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60+ R resources to improve your data skills

By Sharon Machlis, Computerworld
January 15, 2014 08:37 PM ET

Computerworld - This list was originally published as part of the Computerworld Beginner's Guide to R but has since been expanded to also include resources for advanced beginner and intermediate users. If you're just starting out with R, I recommend first heading to the Beginner's Guide.

These websites, videos, blogs, social media/communities, software and books/ebooks can help you do more with R.

Books and e-books

R Cookbook. Like the rest of the O'Reilly Cookbook series, this one offers how-to "recipes" for doing lots of different tasks, from the basics of R installation and creating simple data objects to generating probabilities, graphics and linear regressions. It has the added bonus of being well written. If you like learning by example or are seeking a good R reference book, this is well worth adding to your reference library. By Paul Teetor, a quantitative developer working in the financial sector.

R Graphics Cookbook. If you want to do beyond-the-basics graphics in R, this is a useful resource both for its graphics recipes and brief introduction to ggplot2. While this goes way beyond the graphics capabilities that I need in R, I'd recommend this if you're looking to move beyond advanced-beginner plotting. By Winston Chang, a software engineer at RStudio.

R in Action: Data analysis and graphics with R. This book aims at all levels of users, with sections for beginning, intermediate and advanced R ranging from "Exploring R data structures" to running regressions and conducting factor analyses. The beginner's section may be a bit tough to follow if you haven't had any exposure to R, but it offers a good foundation in data types, imports and reshaping once you've had a bit of experience. There are some particularly useful explanations and examples for aggregating, restructuring and subsetting data, as well as a lot of applied statistics. Note that if your interest in graphics is learning ggplot2, there's relatively little on that here compared with base R graphics and the lattice package. You can see an excerpt from the book online: Aggregation and restructuring data. By Robert I. Kabacoff.

The Art of R Programming. For those who want to move beyond using R "in an ad hoc way ... to develop[ing] software in R." This is best if you're already at least moderately proficient in another programming language. It's a good resource for systematically learning fundamentals such as types of objects, control statements (unlike many R purists, the author doesn't actively discourage for loops), variable scope, classes and debugging -- in fact, there's nearly as large a chapter on debugging as there is on graphics. With some robust examples of solving real-world statistical problems in R. By Norman Matloff.

R in a Nutshell. A reasonably readable guide to R that teaches the language's fundamentals -- syntax, functions, data structures and so on -- as well as how-to statistical and graphics tasks. Useful if you want to start writing robust R programs, as it includes sections on functions, object-oriented programming and high-performance R. By Joseph Adler, a senior data scientist at LinkedIn.

Originally published on www.computerworld.com. Click here to read the original story.

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