Dear Reader,

I can’t leave you with the idea that everyone must become data analysts to survive the era of Big Data. That is not the logical conclusion of this book. I do warn you that the wide availability of data will bring confusion and invite mischief. I hope you won’t take data at face value ever again, and you see the power of looking under the hood.

• When a college president plays the steroids-didn’t-help-us card, you’d recognize the attempt to trivialize the fraud.

• When medical researchers blame the failure to tame obesity on a bad metric, you’d whistle the stalling play.

• When Groupon’s bankers play up free advertising to promote sales, you’d ask the counterfactual question.

• When a modeler claims his predictive model is ...

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