data-analysis, regression, random trials


Ayers, I. Super Crunchers: Why Thinking-by-Numbers Is the New Way to be Smart. (Bantam Dell Publishing Group, 2007). 272 pp. Hard cover $25 ISBN 978-0-553-80540-6.

Super Crunchers tells the story of how analyzing data is changing the ways in which decisions are made. We in the National Numeracy Network make a case for the importance of quantitative literacy by referring to how much quantitative information is now available to each of us: “a world awash in numbers.” Ian Ayres zeroes in on the people who are making a living crunching all of these data. From the seemingly innocuous (how wines are rated, and the scouting of baseball players) to the life impacting (diagnosis of disease, and parole of inmates), this book paints a vivid portrayal of how data analysis is impacting decision making at every level in our society. The use of simple regression models and randomized trials is calling into question who the “experts” of the twenty-first century will be, and why thinking-by-numbers really is the new way to be smart.



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