# Free Training: Mastering Data Structures in R

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Next week I will be delivering a free online R training. This is a new course I’ve created called *Mastering Data Structures in R*. This course is for you if:

- You are new to R, and want a rigorous introduction to R as a programming language
- You know how to analyze data in R, but want to take the next step and learn to program in it too
- You already know R, but find yourself frequently confused by its “idiosyncracies”

#### R as a Tool for Data Analysis

When clients reach out to me for training, they normally want help learning R as a tool for Data Analysis. Most of my students are already experts at Excel. They want to learn R because they have heard that it is more powerful than Excel. For these clients I normally propose a two-day course that focuses on the Tidyverse and R Markdown:

- Day 1: learn to use ggplot2 and dplyr on datasets that have already been cleaned.
- Day 2: in the morning, learn to import and clean data using the Tidyverse. In the afternoon, learn to use R Markdown to do reproducible research.

In general, this sort of course helps people learn to use R to do much of what they were already doing in Excel.

#### R as a Programming Language

The biggest problem with my 2-day workshop is this: while I intend it to be a starting point for learning R, many of my students think that it’s all that they need to know! In fact, though, I only consider it to be a starting point.

For example, when I was working at an online Real Estate company, I needed to analyze our website’s sales lead data. I started by using R as a data analysis tool. I used packages like ggplot2 to explore the ebb and flow of our sales leads over time for each metropolitan area. But I eventually hit a wall. What I *really* wanted to do was map our data at the ZIP code level, and mash it up with data from the Census Bureau. Of course, no package existed to do this: it’s too specific. But since I knew R as a programming language, I was able to create functions (and eventually a package) to answer the exact question I had.

And this is the level that I want all my students to get to. Every analyst has a unique problem. Learning to use R as a programming language allows you to answer the *exact* question you have.

#### Why Data Structures?

Most of my students struggle to learn the “programming language” aspect of R because they never formally studied Computer Science. I decided to address this by creating a course that resembles an introductory Computer Science course but uses R as the language of instruction.

My undergraduate Computer Science curriculum focused on Data Structures and Algorithms. This is why *Mastering Data Structures in R* provides a rigorous introduction to the basic data structures in R. The course contains dozens of exercises, and will increase your fluency at the console.

I recently gave a pilot version of this course that was well received. To celebrate, I will be running the course online, for free, next week. Here is the syllabus:

- Monday 11/18: Data Types
- Tuesday 11/19: Vectors
- Wednesday 11/20: Factors and Lists
- Friday 11/21: Data Frames

All sessions will start at 10am PT and last approximately 90 minutes.

If you are interested in the course but cannot attend live, then you should still register: I will be sending recordings to everyone who registers.

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