Statistics for Product Managers

Industry tips

A definitive list of resources to learn statistics if you are a product manager.

How important is Statistics for Product Managers?

Marty Cagan, one of the pioneers of Product Management in his book, “Inspired: How To Build Tech Product That Users Love” states that a strong grasp of statistics will help a PM:

So we have compiled a curated list of resources that will help you get a solid on statistical concepts:

Naked Statistics: Stripping the Dread from Data by Charles Wheelan

"Once considered tedious, the field of statistics is rapidly evolving into a discipline Hal Varian, chief economist at Google, has actually called “sexy.” From batting averages and political polls to game shows and medical research, the real-world application of statistics continues to grow by leaps and bounds.

How can we catch schools that cheat on standardized tests? How does Netflix know which movies you’ll like? What is causing the rising incidence of autism? As best-selling author Charles Wheelan shows us in Naked Statistics, the right data and a few well-chosen statistical tools can help us answer these questions and more.For those who slept through Stats 101, this book is a lifesaver.

Wheelan strips away the arcane and technical details and focuses on the underlying intuition that drives statistical analysis. He clarifies key concepts such as inference, correlation, and regression analysis, reveals how biased or careless parties can manipulate or misrepresent data, and shows us how brilliant and creative researchers are exploiting the valuable data from natural experiments to tackle thorny questions.”

How to Measure Anything by Douglas Hubbard

"As a reader you soon realize that actually everything can be measured while learning how to measure only what matters. This book cuts through conventional cliches and business rhetoric and offers practical steps to using measurements as a tool for better decision making. Hubbard bridges the gaps to make college statistics relevant and valuable for business decisions.” Statistic Course

"Go beyond theory and learn by doing in a safe environment with instant personalized feedback. You will work with real data in leading analytics tools and make product decisions. Along the way you will learn to diagnose and solve product problems by using data, experimentation, and qualitative research.”

OpenIntro Statistics by David M. Diez

OpenIntro Statistics is an open-source textbook for introductory statistics written by David Diez, Christopher Barr, and Mine Çetinkaya-Rundel. It is one of three open-source statistics textbooks that the American Institute of Mathematics has approved for use at the university undergraduate level. The exercises in this book are extremely useful for solidifying your concepts.

Superforecasters: The Art and Science of Prediction by Philip E. Tetlock

In Superforecasting, Tetlock and coauthor Dan Gardner offer a masterwork on prediction, drawing on decades of research and the results of a massive, government-funded forecasting tournament. The Good Judgment Project involves tens of thousands of ordinary people—including a Brooklyn filmmaker, a retired pipe installer, and a former ballroom dancer—who set out to forecast global events.

Some of the volunteers have turned out to be astonishingly good. They’ve beaten other benchmarks, competitors, and prediction markets. They’ve even beaten the collective judgment of intelligence analysts with access to classified information. They are "superforecasters."

Intro to Statistics course in Udacity (if you prefer videos)

"Udacity’s Intro to Descriptive Statistics is a very good course, it refreshes basic and intermediate concepts of statistics which are key to understand the advanced concepts that comes next."

Statistics for Product Managers

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