Latest Faculty of Information News

Telling Stories with Data

Submitted on Monday, July 31, 2023

Faculty of Information Assistant Professor Rohan Alexander’s new book, Telling Stories with Data, is winning rave reviews from some of the biggest names in the field. Published last week, the book is being praised for its unique approach, which takes into account the entire data science workflow as opposed to focusing on statistical methods alone.

Book cover for Telling Stories with Data

Author and Assistant Professor Rohan Alexander wants students to “explore, prod, push, manipulate, knead, and, ultimately, try to understand the implications of data.”

“This is an extraordinary, wonderful, book, full of wise advice for anyone starting in data science,” wrote Sir David Spiegelhalter, Professor Emeritus at the University of Cambridge and author the of bestseller, The Art of Statistics, in his review. “Intermixing concepts and code means the ideas are immediately made concrete, and the emphasis on reproducible workflows brings a welcome dose of rigor to a rapidly developing field.”

Alexander, who is cross appointed to the Department of Statistical Sciences, describes his book as “a reimagining of what data science could be … The book is built around the central thesis that a trustworthiness revolution is needed in data science, and the book proposes a view of what it could look like. This revolution builds on the long history of statistics, borrows heavily from computer science, and draws on other disciplines as needed, but is centred around reproducibility, workflows, and respect.”

Alexander will be using Telling Stories with Data with his Bachelor of Information students. It is also available for free on his website. Read more about Professor Alexander’s approach to data science in the Faculty of Information Research Report (pages 8 and 9).