Blog Archives

First World Problems: Very long RMarkdown documents

September 7, 2019
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First World Problems: Very long RMarkdown documents

RMarkdown is awesome! When I first started using RMarkdown, it felt very much like a blessing. Not only does the format encourage reproducible analysis by enabling you to interweave code, text, images, and plots, it also allows you to knit() the docu...

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Data Chats: From Physics student to Data Science Consultant

September 3, 2019
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Data Chats: From Physics student to Data Science Consultant

Introduction How do you begin a career in analytics and data science? What’s the best way of learning R? Should I still bother with Excel? Arguably, these are some questions that you can gain more insights on by speaking to people than running mode...

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LondonR: Hadley Wickham & tidyverse’s greatest hits

August 21, 2019
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LondonR: Hadley Wickham & tidyverse’s greatest hits

Meeting Hadley! Last Monday, I had the pleasure of attending a talk given by Hadley Wickham at LondonR, which was held at one of their usual venues at the UCL Darwin Lecture Theatre. For most readers of this blog, Hadley needs no introduction: it is...

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Data Chats: An Interview with Avision Ho

August 1, 2019
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Data Chats: An Interview with Avision Ho

Introduction Why do an interview? On this occasion, I’ve decided to have a conversation with a data scientist for a change, as opposed to creating a vignette or reviewing a package (atypical of the content on this blog). I’ve always enjoyed int...

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A Short Essay on Duplicated R Artefacts

July 5, 2019
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A Short Essay on Duplicated R Artefacts

Organic Development of R Artefacts In a previous post, I alluded to the point that one of the great strengths (but also one of the challenges) of R is the organic way in which R ‘artefacts’ are developed.1 One characteristic of this “organic d...

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Vignette: Write & Read Multiple Excel files with purrr

June 27, 2019
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Vignette: Write & Read Multiple Excel files with purrr

Introduction This post will show you how to write and read a list of data tables to and from Excel with purrr, the functional programming package 📦 from tidyverse. In this example I will also use the packages readxl and writexl for reading and writing in Excel files, and cover methods for both XLSX and CSV (not strictly Excel,...

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Working with SPSS labels in R

June 12, 2019
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Working with SPSS labels in R

TL;DR 📖 This post provides an overview of R functions for dealing with survey data labels, particularly ones that I wish I’d known when I first started out analysing survey data in R (primarily stored in SPSS data files). Some of these functions come from surveytoolbox, a package I’m developing (GitHub only) which contains a collection of my favourite...

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Vignette: a ‘Copy & Paste’ R workflow for word clouds

May 20, 2019
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Vignette: a ‘Copy & Paste’ R workflow for word clouds

Background Anyone who has created wordclouds for a presentation before will know that it is an iterative process. Not only do you have to remove “useless” stop words (e.g. the, at, am), you may also need to process word stemming so that words with the same stem do not appear more than once (e.g. “analysis”, “analyse”, “analyze”). What constitutes a stop...

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Vignette: Scraping Amazon Reviews in R

May 15, 2019
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Vignette: Scraping Amazon Reviews in R

Background One of the pet projects that I had been working on earlier in the year was to figure out an efficient way to gain an insight into what is going on in a consumer market, e.g.: What do people look for when they’re buying a product? What are the typical pain points / causes of frustration in the...

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Two Styles of Learning R

May 5, 2019
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Two Styles of Learning R

What’s the best way to learn R? Motivations behind the debate Some argue that R fundamentally has a steep learning curve, and that there are no real shortcuts for learning R. I don’t completely agree with that: I think that there are easier way...

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