R’s time is now

September 16, 2010

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

Jeff Kelly of Tech Target has just published a feature article about R. While R has been around for almost 20 years now (R&R first started the project in 1993), "its time may have finally come", he says.

One thing I really like about the article is how well it highlights R's flexibility and "top-notch" data visualizations. It includes an in-depth profile of the creator of the  ggplot2 graphics system, Hadley Wickham, who talked about the R community and the flexibility of R:

“One of the real strengths of R is the community,” Wickham said. “You get access to that absolute cutting-edge stuff.”

R’s biggest differentiator, however, is its flexibility. Because of its code-based interface, statisticians and programmers have the ability to customize predictive analytics models and visualizations down to the tiniest detail, Wickham said. Most proprietary analytics tools simply don’t offer that level of granular control, instead offering users a pre-populated library of visualization templates.

Also quoted is Marick Sinay, a quantitative financial analyst with Bank of America, who also lauded R's flexibility but also it's data visualization capabilities. Speaking for himself, he said:

“R produces publication-quality [visualizations],” Sinay said. “SAS’s graphics are years behind,” he said, adding that they “look kind of tacky” in comparison.

The article also talks about how the team here at Revolution is "bringing R out of the shadows" and promoting its use in commercial environments with the add-ons to R included in Revolution R Enterprise: the big-data tools of RevoScaleR and the web services integration of RevoDeployR (announced just this week and profiled separately today in The Register and IT Unmasked). It also previews the graphical user interface we're building for R, to be released next year. Read the entire article by Jeff Kelly at SearchBusinessAnalytics.com.

SearchBusinessAnalytics.com: New GUIs aim to make R open source analytics language more accessible

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