R: From zero to Web 2.0 in six weeks

April 15, 2009
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Over at the blog Learning R, an new R user is documenting his process of learning to use R for presentation graphics: In my daily job I am quite often presented with specific tasks to make sense of a dataset and make recommendations for future action. Excel has been my primary tool to work through data and present the findings. However, recently I came to realise that I spend in addition to data analysis I spend a considerable amount of time trying to visualise and summarise the information graphically. Then one day I came across the R – Project for…

Over at the blog Learning R, an new R user is documenting his process of learning to use R for presentation graphics:

In my daily job I am quite often presented with specific tasks to make sense of a dataset and make recommendations for future action.

Excel has been my primary tool to work through data and present the findings. However, recently I came to realise that I spend in addition to data analysis I spend a considerable amount of time trying to visualise and summarise the information graphically.

Then one day I came across the R – Project for Statistical Computing – a free software environment for statistical computing and graphics.

This blog is a humble attempt to document my journey in reproducing some of the charts found on the internet, with a special focus on the charts I would need to create in my daily job using Excel.

Each entry in the blog is a new kind of chart the author has learned to create with R (mostly with the ggplot2 package). Each entry is meticulously documented with all of the code used to create each chart, so it's an excellent resource for creating your own variations on these graphs.

What amazed me the most was that the first entry on the blog is dated March 10 this year. Less than six weeks later, the author is building his own Web 2.0-style sales dashboard (click to enlarge):

Sales_dashboard

Many people say R has a steep learning curve. Then again, it's the steepest path that gets you to the top of the mountain first.