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Statistics for Big Data For Dummies by David Semmelroth, Alan Anderson

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Introduction

Welcome to Statistics For Big Data For Dummies! Every day, what has come to be known as big data is making its influence felt in our lives. Some of the most useful innovations of the past 20 years have been made possible by the advent of massive data-gathering capabilities combined with rapidly improving computer technology.

For example, of course, we have become accustomed to finding almost any information we need through the Internet. You can locate nearly anything under the sun immediately by using a search engine such as Google or DuckDuckGo. Finding information this way has become so commonplace that Google has slowly become a verb, as in “I don’t know where to find that restaurant — I’ll just Google it.” Just think how much more efficient our lives have become as a result of search engines. But how does Google work? Google couldn’t exist without the ability to process massive quantities of information at an extremely rapid speed, and its software has to be extremely efficient.

Another area that has changed our lives forever is e-commerce, of which the classic example is Amazon.com. People can buy virtually every product they use in their daily lives online (and have it delivered promptly, too). Often online prices are lower than in traditional “brick-and-mortar” stores, and the range of choices is wider. Online shopping also lets people find the best available items at the lowest possible prices.

Another huge advantage to online shopping is the ability of the ...

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