On this blog we’ve recommended books for analysts, so here are 7 books for market researchers.

This eclectic selection is once more contributed by Netquest, thanks to guest blogger Carlos Ochoa. When I first read his post, I couldn’t resist the multi-disciplinary nature of this recommended reading list.

On this blog, we regularly advise that insight requires data, analytics & research. So, as well as extolling a broader definition of customer insight, I’m glad to encourage this thinking. I hope research leaders & market researchers find it useful & perhaps a prompt for some summer beach reading?

Over to Carlos to introduce the thinking, behind his 7 recommended books for market researchers…

Books for Market Researchers, on Sant Jordi Day

Today is April 23rd, a very special day for us. Here in Barcelona, the city where Netquest was born around 17 years ago, we celebrate Sant Jordi (Saint George).

I can’t be very objective on this issue. I honestly think that Sant Jordi Day is one of the most beautiful, and spiritual celebrations in the world; for its simplicity and symbolism. Every 23rd of April, men give women a rose, and women give men a book. Over time, this tradition has evolved to go both ways.

This celebration coincides with World Book Day. Recognized by UNESCO since 1996, as April 23rd. A day when two of the greatest authors passed away: Miguel de Cervantes and William Shakespeare.

This post is dedicated to books, objects of worship in all their beauty. Books are at the origin of our evolution as a species. They preserve and transmit knowledge, and culture. Values intimately connected to our profession: research.

Taking this day into account, the Netquest team wants to offer you a list of 7 books, that every market researcher should read. It is a free of choice, a multidisciplinary list. It includes books on statistics, thinking, behavioural psychology and even a novel.

We hope you like them:

1. Statistical Rethinking: A Bayesian Course, by Richard McElreath

A masterpiece of pedagogy, much more than a practical book, on Bayesian statistics. Through simple practices, McElreath leads us on a journey, to understand in-depth, a predictive process. This work combines a critical look, at many practices valued today, with a great and entertaining lecture. Something rare to find in an academic book.

Statistical Rethinking

Statistical Rethinking has 80 ratings and 6 reviews. Gijs said: This is a great book, one that will influence me for the rest of my life as a data scient…

2. Weapons of Math Destruction, by Cathy O’Neil

Big Data is changing everything and offers us unlimited possibilities, but… to improve our way of living? O’Neil warns us of dangers, that we face as a society: growing inequality and low-quality democracy. The algorithms are never neutral, collect prejudices, ideologies and objectives of their creators. Interesting reflection for researchers: are we designing really objective statistical models? Or do we echo our clients’ own beliefs?

Weapons of Math Destruction

Weapons of Math Destruction has 6,660 ratings and 1,110 reviews. Trish said: O’Neil deserves some credit right off the bat for not waiting until her reti…

3. Homo Deus: A brief history of tomorrow, by Yuval Noah Harari

After bringing out his brilliant book Sapiens, a shocking history of humanity, Harari shares his vision of the human being’s future. Once the great enemies of the past have been defeated (hunger, disease, and war), man will become the first owner of his destiny. A destination dominated by artificial intelligence and its – expected – brutal impact on society. Undoubtedly, a must-read book for any researcher who wants to put his work in context in the next years.

Homo Deus

Homo Deus has 36,490 ratings and 3,582 reviews. Emma said: This is a profoundly shocking piece of writing, a tactic which Yuval Noah Harari uses to great…

4. Ggplot2: Elegant Graphics for Data Analysis, by Hadley Wickham

The new market researcher faces several challenges. One of them is to adopt a statistical analysis languages such as R or Python. This requires programming skills, instead of choosing options in a prefabricated menu. The difficulty is big, but the reward is even bigger. This book helps us in one of the most powerful (but difficult) phases of the new tools: the creation of graphics. Ggplot is a powerful graphical library that adopts a new paradigm in the visual representation of data. Nothing better than having Wickham, one of the greatest contributors of R and great pedagogue, to help us on this journey.


ggplot2 has 226 ratings and 17 reviews. Mark said: I only include this to compete with Al. The book is just ok, but ggplot2 is very sweet. [Check out R G…

5. Thinking, Fast and Slow, by Daniel Kahneman

Yes, of course, you’ve probably heard about Kahneman to the point of satiety. As I’ve said in another post, any speaker at an event dedicated to market research quotes Kahneman. But put it another way: for a reason  Thinking, Fast and Slow is a dense book, but of enormous academic and practical value. Kahneman shows us the failures of our cognitive system. Your job will be to understand the implications – which are many – for market research. A practical utility book in our professional day-to-day.

Thinking, Fast and Slow

Thinking, Fast and Slow has 175,551 ratings and 6,708 reviews. R.A. Schneider said: In the last few years two books took me FOREVER to get through. The f…

6. 1984, by George Orwell.

You’re probably thinking … really? Are you recommending “1984” as a reading for researchers? I think Orwell’s novel demonstrates the present more than ever. Issues such as the loss of control of our data or the ability of some governments/rulers to rewrite history. Creating new “truths” (fake news) on demand, connects us fully with the Orwellian world. The infamous ministry of truth may already exist somewhere.


Among the seminal texts of the 20th century, Nineteen Eighty-Four is a rare work that grows more haunting as its futuristic purgatory bec…

7. Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies. Nick Bostrom

Could it be that we are heading into a world, in which our existence and presence, are dominated by superintelligence? Bostrom proposes future scenarios in which artificial intelligence surpasses human intelligence. A Disturbing reflection of a theme already addressed by the fathers of science fiction (Isaac Asimov and his rules of robotics).


Superintelligence has 7,253 ratings and 776 reviews. Manny said: Superintelligence was published in 2014, and it’s already had time to become a cult clas…

One more for free: Behavioral Data 101, by Netquest

We want to make our small contribution, to the research industry. Research with digital behaviour data is one of the most promising new research methodologies. This didactic ebook will help you understand what behavioural research is and how you can use it an effective way. I’m delighted to see this already shared with the Customer Insight Leader blog.


Behavioral Data is no future anymore. You can use it right now. Here you have an eBook where you can find out all you need to know to start using it!

What book would you give, the Market Researcher in your life?

Thanks to Carlos for that entertaining list. Certainly plenty of varied books for market researchers, to keep them entertained & thinking.

Do you have an alternative list? If you are the leader of a research or insight team, are there any books you regularly recommend to your team?

Please do share your suggestions, either through the comment boxes below, or on social media. It’s always good to hear from our customer insight leadership community.