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R is Hot [03.20.2017]


R is free and open source and many new users can go from nothing to data analysis in less than an hour. New users of R have often reached their limit with Excel and converting from Excel to R is fairly straightforward. R is interoperable with C, C++, Java, Fortran, JavaScript, and F#, so if you know these languages then R will plug right into your workflow. R offers one of the best graphical/plotting systems (ggplot2) of any language. The free RStudio IDE with integrated web view and versatile document output (html, markdown, pdf, docx, tex) makes life in R much more pleasant.

R is often sighted in some very prominent places. R is used by the New York Times, as proved by this podcast interview and these videos Using R at NYT Graphics and OpenVis presentation). In this useR 2016 presentation), we hear about R in the FiveThirtyEight workflow. Google, Microsoft, IBM, Facebook, Uber, and Twitter all use R. This IEEE Spectrum programming language article places R in the top 5 languages, R places in the top in KDnuggets 2016 Data Science software poll.

R for Specialized Knowledge Areas

R's centralized site contains over 30 Task Views. These task views provide a thorough summary of how to use for specific subject areas. Some examples are

R Community

Access the R community through the official r-project mailing lists. You can choose to subscribe or just view the archives.

The Twitter hash tag is #rstats. Some prominent tweeters in the R community are:

If you are on Google+, the best community is Statistics and R.

R-focused podcasts have had a really hard time enduring, so we are limited in our podcast options. Focused on more than just R, NSS Deviations is the best.

StackOverflow uses the r tag for R related questions. See this tweet for a chart plotting response time to R questions answered on StackOverflow.


R is widely used in many domains. The R community is helpful, and with a couple of DailyDrips you will be up and running quickly.