, fluent, and fun. Suitable for readers with no previous programming experience, R for Data Science is designed to get you doing data science as quickly as possible. Authors Hadley Wickham and Garrett Grolemund guide you through the steps of importing, wrangling, exploring, and modeling your data and communicating the results. You'll get a complete, big-picture understanding of the data science cycle, along…


Book cover of Semiology of Graphics: Diagrams, Networks, Maps

Danyel Fisher Author Of Making Data Visual: A Practical Guide to Using Visualization for Insight

From my list on to inspire you to think differently about data.

Who am I?

In sixth grade, my teacher tried to teach the class how to read line charts – and something fell into place for me. Ever since then, I’ve tried to sort data into forms that we can use to make sense of it. As a researcher at Microsoft, I consulted with teams across the organization – from sales to legal; and from Excel to XBox – to help them understand their data. At Honeycomb, I design tools for software operations teams to diagnose their complex systems. These books each gave me an “ah-hah” moment that made me think differently about the craft of creating visualization. They now sit on my shelf in easy reach – I hope you find them fascinating too.

Danyel's book list on to inspire you to think differently about data

Danyel Fisher Why did Danyel love this book?

A new edition of Bertin’s 1963 Semiology was released a few years ago, and my heart swelled with joy. For years, I’d worked off of bad photocopies of an inter-library loan book that had long since gone out of print. In this new edition, I could see how Bertin works through different dimensions and axes – when you want to plot two different quantitative axes over a map, what are your choices? What if you want to plot them over a graph, instead? What changes? I loved exploring these choices with Bertin, as he explores how different color mappings, iconic representations, and design choices change the way the reader interprets the graph.

By Jacques Bertin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Semiology of Graphics as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Originally published in French in 1967, Semiology of Graphics is internationally recognized as a foundational work in the fields of design and cartography. Based on Jacques Bertin's practical experience as a cartographer, part one of this work is an unprecedented attempt to synthesize principles of graphic communication with the logic of standard rules applied to writing and topography. Part two brings Bertin's theory to life, presenting a close study of graphic techniques, including shape, orientation, colour, texture, volume, and size, in an array of more than 1,000 maps and diagrams.


Book cover of Stories That Stick: How Storytelling Can Captivate Customers, Influence Audiences, and Transform Your Business

Terry R. Bacon Author Of Elements of Influence: The Art of Getting Others to Follow Your Lead

From my list on influencing people ethically.

Who am I?

I am a graduate of West Point and a student of military and political leadership. From that foundation, I devoted much of my professional life to researching power and influence and understanding how leaders create impact in business and life. As an educator, counselor, and founder of an international firm on executive development, I created courses on influence to help others become more effective at management and leadership through the ethical uses of influence. I want passionately to know the difference between towering leaders like Abraham Lincoln and manipulative scoundrels like Bernie Madoff, and I’m fascinated by what influences people to take one path rather than another.

Terry's book list on influencing people ethically

Terry R. Bacon Why did Terry love this book?

Whether you are selling yourself or a product, communicating your message effectively is a key to success, and it doesn’t matter if you are trying to influence people through logical persuasion or appealing to their values. Storytelling is as old as humanity and has been a moving and lasting way to communicate. Kindra Hall’s bestselling book on storytelling is a fascinating textbook on the art and science of creating and delivering stories that resonate with audiences and influence people’s decisions. This is one of the best books I’ve read on how to craft compelling messages.

By Kindra Hall,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Stories That Stick as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A clear framework of ideals and a concise set of actions for you to take complete control of your own story, utilizing the principles behind the world's most effective business storytelling strategies..

You keep hearing how story is the latest-and-greatest business tool, and that storytelling can do everything-from helping leaders better communicate to motivating sales teams and winning customers away from competitors.

But what stories do you need to tell? And how do you tell them?

In Stories That Stick, Kindra Hall, professional storyteller and nationally-known speaker, reveals the four unique stories you can use to differentiate, captivate, and elevate:…


Book cover of The Storyteller's Secret: From TED Speakers to Business Legends, Why Some Ideas Catch On and Others Don't

Mark Leruste Author Of Glow in the Dark: How Sharing Your Personal Story Can Transform Your Business and Change Your Life

From my list on personal storytelling to grow your business.

Who am I?

As a kid I used to sit around the table, hearing my French grandparents share stories about life during the Second World War and helping the French Resistance movement. I remember seeing my mum sitting down to interview my French grandad about his life and getting captured near Dunkirk as a young French soldier. That’s where my love for storytelling was born. By the age of 26 I had interviewed over 100+ government officials and business leaders across 7 countries. By 2021 my podcast The Unconventionalists won “best-interview podcast” at the podcasting for business awards. I wrote Glow in the Darkto help entrepreneurs and business leaders impact the world with their story.

Mark's book list on personal storytelling to grow your business

Mark Leruste Why did Mark love this book?

I reviewed this book a while back (when I still had a hipster beard) but it's a great book that dives into why storytelling is so important and shares examples of leaders who have used storytelling as a great tool to influence and empower. It's also a powerful reminder that, as humans, we've been using storytelling since the dawn of time to communicate and influence. If you need convincing as to why you should add storytelling to your arsenal, read this book.

By Carmine Gallo,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Storyteller's Secret as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

How did an American immigrant without a college education go from Venice Beach T-shirt vendor to television's most successful producer? How did a timid pastor's son surmount a paralysing fear of public speaking to sell out Yankee Stadium, twice? How did the city of Tokyo create a PowerPoint stunning enough to win them the chance to host the Olympics?

They told brilliant stories.

Whether your goal is to sell, educate, fundraise or entertain, your story is your most valuable asset: 'a strategic tool with irresistible power', according to the New York Times. Stories inspire; they persuade; they galvanize movements and…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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