R’s Killer Feature: RMarkdown

Recently I’ve been talking with people considering learning R about RMarkdown. In my experience, when people think about switching to R, they often think about it as a direct replacement for the tool they currently use (i.e. Excel, SPSS, SAS, Stata, etc.). R can do everything that these tools do, of course, but RMarkdown is […]

My R Journey: Dana Wanzer

Dana Wanzer is an evaluation consultant currently finishing her PhD in Evaluation and Applied Research Methods at Claremont Graduate University. This fall she’ll be starting a new position as an Assistant Professor of Psychology in Evaluation Research at the University of Wisconsin Stout. I’ve gotten to know Dana over the last couple years through as […]

Reproducibility for the Rest of Us

When I first heard that one of the benefits of using R was reproducibility, I was confused. As a PhD anthropologist who has worked for the last several years in the world of program evaluation, I assumed reproducibility meant scientists in labs being able to rerun other scientists’ studies in order to check that they hadn’t […]

I “only” use R for descriptive stats — and that’s OK

I have a confession: the only statistics I do in R are descriptive statistics. I have only very occasionally used R for t tests, chi square, linear regression, or other inferential stats. Why, you might be wondering, would I use software designed by and for statisticians, data scientists, and other folks on the quantitative end of […]

Making Small Multiples in R

Small multiples are one of the data viz tricks that experienced information designers LOVE. Ann Emery uses them: “My favorite part of data visualization workshops? The airports. Kidding. Watching jaws drop when folks are introduced to small multiples layouts for the first time. Definitely!” Stephanie Evergreen writes that “small multiples version[s] make things approximately a billion times easier” to […]

Never roll that ball of yarn twice

Does your workflow look anything like this? Receive data Import data to SPSS Do data cleaning and analysis in SPSS Export data to Excel Make figures in Excel Copy figures from Excel to Word Write your report This, or some slight variation on it, is the workflow than many of us in evaluation use. It’s […]