Value of R, the Statistics-specific language

July 9, 2021

Topic

Software  /  ,

Paul Ford has been learning R to better understand the field of Statistics. The takeaway:

Deep in its heart, R is a language for making charts, and it’s genuinely fun to go into its world: statistics, natural sciences, sociology — all right there. You will never pry me away from JavaScript or Python or the whole web stack of standards and protocols. They’re how I make things happen in the world, and they are very much my home base, but using more specific tools is always an education. It’s like suddenly discovering a new wing of a big museum, and realizing that there’s still a lot to learn.

I would say it’s a language for analyzing data, and charts are a big part of the process. But the big sell of R has always been its specificity. The need to understand data drives its design and growth, which means you avoid starting a lot of analyses from scratch.