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Its aim is to explain where statistics and numbers that we hear and read in the media everyday come from and how they fit into the real world. To that end, I believe the book did achieve its goal. It has great examples of how numbers can be misinterpreted and misused and provides readable formulae-free explanations about what those numbers really mean.

The Tiger That Isn't : Andrew Dilnot :

I found the chapters explaining size ho This is a well-researched and illuminating book intended, as the authors say, for "consumers of numbers". I found the chapters explaining size how numbers ending in "illions" are not necessarily big and averages how they don't necessarily represent the "normal" or what is typical as well as the chapters on "Targets" and "Risks" very well-written with lots of relevant eye-opening examples. The chapter explaining Chance, however, was less well-written and I'd expect some readers to find it confusing.

I come from a background in epidemiology and statistics, and thus, I am really well-versed in probability and chance.

The Tiger That Isn’t: Seeing Through a World of Numbers

Yet, I didn't find the chapter explaining them the best on the subject. Overall, the book is written in an intelligent yet understandable style. However, I did find the writing at few times long-winded, heavy, and distracting. As another reviewer suggested, it is advisable to read the book in small chunks. But that doesn't make the book any less valuable and I do recommend it not only for "consumers of numbers" but also producers of numbers, journalists, politicians, decision-makers, as well as teachers.

Nov 05, Matt rated it it was amazing. A guide to thinking critically about numbers. Clear, accessible, thought-provoking, and insightful, The Tiger That Isn't is a must-read. It makes the case that one doesn't have to be mathematically gifted to make sense of the seemingly baffling stream of statistics that we both demand and fear. Instead, it shows how numbers can be made meaningful by making them personal, how averages might not mean what we think they do as it points out, most of us have an above-average number of feet , what nu A guide to thinking critically about numbers.

Instead, it shows how numbers can be made meaningful by making them personal, how averages might not mean what we think they do as it points out, most of us have an above-average number of feet , what numbers hide as well as show, and what questions to ask of the numbers we find presented on the news and in our media.

It's a fascinating primer, teaching not only essential skills, but also showing up common misunderstandings and errors. Richard Dawkins ' used a term when describing his book The God Delusion , which aimed to promote rational and critical thought on the subject of religion: consciousness-raising. This book is a perfect example of consciousness-raising; it provides the tools to allow readers to think critically about numbers, and make decisions unobstructed by superstition and doubt.

Can't recommend it enough. Apr 03, Georgina rated it liked it. This book was very clear in the maths knowledge it bestowed on its readers, and it did not require a great deal of already-established knowledge to be able to understand what it was trying to tell you. It really was a big eye-opener into the world of statistics which is around us everyday; yes, you might already be aware that the data that you read in the newspapers isn't the most accurate, but do you realise just how wrong that data could be? The book aims to bring out the main errors that are This book was very clear in the maths knowledge it bestowed on its readers, and it did not require a great deal of already-established knowledge to be able to understand what it was trying to tell you.

The book aims to bring out the main errors that are picked up in everyday maths which should be easy enough to pick out and yet out of apathy for maths or just an unwillingness to get to grips with the numbers that are there, the errors are often portrayed as if they weren't errors at all across newspapers, newsreels and in day-to-day life.

Blastland shows that you don't need to be a genius at maths, just to understand the numbers that are thrown at you every single day, however daunting they may seem at first. Jun 04, Aastha Madhur rated it it was amazing. The book was suggested by a team member for a book review project. While initially sceptical I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The title is apropos to the theme and overall content of the book as it encourages people to demystify the figures being thrown at them w.

Being concise, it encourages the average and reluctant reader to pick it up. Its been written in a simple and clear language addressi The book was suggested by a team member for a book review project. Its been written in a simple and clear language addressing primarily a novice audience; so no experience or prior knowledge of even rudimentary statistics is required in order to read and grasp the significant points made in the book. Don't get me wrong, it won't give you a complete and exhaustive hold of the world of numbers : but it would definitely pique your interest to an extent, that you may no longer be afraid of the tiger that isn't.

Jun 05, Zach rated it really liked it. I really enjoyed this book - A very straight forward look at statistics and how they are often misused to shape our opinions and beliefs about the world. It offers a good basic understanding of statistical analysis that offers insight into what commonly reported numbers mean and don't mean. I know I certainly read the daily newspaper with a little more attention to reported stats. To be fair, the authors really do believe in the usefulness of statistical analysis, they simply argue that you mu I really enjoyed this book - A very straight forward look at statistics and how they are often misused to shape our opinions and beliefs about the world.

To be fair, the authors really do believe in the usefulness of statistical analysis, they simply argue that you must know what you're looking at and constantly ask questions about the results. Don't worry it doesn't take a math degree to read it. In fact, it is relatively light on the inerworkings of stats. In short, a good quick easy read that hopefully well help us not get fooled by the numbers we are constantly bombarded with.


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Jan 27, Karen Mardahl rated it really liked it. A great follow-up to "How to Tell Lies with Statistics". I think these two books are an easy starting point for anyone who missed taking statistics in school. If you check out the table of contents on Amazon, you'll see a rough overview of what it's all about.

It's a walkthrough of all the basic info you need to consider when you meet a number. And that reminds me to tell you the most important lesson from the book: size does matter. Some material in the book was inspired by or taken from that show. You'll want to give it a listen after reading this book when you become hooked on statistics and numbers. Interesting and as the book points out - some of the points made in this book about "guesstimates" being touted as real numbers in the media are probably not as accurate as they make them out to be.

A little common sense and a bit more thought could dismiss half of the stats results that are used to back wild claims about the status of the government, country, NHS.. K, didn't fascinate me or push me to turn the page. Tbh felt like some of the subject chosen were to This is my own experience of course and different ignorance levels apply here. Aug 03, Dan Cohen rated it it was ok Shelves: science-and-maths.

This book makes very light, easy reading. It has great merit in introducing some key concepts on interpretating and understanding how statistics are reported and mis used. However, I found that it made the same points over and over again, and many of them would be rather obvious to anyone with any sort of mathematical or scientific backgound or, frankly, common sense. Dare I say it: a good book for someone arts educated who has never had an interest in mathematical or scientific reasoning but w This book makes very light, easy reading. Dare I say it: a good book for someone arts educated who has never had an interest in mathematical or scientific reasoning but wants to get better at seeing through newspaper headlines.

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Jan 19, Jane rated it really liked it. If ever assigned to teach research, this book will be required reading. The authors broke statistics into basic elements for chapters and provided insight into the challenges of data collection and analysis. Perhaps the most powerful lesson was to put numbers into a form of personal meaning. This skill alone would assist any student of statistics and research to better critically review research. I read the review for this book in The Economist magazine some time ago. It was on my shelf througho If ever assigned to teach research, this book will be required reading.

It was on my shelf throughout a course in advanced statistics and modeling. I regret I waited until now to read it. This book made me feel surprised, more informed, and a little bit ashamed. Surprised, because it asserts that many people and organisations who might be expected to be statistically literate are nothing of the kind.

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More informed, because that assertion means I'll be more sceptical of media and political claims that statistics demonstrate the truth of their argument. And a little bit ashamed, because I have occasionally been guilty of mild selective statistical quoting myself. Still, now I know This book made me feel surprised, more informed, and a little bit ashamed.

Still, now I know I'm in good company Aug 26, Sara rated it liked it Shelves: academic. Pros: Clear, concise, simple to follow and very organised. I learn stats, but this book served as a good reminder of common fallacies as well as some others I wasn't so familiar with or hadn't seen this definitively outlined before. But I am nitpicking a little and this might not matter so much to others. Aug 06, Ankit Agrawal rated it really liked it. A nice book on avoiding pitfalls posed by the world of numbers and statistics. After reading this, you'll never again be able to read an article or a paper spouting statistics without questioning the validity of those numbers.

Learn to penetrate the obfuscation afforded by the very nature of statistics. Mar 03, John rated it liked it Shelves: finished. This book isn't the best written I've read, but it somehow comes alive nonetheless - it's a wonderful reminder that numbers aren't something to be afraid of and that statistics can lead you wrong if you don't understand them properly.

If you've already read How to Lie with Statistics and want more, this is for you. May 11, Virginprune rated it liked it. UK focussed. This was a very interesting read - enlightening about some basic principles that are easy to forget. The examples are mostly interesting and drawn from everyday life in the UK. It really gives an insight into how we make policy errors and shocking headlines - often with no substance behind the figures. Jan 04, Deb rated it liked it. Lovely little book about interpreting numbers critically in the real world, well written and lots of interesting titbits.

Not much in it for me that I didn't already know or think but I have now set it as core reading for my postgrad Intro to Social Statistics course. An excellent insight into the numbers being thrown into our faces on a daily basis in both newspapers and Government sensationalism. Should be mandatory reading for any journalist. Written in a clever and witty style turning what would otherwise be a very boring subject into a real joy to read.

The points made in this book are ones which are often taken for granted, especially by the general public and the media. Michael has done a good job at explaining some simple ideas with a set of strong cases. A quick but pleasant read. Nov 11, Littlevision rated it liked it. Said a classmate upon seeing me near the end of this book: "Aren't you glad you stuck with it? Oct 20, Paula rated it really liked it. Puts numbers and statistics in relatable and sometimes humorous terms. There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Readers also enjoyed. About Michael Blastland. Michael Blastland.

Books by Michael Blastland. No trivia or quizzes yet. Quotes from The Tiger That Is Most of it is commonsense, and by using a few really simple principles one can quickly see when maths, statistics and numbers are being abused to play tricks - or create policies - which can waste millions of pounds. It is liberating to understand when numbers are telling the truth or being used to lie, whether it is health scares, the costs of government policies, the supposed risks of certain activities or the real burden of taxes.

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