Looking for a book to read this summer? We’re proud to present our second annual list of Rapid Insight staff-recommended books for your perusal:


Walden by Henry David Thoreau (Mike Laracy, CEO)
When I first read this I started highlighting all of the sentences and paragraphs that were brilliant. When I realized that I was highlighting mostly everything I put away my highlighter.

Naked Statistics by Charles Wheelan (Jon MacMillan, Data Analyst)

This book focuses on statistical analysis including inference, correlation, and regression analysis. As boring as that sounds to some, Charles Wheelan does an amazing job of keeping the book engaging and interesting.

Inferno by Dan Brown (John Paiva, Account Management Team)
For any lovers of Florence, Italy, this is a definite must-read. While not reaching the level of some of his previous groups, Inferno is definitely a page turner. It’s not a scientific read but there are some great questions posted by the characters that force you to consider the basic math behind humanities’ survival or demise.

Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain by Sharon Begley (Jeff Fleischer, Director of Client Operations)
Though it sounds like a self-help book, it’s actually a non-fiction work for the layman describing recent discoveries in the field of neuroscience. The author spoke at a Behavioral Healthcare conference I attended a few years ago. I liked the talk so much, I bought the book! Fascinating, yet easy read.

Poisson Un Poisson Deux Poisson Rouge Poisson Blue by Theodor Geisel (Scott Steesy, Chief Software Architect)For some light mathematics.
To Sell is Human by Daniel H. Pink (Sheryl Kovalik, Director of Sales & Business Development – Higher Ed)
Being a big fan of sales, I was naturally excited to read a book that gave me excellent perspective on how access to information has changed the buyer/seller relationship; I also enjoyed Pink’s march through the history of sales and his advice on how to adapt for the new environment. But the best part of the book was the way in which the author helps one to see that all of us are sales folks in some way. If you’re in fundraising, admissions, technology, or service positions, there is something here for you – we’re all trying to sway others to our side!

The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver (Caitlin Garrett, Statistical Analyst)
Named Amazon’s #1 Best NonFiction Book for 2012, I’d say this book is proof positive that predictive analytics is going more mainstream. As a thought leader in the field, Silver’s book is chalk full of examples of the practical applications of predictive modeling. A great read for the technical and non-technical alike.
Have you read anything good lately? We’re always looking for recommendations – tell us about it in the comments.

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Decentralize analytics. Harness the power of many.