A visual data summary for data frames

May 21, 2012

(This article was first published on Revolutions, and kindly contributed to R-bloggers)

If you want to get a quick numerical summary of a data set, the summary function gives a nice overview for data frames:

> require(ggplot2)
Loading required package: ggplot2
> data(diamonds)
> summary(diamonds)
     carat               cut        color        clarity          depth           table      
 Min.   :0.2000   Fair     : 1610   D: 6775   SI1    :13065   Min.   :43.00   Min.   :43.00  
 1st Qu.:0.4000   Good     : 4906   E: 9797   VS2    :12258   1st Qu.:61.00   1st Qu.:56.00  
 Median :0.7000   Very Good:12082   F: 9542   SI2    : 9194   Median :61.80   Median :57.00  
 Mean   :0.7979   Premium  :13791   G:11292   VS1    : 8171   Mean   :61.75   Mean   :57.46  
 3rd Qu.:1.0400   Ideal    :21551   H: 8304   VVS2   : 5066   3rd Qu.:62.50   3rd Qu.:59.00  
 Max.   :5.0100                     I: 5422   VVS1   : 3655   Max.   :79.00   Max.   :95.00  
                                    J: 2808   (Other): 2531                                  
     price             x                y                z         
 Min.   :  326   Min.   : 0.000   Min.   : 0.000   Min.   : 0.000  
 1st Qu.:  950   1st Qu.: 4.710   1st Qu.: 4.720   1st Qu.: 2.910  
 Median : 2401   Median : 5.700   Median : 5.710   Median : 3.530  
 Mean   : 3933   Mean   : 5.731   Mean   : 5.735   Mean   : 3.539  
 3rd Qu.: 5324   3rd Qu.: 6.540   3rd Qu.: 6.540   3rd Qu.: 4.040  
 Max.   :18823   Max.   :10.740   Max.   :58.900   Max.   :31.800  

But if you'd prefer a visual overview of your data, Andrew Barr suggests the tableplot function (included in the tabplot package) for a graphical version:

tableplot(diamonds, cex = 1.8)


Andrew explains how to use the tabplot function in the post linked below.

W. Andrew Barr's Paleoecology Blog: Quickly Visualize Your Whole Dataset (via[email protected])

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