Why
A Guide to Finding and Using Causes
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: November 2015
Pages: 284

Can drinking coffee help people live longer? What makes a stock’s price go up? Why did you get the flu? Causal questions like these arise on a regular basis, but most people likely have not thought deeply about how to answer them.

This book helps you think about causality in a structured way: What is a cause, what are causes good for, and what is compelling evidence of causality? Author Samantha Kleinberg shows you how to develop a set of tools for thinking more critically about causes. You’ll learn how to question claims, identify causes, make decisions based on causal information, and verify causes through further tests.

Whether it’s figuring out what data you need, or understanding that the way you collect and prepare data affects the conclusions you can draw from it, Why will help you sharpen your causal inference skills.

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5.0

Great primer for newcomers, timely reminder for experts

By Matt

from Leeds, England

About Me Designer, Educator

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Concise
  • Easy to understand
  • Helpful examples
  • Well-written

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Expert
    • Intermediate
    • Novice
    • Student

    Comments about oreilly Why:

    As a humanities graduate in an increasingly data-driven world, I found this book a great introduction to the key concepts and methods of finding causes. The author has a refreshingly straightforward approach, bringing in wide-ranging examples from the domains of medicine, law, public policy and personal decision-making. She is also very clear about the practical and moral limits of current methods, in a way that should give big data's cheerleaders pause for thought. Reading this book has got me thinking about how I can better integrate qualitative and quantitative evidence in my practice as a service designer.

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