Beginner’s guide to R
Courtesy Sharon Machlis, ComputerWorld
R is hot. Whether measured by more than 4,400 add-on packages, the 18,000+ members of LinkedIn’s R group or the close to 80 R Meetup groups currently in existence, there can be little doubt that interest in the R statistics language, especially for data analysis, is soaring.
Why R? It’s free, open source, powerful and highly extensible. "You have a lot of prepackaged stuff that’s already available, so you’re standing on the shoulders of giants," Google‘s chief economist told The New York Times back in 2009.
Because it’s a programmable environment that uses command-line scripting, you can store a series of complex data-analysis steps in R. That lets you re-use your analysis work on similar data more easily than if you were using a point-and-click interface, notes Hadley Wickham, author of several popular R packages and chief scientist with RStudio.