R is Not Just for Big Data

“Oh yeah, I thought about learning R, but my data isn’t that big so it’s not worth it.”  I’ve heard that line more times than I can count. There is a common perception among non-R users that R is only worth learning if you work with “big data.” It’s not a totally crazy idea. R […]

An Example of How R Can Improve Your Workflow

I often tell people that R can improve their workflow. But, as everyone knows, showing is better than telling. So, in that spirit, I made a video to demonstrate one way in which R can improve your efficiency. I often work with data from the U.S. Census Bureau. My old workflow was as follows: Go […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]