Free e-book: Effective Graphs with Microsoft R Open

May 11, 2016

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

R Effective graphs cover is a powerful system for creating data visualizations. In fact, R gives you so many options for creating charts that it can be hard to know the best way to communicate effectively. To help you present your data as effectively as possible using R, there's a new (and free) e-book available to download: Effective Graphs with Microsoft R Open. Written by the mother-daughter team of Naomi Robbins (author of Creating More Effective Graphs and Forbes contributor) and Joyce Robbins (sociologist and R programmer specializing in data visualization)

The book gives plenty of examples of common (and some not-so-common) data visualizations, with suggestions on how to customize them for the best effect. All of the R code for the charts in included in the book, and also available on GitHub for easy copy-pasting. The chart types discussed include:

  • Charts for making comparisons: bar charts and dot charts
  • Visualizations of distributions: histograms and box plots
  • Charting trends over time: line charts and month plots
  • Visualizing relationships: scatterplots, scatterplot matrices, and parallel coordinate plots
  • Dividing a whole into parts: (multiple) pie charts, bar charts (simple, divided, grouped and faceted) 
  • Specialized charts: stacked bar charts (Likert scales) and linked micromaps (as shown below)


The examples were done using Microsoft R Open, but since it's 100% compatible with R the code works with any relatively recent R version.

Naomi and Joyce presented several examples from their e-book in a recent webinar (presented by Microsoft), and fielded lots of interesting questions from the audience. If you'd like to see the recorded webinar and also receive a copy of the slides and the e-book, follow the link below to register to receive the materials via email.

Microsoft Advanced Analytics and IoT: Creating Effective Graphs with Microsoft R Open

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