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My R Journey: Ibrah Sendide

My name is Ibrah Sendide and I am a PhD candidate at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. My work in health economics and outcomes research includes modelling cost effectiveness in health, statistical data analysis and econometric analyses. I recently completed the R in 3 Months program and wanted to share about my experience with it, and with R in general. When I came across David Keyes' Twitter profile , I saw that he made coding in R less daunting. A click on the link in...

How I Structure My RStudio Projects

During his presidency, Barack Obama famously wore only gray or blue suits ( with one minor exception ). In a 2012 interview with Vanity Fair, he explained why: I'm trying to pare down decisions. I don't want to make decisions about what I'm eating or wearing. Because I have too many other decisions to make. This idea of using routines to limit the number of decisions you have to make and save your brain's processing power for important choices applies well beyond the sartorial choices of...

How to Scrape Data with R

Those of us who work with R dream of just one thing: getting clean data, ready for analysis. Rarely does this happen, of course. As Steve Lohr wrote in the New York Times in 2014 , those working with data: spend from 50 percent to 80 percent of their time mired in this more mundane labor of collecting and preparing unruly digital data, before it can be explored for useful nuggets. Sometimes messy data comes in, ahem, creatively organized spreadsheets. Other times it comes as numeric values...

How to make interactive graphs in R

I recently got a question about making interactive graphs in R. Sara Kidd of the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission asked me the following : I am wondering what is the easiest/most efficient way to create interactive graphs and then embed them into a web page. While I will have a need for static graphs in reports, I will likely need to put some up on the website as well and I have been asked how to make them interactive (hover over with pop-ups, etc.). Thanks! The good news for Sara...

How to Use Git/GitHub with R

This blog post has gotten so much interest that I’ve turned it into a full-length course. Check it Out Using Git and GitHub alongside RStudio has the power to revolutionize how you work in R. But getting everything set up can be a challenge. Join me as I walk through everything you need to do in order to use Git and GitHub alongside RStudio. But first, some background ... What is Git? What is GitHub? I remember when I was starting out learning R, Git and GitHub were things I had heard about,...

Announcing pagedreport

tldr: Thomas Vroylandt and I have developed a package called pagedreport to help you make beautiful PDF reports from RMarkdown. Full documentation is available here . In a recent training, I showed the group I was working with various options for knitting RMarkdown documents. When I got to PDF, I showed the default output. One participant said, "oh yeah, I recognize that from math papers I read in undergrad." Of course, there are other formats you can knit to from RMarkdown, HTML and Word...

Parameterized Reporting with RMarkdown

Have you ever had to make a set of reports that all look alike? Perhaps you're making one report for each school in your district. Doing this manually is, I probably don't need to tell you, a huge pain. Fortunately, R has a solution to this problem: parameterized reporting . Parameterized reporting is a feature of RMarkdown that allows you to design a single report template and then use it to generate tens, hundreds, even thousands of reports at the same time. When I was starting to learn R,...

How to Keep Your R Packages Up to Date

A user who recently completed my Getting Started with R course sent me an email to ask a common question for those starting out with R: How do you keep your R software up to date? As far as I know, there are no automatic updates for R, RStudio and packages. And as updates are quite frequent, it is quite a hassle to check every few weeks (or even days) if there are new versions available. This is the kind of thing that experienced R users have often internalized to the point that they often...

How to Evaluate R Packages

One of the challenges for people learning R is this: there are often many ways to accomplish the same goal. This is, of course, also a benefit (if you don't like the first approach, just try another one!). But when you're just starting out and don't have much experience with R, multiple solutions to a problem are more likely to be confusing than helpful. This dilemma often shows up in one of the most common questions I get from new R users, which I tweeted about last year. The responses to my...

Using Word Reference Documents with RMarkdown to Create Custom Reports

Defaults are the worst. See this plot? If you see a plot that looks like this, you know two things: It’s made with ggplot The person who made it didn’t even take the time to change any of the defaults Don't settle for defaults! It's one of the messages I discuss throughout the data visualization section of my Going Deeper with R course . Avoiding defaults is also something you can with RMarkdown as well. When you knit an RMarkdown document to Word, it takes on the default styles in Word. On...