For new JMP users, whether students or practitioners, this book is a hospitable and accessible introduction to the process and logic of statistical investigations, as well as to the latest release of JMP. For veteran users, JMP® Start Statistics, Sixth Edition will introduce new functionality and may very well reveal fresh insights. Far more than a traditional software manual, this is a delightful guided tour through standard and advanced techniques, interspersed with essays about the nature and practice of statistics. The illustrative examples come from many fields of endeavor and enliven the text.
Chapters often begin with an interesting narrative that depicts a real decision-making situation or historical investigation, and then provide instruction balanced between "what is the relevant technique all about" and "how do we tackle this in JMP?" For example, the chapter on regression starts with Galton's original investigation of the heights of children and parents, provides an especially accessible explanation of the method of least squares, illustrates the method using one of the outstanding Teaching Demonstrations, and then goes on with further examples using data from published studies. Phrases like "notice this" or "Does the regressor really affect the response" are interspersed between the step-by-step instructions so that readers practice the discovery process that is so essential.
The writing throughout is clear, lively, conversational, and direct. Non-statisticians and professional analysts alike will find the prose is speaking to them. Sometimes the language is lyrical, as in the section entitled "The Yin and Yang of Statistics" where we find the sentiment that the yin of statistics:
On the other side, we find the contrapositive Yin, the moon, reflecting the light. The yin catches the shadow of the world, feeling the shape of truth under the umbra. The yin is forever looking and listening for clues, nurturing seeds of pattern and anomaly into maturing discoveries. The yin whispers its secrets to our left hemisphere. It unlocks doors for us in the middle of the night, planting dream seeds, making connections. The yin draws out the puzzle pieces to tantalize our curiosity. It teases our awareness and tickles our sense of mystery until the climax of revelation Eureka!
So here we have an unusual book about computational statistics. It is fun to read, at times inspiring and peppered with historical "behind-the-scenes" tidbits (like the delay in the discovering the hole in the ozone layer because of investigators too quick to dismiss outliers in their measurements). Most unusual of all is that, like a gracious movie star, JMP itself steps back and allows statistical analysis to have top billing."
Professor of Business Administration