"Super Crunchers" by Ian Ayres

Super Crunchers, by Ian Ayres, is subtitled "Why Thinking-by-Numbers Is the New Way to Be Smart." It's all about the use of numerical analysis, regression testing, and randomized assignment to learn more about a variety of topics, from the quality of wine to the quality of medicine -- and how to use those techniques for great benefit -- either of mankind or of a particular commercial entity. (And like any other technology, the "super crunching" techniques Ayres talks about can be used for good or ill -- to test the benefits of a program to empower single mothers, or to determine the exact "pain point" of a consumer and price a good just slightly under that pain point.)

Despite the highly-technical nature of the subject, Ayres does a fantastic job of keeping it accessible and interesting throughout the book. Highly recommended.