Learning Resources

Image of Danni Liu and her treasured possession: books! Along with quotes on learning by Albert Einstein, Henry Ford, and Richard Feynman
Image of Danni Liu and her treasured possession: books!

As a data professional, I understand the importance of continuous learning and growth to excel in this field. My journey to discovering my passion for data and analytics was not easy, but through hard work and determination, I was able to land a career that I adore. I benefit from many who created and shared amazing resources that have helped me.

Here, I want to share these resources that have helped me along the way. These resources aren't just on technical subjects but also cover resources on developing and improving meta skills.

Meta skills are a set of abilities that are important for personal and professional development. They aren't typically taught in education settings, but as I've learnt recently, it's super important. Working on meta-skills such as self-awareness, emotional intelligence, critical thinking, and learning will help you improve other skills and abilities.

Embrace the joy of learning my friend, and let it lead you to a lifetime of growth and fulfilment.๐Ÿ˜Š

To be transparent, the resources shared here may include affiliate links. When you purchase through these links, I may earn a small commission. Rest assured, the price remains the same for you.
As an independent blogger, I only recommend resources I find helpful or would personally purchase. Your support through these links helps me maintain and grow this platform while providing valuable content.
Thank you for trusting my recommendations! ๐Ÿ’•

Meta skills

The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem

I used to be someone plagued by low self-esteem. I despised myself, thinking I was worthless. To hide my feelings, I put on a facade, but the burden became unbearable. This book became one of the few pivotal resources in my journey to rebuild my self-esteem.

Six Pillars of Self-Esteem is an invaluable guide to understanding and fostering self-esteem. In simple terms, self-esteem reflects our thoughts and feelings about ourselves. The importance of self-esteem hadn't crossed my mind until my own issues with it became crippling. Having healthy self-esteem is crucial to reaching our full potential.

Branden offers a compelling analogy in his book. He likens self-esteem to calcium: "Calcium strengthens our teeth and bones and is essential for a healthy body, while self-esteem is vital for strong psychological development. While we wouldnโ€™t necessarily die from a lack of calcium, our ability to live life fully would be significantly limited. The same goes for self-esteem: We donโ€™t need it to survive, but we cannot live a full life without it."

If you or someone you know is struggling with low self-esteem, I highly recommend sharing this book with them.

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This book is packed with practical strategies to improve memory, learning, and cognitive abilities. Jim has an engaging writing style. He shares many relatable stories- he went from someone with extreme learning difficulties to a master of cognitive abilities. The book was an enjoyable and motivating read for me. What I love most is how he emphasizes the power of mindset and belief in unlocking one's full potential. If you want to unleash your brain's true power, I highly recommend this book. 

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Unlimited Memory

It's a thin book filled with many gold nuggets of techniques and strategies to boost your memory. The book breaks down complex memory into simple steps and contains many practical exercises for you to apply and practise.

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The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs is an idol of mine. I find his presentation engaging and authentic. This book by Carmine Gallo delves into the remarkable presentation skills of the late Steve Jobs. He dissects Jobs' keynote presentations and extracts valuable lessons that can be applied to any public speaking scenario- for example, Jobs' use of stunning visuals, minimalistic slides, and carefully crafted narratives is just extraordinary.

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Putting Stories to Work

This is an exceptional book on communication. It stands out as the best book I've ever read on the subject. I took tons of notes! Shawn demonstrates how stories have the ability to captivate and connect with audiences on a deep level, making them powerful tools for communication and influence. Apart from showing the power of storytelling, he also provides a framework for crafting and delivering stories. I think this is a transformative book and a must read for anyone looking to enhance their storytelling and communication skills!

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The FIVE Dysfunctions of a Team

No matter how capable you may be, significant achievements often require collaboration and teamwork; trying to go it alone can lead to burnout. However, not just any team will suffice. A highly functional team is essential for achieving meaningful results.

This book offers valuable insights by highlighting five common dysfunctions that can undermine teamwork without our awareness. The book is written like a story, so it's super easy and interesting to read. I highly recommend this book. It's not just for managers but anyone who works in a team.

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Data Visualization

Now You See It: Simple Visualization Techniques for Quantitative Analysis

I think this is a great book, but it's not cheap. I do recommend it if finance isn't an issue. The book is divided into three parts. Stephen Few begins the book by building core skills for visual analysis, followed by a deep dive into the specific techniques in data analysis. He concludes by penning his thoughts and hopes for data analysis and visualization in the future. There are plenty of images to complement the theory covered in this book, which I love.

This book helped me realize how limiting Excel is in data visualization.

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Storytelling with Data

This is another great book. It teaches you the fundamentals of data visualization and how to communicate effectively with data. Cole breaks down the technical aspects of data visualization into easily digestible chapters. It's great for both beginners and seasoned professionals. He explores various topics like the importance of context, the role of simplicity, and the effective use of visuals. There are plenty of practical tips and best practices covered in the book.

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Data Visualization Handbook

A very informative book. I use it like a textbook. This book goes beyond just the chart and covers various aspects like typography, colours, layout, and more. It's why I like it. I've not come across a book like this. The book targets designers, journalists, researchers, analysts, and other professionals seeking to get a handle on the fundamentals of visualization. 

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Innovative Tableau

I'm always on the lookout for fresh ways to do things, constantly experimenting to stave off boredom. Even when working on our stable charts, I like to inject a bit of freshness or add some unique touches. It's not just to keep myself engaged but also to offer something different to my audience. There's something incredibly satisfying about seeing people get drawn into the dashboards I create, especially if they're not typically into data. To me, making data engaging requires more than just the numbers; it's about presentation and creativity.

This is not a book that I currently own or have read. However, I'm a subscriber to Ryan's newsletter, and I've picked up several helpful tips, so I'm convinced that this book will help take many people's Tableau skills to the next level unless you are a Tableau Zen Master.

But a heads up- this book assumes you already know your way around Tableau and have some experience. If you're just starting out, it might be better to save it for later. Focus on building those foundational skills and getting some experience under your belt first.

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Visualizing Complexity: Modular Information Design Handbook

Ever since I laid eyes on this book, it has piqued my curiosity. I have always been drawn to content related to design and simplifying complex information, and this book brings both aspects together beautifully. It offers a diverse catalogue of techniques for presenting information, which I believe will be a valuable source of inspiration whenever I find myself in need of new ideas. Although there have been criticisms about certain charts being less intuitive, I am still eager to read this book and explore its contents firsthand.

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Financial Modeling in Excel for Dummies

This book is dear to me. When I first read it, my Excel skills were basic, and I didn't even know what a pivot table was. However, this book changed everything. It taught me so much about Excel that I was able to excel in my postgraduate financial modelling assignment and achieve a high distinction. This book taught me the fundamental best practices and the know-how of financial modelling, which is relevant in Excel and applicable across other tools and technology.

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Captain Code

I discovered this book while attending a SQL course taught by the amazing Ben Forta, Adobe's Senior Director of Education Initiatives. It's an awesome book that takes you on an adventure into the world of coding. This book isn't just for kids but for anyone who wants to explore the wonders of coding in Python. This book makes learning to code an absolute blast! You get to learn to create games ranging from simple projects to epic, nostalgic school arcade-style adventures. ๐Ÿ˜€

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Python Crash Course 3rd Edition

I've been trying to learn Python for ages, and nothing seemed to click until I picked up this book and Captain Code. It's really something special, especially if you're new to computer science. The author takes you by the hand and leads you step by step, gradually getting into the more complicated stuff.

Oh, and the exercises in the book? They're a big help in getting the theories down. But here's a little thing that bugged me โ€“ there aren't any answers to the challenges. Sometimes I'd get stuck, and I just wished I could peek at the solution to figure out where I went wrong.

But you know what? Even with that small issue, I think this book is a great buy if you want to learn Python.

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SQL For Data Analytics Third Edition

This book comes highly recommended. I've been looking for resources to take my SQL skills to the next level, and after many searches, I've landed on this one.

It's designed for readers with a basic understanding of SQL, and promises to equip those with a basic understanding with the skills needed for analysis like identifying trends, uncovering hidden insights, etc. It covers a wide range of topics, but I find it interesting that it also covers the handling of geospatial information. This book also provides insights on optimizing queries for faster results and debugging queries that might cause you grief, which is not something I commonly see in books on SQL.

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