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R for the Rest of Us 2023 Year in Review

David Keyes David Keyes
December 20th, 2023

It's been quite a year for R for the Rest of Us. With two new courses, updates to three other courses, training work with several organizations, and multiple consulting projects, we've been keeping ourselves busy! Let's share some highlights.

New Courses and Updates to Existing Courses

2023 saw the release of two new courses: Making Beautiful Tables with R and Reproducibility for the Rest of Us. Created by Albert Rapp and Jenine Harris, respectively, these courses bring the total number of courses on the R for the Rest of Us website to 11

Throughout the fall, I've also been working on updating three courses in the core track (i.e. courses for those wanting to get a solid foundation in R). The new version of Getting Started with R is up on the website now. New versions of Fundamentals of R and Going Deeper with R will be available in early January (keep an eye on your email). And, in case you're wondering, if you have purchased the original versions of Fundamentals of R and/or Going Deeper with R, you'll be given complimentary access to the new versions of those courses. 

R in 3 Months

2023 also saw two cohorts of R in 3 Months. We had over 100 people participate in R in 3 Months this year from all over the world:

Map of 2023 participants in R in 3 Months.

I'm proud of the work we've done to make R in 3 Months a best-in-class adult learning experience. I'm also incredibly proud of the work we've done to offer scholarships to dozens of participants. We partner with organizations such as R-Ladies, AI Inclusive, and MiR (Minorities in R) to give out scholarships in each cohort on top of offering several scholarships each cohort directly through R for the Rest of Us.

One Percent for People, One Percent for the Planet

We have pledged to donate a portion of all course sales to support social justice and environmental causes. We call it One Percent for People, One Percent for the Planet. This year, we supported the International Rescue CommitteeEverytown for Gun Safety, and the Nature Conservancy. Thank you to everyone who purchased courses for helping us to support these organizations. 

Training Work with Organizations

In addition to our courses, we also work directly with organizations to help them embrace the power of R. This year, we've supported some long-term clients, such as OMNI Institute and Public Profit, and some new clients, including Rosov Consulting. If you're interested in moving your team to R or improving the R skills of your team, get in touch!

R Without Statistics Book

You received emails throughout the year about my in-progress book, R Without Statistics. If you're wondering what its status is, I can tell you that it is currently in copyediting. My publisher tells me it should be out in June. I'll keep you updated as we get closer to that date. And, in the meantime (and even after publication), you can read the online version of the book at any time

R for the Rest of Us Podcast

As part of writing R Without Statistics, I conducted interviews with talented folks in the R community. I released these interviews as episodes of the R for the Rest of Us podcast. I haven't done much with the podcast since releasing those episodes, but keep an eye out for some new episodes in 2024!

Consulting Work

2023 saw us work with several clients in a consulting capacity. This typically involves us writing the R code (as opposed to training, where we teach others to write the R code themselves). Some of the highlights of our consulting work included:

Reports for businesses in Portland participating in the Portland Means Progress program. These reports enable businesses to see their progress toward building a more inclusive economy for the city I call home. The reports have high-quality data viz and use parameterized reporting to generate over 150 reports each year. 

Portland Means Progress sample page.

We have worked with the team at the Ford Family Foundation to create data visualizations for the annual Oregon by the Numbers report since the first edition in 2018. 2023 saw us create new charts, maps, and tables for the report. 

Sample pages of Oregon by the Numbers.

Each year, the process of producing these reports becomes more and more efficient. I even made a video this year to demonstrate how I can create over 250 plots automatically using R

Another project we did with the Ford Family Foundation was called Oregon Voices. We worked with data from a statewide survey of Oregonians, producing county-level reports on results.

Sample pages from Oregon Voices report.

Behind the Scenes

Speaking of videos, you've may have noticed the increased number of videos on the R for the Rest of Us YouTube channel. This is largely due to the work of Albert Rapp, who I brought on in the second half of the year to provide additional educational content. If you haven't seen his videos, you should definitely check them out. There are videos on RStudio keyboard shortcuts, pivoting your data from wide to long and vice versa, adding plots to tables, and more. Check them out

2023 also saw the release of the new R for the Rest of Us website. There are many things that the new website enables, but the one I'm most proud of is the ability to have transcripts directly on lessons. You can search the transcripts and clicking on text will take you to that exact point in the video. 

Example of a transcript on a lesson.


We've got some exciting plans for 2024. Having moved to a new platform, we're now planning to improve the design of the R for the Rest of Us website. I'm working with a designer whose early explorations have got me very excited.

2024 is also going to be a year of creating lots of new educational content. R Without Statistics will be released. New versions of Fundamentals of R and Going Deeper with R will be out very soon. We've got a course on Shiny in the works. There will be new podcast episodes, lots of new videos on the YouTube channel, new emails to help you stay abreast of the latest and greatest in the R world, and much more. I can't wait to share all the details with you!

Thank You

I want to close with a thank you to the entire R for the Rest of Us team. This year, I've had the pleasure of continuing to work with Thomas Vroylandt and Cara Thompson on multiple consulting projects. Data cleaning wiz Crystal Lewis also helped out on several projects in the first half of the year (check out her upcoming book). 

On the education side of the business, after working with Charlie Hadley for the Spring 2023 cohort of R in 3 Months, Libby Heeren and Gracielle Higino joined as coaches for the Fall 2023 cohort. Their work providing personalized feedback and support to R learners is key to the success of R in 3 Months. 

Albert Rapp has also helped out a ton this year, writing blog posts and making videos on a wide range of topics. You'll see more from him in 2024 as well!

I also want to give a shout-out to Joe Wanyua. Joe has helped edit podcast episodes, videos, and more. His work is essential to enabling us to share all of the resources we've created with you.

Finally, I want to conclude by saying thank you to you. I'm grateful to everyone who has watched our videos, read our blog posts, purchased our courses, hired us to do training or consulting work for your organization. R for the Rest of Us would not exist without you, and I'm eternally grateful that you have chosen to be part of what we're doing.

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