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Lessons for Learning R

This post comes from the R for the Rest of Us newsletter. If you want to get more content like this delivered to your inbox, sign up today . Last week I published the latest post in the My R Journey series . It is with Rika Gorn , Director of Data Analytics & Reporting at Covenant House International . I've followed Rika for a while on Twitter and was especially impressed by the tips and tricks she shared during her week as the We are R Ladies rotating curator . Having now posted several My R...

My R Journey: Rika Gorn

Rika Gorn is the Director of Data Analytics & Reporting at Covenant House International , a privately funded agency that provides shelter, immediate crisis care, and other services, to homeless and trafficked youth in the United States, Canada, and Latin America. Her work focuses on providing statistical analysis, data visualization, and reporting support to 21 sites across the agency. Previously, she worked on quality assurance for a mobile mental health team at Coordinated Behavioral Care ,...

Three Ways to Do Frequencies in R

Need to do frequencies in R? If you're using R, you probably do. Here are three ways you can do them. Each method has one fewer line than the previous one. And, incredibly, the results from the shorter code are more powerful than those from the longer code! Like this video? Check out my Fundamentals of R course .

My R Journey: David Keyes

Hi there, I'm David, the one man behind this one-man operation . I've started a series of posts asking others to tell me about their R journeys. It didn't seem fair, though, to not do the same myself. So, here's the story of how I came to learn R, how I use it today, and why I think it's worth learning. Why did you decide to learn R? I'm a PhD social scientist, but I never used R in grad school. Two reasons: 1) I'm an anthropologist and my training was mostly qualitative. 2) The one...

Curb Cuts, Universal Design, and the Creation of a Welcoming R Community

In 1971, the city council of Berkeley, California authorized the construction of curb cuts at fifteen high-traffic street corners. This came after years of protests by disability rights activists, who argued that sidewalks without curb cuts were discriminatory because those in wheelchairs could not traverse them. After these curb cuts were built, people began to realize that they helped not only those in wheelchairs, but everyone. As Deborah Kaplan told the podcast 99 Percent Invisible , What...

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 one of the features that is most likely to fundamentally transform their work. When I try to explain RMarkdown to people, they often struggle a) to understand what it 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 she has learned R. It’s been enjoyable to have someone to talk to about some of the struggles of learning R as well as the mind-blowing moments...

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 made up their results. Reproducibility seemed interesting, but entirely irrelevant to me. Boy, was I wrong. Reproducibility means something far broader than I previously...

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 the spectrum if I'm using it for the types of analyses most people do in Excel? A complete answer to this question requires some background. The daily R-bloggers...

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 understand. Andy Kirk describes himself as “fully paid-up member of the small multiples fan...