Super Crunchers Book Summary - Super Crunchers Book explained in key points
Listen to the Intro

Super Crunchers summary

Ian Ayres

Why Thinking-by-Numbers Is the New Way to be Smart

3.6 (26 ratings)
13 mins

Brief summary

Super Crunchers by Ian Ayres explores the power of data-driven decision making in business and beyond, and highlights both its potential and its pitfalls. The author argues that while analysis can be a powerful tool, it must be wielded with care and supplemented with human judgment.

Table of Contents

    Super Crunchers
    Summary of 6 key ideas

    Audio & text in the Blinkist app
    Key idea 1 of 6

    Super crunching has applications in a wide range of fields, such as wine dealing and baseball.

    Super crunching might sound like something from a video game, but it refers to the statistical analysis of large data sets – and its applications are nearly endless. Let’s start with some surprising examples.

    Super crunching can be used to predict the future quality of vintage wine – indispensable knowledge for wine dealers.

    A high-quality red wine is an investment because it gets better as time goes on. This means wine dealers need to be able to predict a wine’s future value.

    Orley Ashenfelter, an economist and wine enthusiast, has found a way to accurately predict the quality of Bordeaux wines by analyzing historical relationships between weather and the price of wine.

    Ashenfelter has found that each centimeter of winter rain raises the expected price of a wine by 0.00117 dollars. His analysis is so accurate that wine dealers now use it to determine whether or not they should buy a wine, and at what price.

    Super crunching can also be applied to baseball. Bill James, a baseball writer, has done for baseball what Ashenfelter did for wine.

    James challenged the assumption that baseball experts could assess talent simply by watching the players. He postulated that data-based analysis of players’ previous form in the game would be superior – and he was right!

    Traditional talent scouts had little faith in Jeremy Brown, an aspiring player who was overweight, but James’s calculations said otherwise. The Oakland A’s decided to sign Brown based on James’s analysis of his past runs and the decision turned out to be a wise one: Jeremy Brown had his major league debut in September 2006.

    Want to see all full key ideas from Super Crunchers?

    Key ideas in Super Crunchers

    More knowledge in less time
    Read or listen
    Read or listen
    Get the key ideas from nonfiction bestsellers in minutes, not hours.
    Find your next read
    Find your next read
    Get book lists curated by experts and personalized recommendations.
    Shortcasts New
    We’ve teamed up with podcast creators to bring you key insights from podcasts.

    What is Super Crunchers about?

    From building a wine cellar to finding your happily ever after, modern life is increasingly ruled by number crunching and algorithms. Super Crunchers (2007) is about the sheer power of the large data sets that are fed into algorithms and the way they’re revolutionizing our businesses, medical treatment and even our governments.

    Super Crunchers Review

    Super Crunchers (2007) by Ian Ayres is a thought-provoking exploration of how data analysis is transforming our world. Here are three reasons why this book is worth reading:

    • It highlights the power of data-driven decision-making, showing how it can lead to more accurate predictions and better outcomes.
    • Ayres presents compelling examples of companies and industries that have embraced data analysis, demonstrating its potential to disrupt and revolutionize.
    • The book serves as a wake-up call to the importance of being numerically literate in today's data-driven society, equipping readers with the knowledge to navigate this new landscape.

    Best quote from Super Crunchers

    Indeed, because of super crunching, firms sometimes may be able to make more accurate predictions about how youll behave than you could ever make yourself.

    —Ian Ayres
    example alt text

    Who should read Super Crunchers?

    • Anyone interested in the power of statistics
    • Computer and math nerds
    • Business owners, politicians and baseball coaches

    About the Author

    Ian Ayres is a lawyer, econometrician and professor at both Yale’s Law School and School of Management. He’s also a columnist for Forbes, a regular commentator on Marketplace and the author of several books including Carrots and Sticks: Unlock the Power of Incentives to Get Things Done.

    Categories with Super Crunchers

    Book summaries like Super Crunchers

    People ❤️ Blinkist 
    Sven O.

    It's highly addictive to get core insights on personally relevant topics without repetition or triviality. Added to that the apps ability to suggest kindred interests opens up a foundation of knowledge.

    Thi Viet Quynh N.

    Great app. Good selection of book summaries you can read or listen to while commuting. Instead of scrolling through your social media news feed, this is a much better way to spend your spare time in my opinion.

    Jonathan A.

    Life changing. The concept of being able to grasp a book's main point in such a short time truly opens multiple opportunities to grow every area of your life at a faster rate.

    Renee D.

    Great app. Addicting. Perfect for wait times, morning coffee, evening before bed. Extremely well written, thorough, easy to use.

    People also liked these summaries

    4.7 Stars
    Average ratings on iOS and Google Play
    31 Million
    Downloads on all platforms
    10+ years
    Experience igniting personal growth
    Powerful ideas from top nonfiction

    Try Blinkist to get the key ideas from 7,000+ bestselling nonfiction titles and podcasts. Listen or read in just 15 minutes.

    Start your free trial

    Super Crunchers FAQs 

    What is the main message of Super Crunchers?

    Super Crunchers highlights the power of using data and analytics to make more informed decisions.

    How long does it take to read Super Crunchers?

    The reading time for Super Crunchers varies depending on the reader, but it typically takes several hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Super Crunchers a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Super Crunchers is worth reading for anyone interested in understanding the impact of data and analytics on decision-making.

    Who is the author of Super Crunchers?

    Ian Ayres is the author of Super Crunchers.

    What to read after Super Crunchers?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Super Crunchers, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • Weaponized Lies by Daniel J. Levitin
    • Longpath by Ari Wallach
    • Think Like a Freak by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner
    • The Optimist's Telescope by Bina Venkataraman
    • Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely
    • Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
    • The Six Disciplines of Strategic Thinking by Michael D. Watkins
    • Marketing Artificial Intelligence by Paul Roetzer & Mike Kaput
    • The Art of Logic by Eugenia Cheng
    • How Highly Effective People Speak by Peter Andrei