Blog Archives

The elements of scaling R-based applications with DeployR

September 8, 2016
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The elements of scaling R-based applications with DeployR

If you want to build an application using R that serves many users simultaneously, you're going to need to be able to run a lot of R sessions simultaneously. If you want R to run in the cloud, you can publish R functions as a Web service (and you can do this directly from R with the azureML package)....

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Video series: Introduction to Microsoft R Server

August 29, 2016
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Microsoft R Server extends the base R language and Microsoft R Open with big-data capabilities. Specifically, it adds the RevoScaleR package, which creates an out-of-memory "CDF" data structure (so you can process data larger than available RAM), and algorithms that allow you to perform computations on such data using parallel and distributed algorithms. (A limited version of the RevoScaleR...

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Microsoft R Open 3.3.1 now available for Windows, Mac and Linux

August 26, 2016
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Microsoft R Open 3.3.1 now available for Windows, Mac and Linux

Microsoft R Open 3.3.1, our enhanced disstribution of open source R, is now available for download for Windows, Mac, and Linux. This update upgrades the R langauge engine to version 3.3.1, streamlines the installation process, and bundles some additional packages for parallel programming. R version 3.3.1 fixes a few rarely-encountered bugs, for example to generate Gamma random numbers with...

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R with Power BI: Import, Transform, Visualize and Share

August 25, 2016
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R with Power BI: Import, Transform, Visualize and Share

Power BI, Microsoft's data visualization and reporting platform, has made great strides in the past year integrating the R language. This Computerworld article describes the recent advances with Power BI and R. In short, you can: import data into Power BI by using an R script cleanse and transform other data sources coming into Power BI using R functions...

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Edward Tufte Keynote Presenter at Data Science Summit, Sep 26-27

August 23, 2016
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Edward Tufte Keynote Presenter at Data Science Summit, Sep 26-27

I'm excited to share that one of my data science heroes will be a presenter at the Microsoft Data Science Summit in Atlanta, September 26-27. Edward Tufte, the data visualization pioneer, will deliver a keynote address on the future of data analysis and the how to make more credible conclusions based on data. If you're not familiar with Tufte,...

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Five great charts in 5 lines of R code each

August 22, 2016
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Five great charts in 5 lines of R code each

Sharon Machlis is a journalist with Computerworld, and to show other journalists how great R is for data visualization she shows them these five data visualizations, each of which can be created in 5 lines of R code or less. I've reproduced Sharon's code and charts below. I did make a couple of tweaks to the code, though. I...

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Five problems (and one solution) with dual-axis time series plots

August 19, 2016
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Five problems (and one solution) with dual-axis time series plots

If you need to present two time series spanning the same period, but in wildly different scales, it's tempting to use a time series chart with two separate vertical axes, one for each series, like this one from the Reserve Bank of New Zealand: Charts like this typically have one or more crossover points, and that crossing imparts meaning...

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Sentiment analysis of Trump’s tweets with R

August 18, 2016
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Sentiment analysis of Trump’s tweets with R

Data Scientist David Robinson caused a bit of a stir in the media when he analyzed Donald Trump's tweets and revealed that those sent from an Android device were likely sent by the candidate himself, while those sent from an iPhone were likely sent by campaign staffers. The difference? As seen in the chart below, Android-based tweets used angrier,...

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Extract tables from messy spreadsheets with jailbreakr

August 17, 2016
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Extract tables from messy spreadsheets with jailbreakr

R has some good tools for importing data from spreadsheets, among them the readxl package for Excel and the googlesheets package for Google Sheets. But these only work well when the data in the spreadsheet are arranged as a rectangular table, and not overly encumbered with formatting or generated with formulas. As Jenny Bryan pointed out in her recent...

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The inexorable growth of student debt, charted with R

August 15, 2016
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The inexorable growth of student debt, charted with R

Len Kiefer, Deputy Chief Economist at Freddie Mac, recently published the following chart to his personal blog showing household debt in the United States (excluding mortgage debt). As you can see, student loan debt has steadily increased over the last 13 years and has now eclipsed all other forms of non-mortgage debt: He also created this animated chart showing...

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