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Essential Maths Skills for Exploring Social Data

Essential Maths Skills for Exploring Social Data
A Student's Workbook

Additional resources:

March 2020 | 186 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

For students anxious about statistics, this hands-on workbook is packed with clear explanations, real-world examples and practical exercises to gain the necessary maths skills to tackle statistics with confidence. Grounded in a social science context, it features:

·       Clear introductions to symbols and tasks

·       Multiple choice questions and exercises

·       Real world case studies and datasets

·       A glossary of terms

The book offers plenty of opportunities to practice through the accompanying online resources, which also includes datasets and a selection of author videos.

Essential Numeracy
Percentages and Decimal Points
Ratio and Proportions
Introduction to Statistics
Exploring Data and Descriptive Statistics
Observational Studies and Experiments
Polls and Surveys
How will I use Statistics?

A friendly, accessible book to reawaken students’ latent maths knowledge.  Written by a non-maths specialist, this book clearly shows students the importance of some of the core maths skills that they learnt in school and how those skills are at the heart of introductory data literacy.  Using real world applied examples, this book will get them building confidence and competence with their numeracy skills, so often a barrier to students learning statistics and quantitative methods.

Julie Scott Jones
Manchester Metropolitan University

Having read through the book, in my opinion I think it is an excellent learning aid for introductory statistics. While some people may argue it is too simplistic to begin with, I disagree as students who come into university are not always straight out of school, some have never done statistics before or have not done it for several years and my simplifying it down to the bear basics, I feel the book provides a base to refresh the memory of students of which stats is a new concept.

For students of which the concept of statistics comes naturally or is not a new concept to, they may not need this book as the lectures/course notes may be sufficient to learn the content. However, with this book acting as a learning assistant, students who struggle with maths have the opportunity to buy the book to guide them through the course and assist with their learning.

I highly recommend this book, I think it has been well put together and would have loved to have the option of having this book during my stats course.  Everyone learns differently, everyone has their strengths and weaknesses and in my opinion, in today's world there is no such thing as 'too simple'.

Shaun Oliver
Student at The University of Auckland

Rhys' book on data analysis and quantitative methods is made easy for statistics aspirants!


This book has made essential numeracy and quantitative skills so clear and easy to understand. In particular, the themes and data sets from different countries made my learning journey interesting. The case studies, exercises and visual aids provided in the book helped me improve my data analysis and interpretation skills, and sparked my interest in pursuing a statistics degree.


If you are a returning student to university or statistics aspirant, I will certainly recommend this book to enrich your numeracy and data analysis skills.

Lakshmi Narayanan

Some excellent and sustained work by Rhys Jones and colleagues at Cardiff underpins this book. The ideas, principles and approaches have all been tested under fire and adapted and modified to offer really effective tool to support those wishing to revisit their data skills before they move on to university or embark on the increasing number of degrees where avoiding data use is unavoidable. The book itself is really accessible and clear, building up gradually and carefully (where the experience of having taught this in the real world truly counts!

Simon Gallacher
RDAM Consulting Limited

I have passed this onto a colleague who I believe will make use of this book. It was too simple for me. I did not realise it was that basic. I know my colleague will enjoy it when I am able to meet up with them again.

Dr Judy Sayers
School of Education, Leeds University
April 19, 2021

Rhys C. Jones

Rhys, Professor of Statistical Literacy, is an internationally recognised educational leader with significant experience in curriculum development and curriculum theory, statistics education, and engaging students in small and large classroom settings (offline and online). He also has extensive experience of using digital literacy skills and learning analytics to enhance the student experience, using digital platforms to assess student engagement and interaction. His disciplinary background was originally in the areas of biochemistry and immunology, which later focused on his passion for building bridges to make statistics more... More About Author