If you're just getting started with data science, the Sharp Sight Labs blog argues that R is the best data science language to learn today.
The blog post gives several detailed reasons, but the main arguments are:
- R is an extremely popular (arguably the most popular) data progamming language, and ranks highly in several popularity surveys.
- Learning R is a great way of learning data science, with many R-based books and resources for probability, frequentist and Bayesian statistics, data visualization, machine learning and more.
- Python is another excellent language for data science, but with R it's easier to learn the foundations.
Once you've learned the basics, Sharp Sight also argues that R is also a great data science to master, even though it's an old langauge compared to some of the newer alternatives. Every tool has a shelf life, but R isn't going anywhere and learning R gives you a foundation beyond the language itself.