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I got interviewed on moving on from Excel to R in Human Resources (HR) here at http://www.hrtecheurope.com/blog/?p=5345
“There is a lot of data out there and it’s stored in different formats. Spreadsheets have their uses but they’re limited in what they can do. The spreadsheet is bad when getting over 5000 or 10000 rows – it slows down. It’s just not designed for that. It was designed for much higher levels of interaction.
In the business world we really don’t need to know every row of data, we need to summarise it, we need to visualise it and put it into a powerpoint to show to colleagues or clients.”
And a more recent interview with my fellow IIML mate, and editor at Analytics India Magazine
AIM: Which R packages do you use the most and which ones are your favorites?
AO: I use R Commander and Rattle a lot, and I use the dependent packages. I use car for regression, and forecast for time series, and many packages for specific graphs. I have not mastered ggplot though but I do use it sometimes. Overall I am waiting for Hadley Wickham to come up with an updated book to his ecosystem of packages as they are very formidable, completely comprehensive and easy to use in my opinion, so much I can get by the occasional copy and paste code.
A surprising review at R- Bloggers.com /Intelligent Trading
The good news is that many of the large companies do not view R as a threat, but as a beneficial tool to assist their own software capabilities.
After assisting and helping R users navigate through the dense forest of various GUI interface choices (in order to get R up and running), Mr. Ohri continues to handhold users through step by step approaches (with detailed screen captures) to run R from various simple to more advanced platforms (e.g. CLOUD, EC2) in order to gather, explore, and process data, with detailed illustrations on how to use R’s powerful graphing capabilities on the back-end.
Do you want to write a review too? You can visit the site here
- What does R do? Bring people together, of course! (r-bloggers.com)
- Book Review: R for Business Analytics, A Ohri (r-bloggers.com)
While SAS language has a beautifully designed ODS (Output Delivery System) for saving output from certain analysis in excel files (and html and others), in R one can simply use the object, put it in a write.table and save it a csv file using the file parameter within write.table.
As a business analytics consultant, the output from a Proc Means, Proc Freq (SAS) or a summary/describe/table command (in R) is to be presented as a final report. Copying and pasting is not feasible especially for large amounts of text, or remote computers.
Using the following we can simple save the output in R
#We shifted the directory, so we can save output without putting the entire path again and again for each step.
#I have found the summary command most useful for initial analysis and final display (particularly during the data munging step)
# I assigned a new object to the analysis step (summary), it could also be summary,names, describe (HMisc) or table (for frequency analysis),
Note: This is for basic beginners in R using it for business analytics dealing with large number of variables.
If you have a large number of files in a local directory to be read in R, you can avoid typing the entire path again and again by modifying the file parameter in the read.table and changing the working directory to that folder
and so on…
maybe there is a better approach somewhere on Stack Overflow or R help, but this will work just as well.
you can then merge the objects created ajayt1 and ajayt2… (to be continued)
Here is an interview with Kelci Miclaus, a researcher working with the JMP division of the SAS Institute, in which she demonstrates examples of how the R programming language is a great hit with JMP customers who like to be flexible.
Ajay- How has JMP been using integration with R? What has been the feedback from customers so far? Is there a single case study you can point out where the combination of JMP and R was better than any one of them alone?
Kelci- Feedback from customers has been very positive. Some customers are using JMP to foster collaboration between SAS and R modelers within their organizations. Many are using JMP’s interactive visualization to complement their use of R. Many SAS and JMP users are using JMP’s integration with R to experiment with more bleeding-edge methods not yet available in commercial software. It can be used simply to smooth the transition with regard to sending data between the two tools, or used to build complete custom applications that take advantage of both JMP and R.
One customer has been using JMP and R together for Bayesian analysis. He uses R to create MCMC chains and has found that JMP is a great tool for preparing the data for analysis, as well as displaying the results of the MCMC simulation. For example, the Control Chart platform and the Bubble Plot platform in JMP can be used to quickly verify convergence of the algorithm. The use of both tools together can increase productivity since the results of an analysis can be achieved faster than through scripting and static graphics alone.
I, along with a few other JMP developers, have written applications that use JMP scripting to call out to R packages and perform analyses like multidimensional scaling, bootstrapping, support vector machines, and modern variable selection methods. These really show the benefit of interactive visual analysis of coupled with modern statistical algorithms. We’ve packaged these scripts as JMP add-ins and made them freely available on our JMP User Community file exchange. Customers can download them and now employ these methods as they would a regular JMP platform. We hope that our customers familiar with scripting will also begin to contribute their own add-ins so a wider audience can take advantage of these new tools.
Ajay- Are there plans to extend JMP integration with other languages like Python?
Kelci- We do have plans to integrate with other languages and are considering integrating with more based on customer requests. Python has certainly come up and we are looking into possibilities there.
Ajay- How is R a complimentary fit to JMP’s technical capabilities?
Kelci- R has an incredible breadth of capabilities. JMP has extensive interactive, dynamic visualization intrinsic to its largely visual analysis paradigm, in addition to a strong core of statistical platforms. Since our brains are designed to visually process pictures and animated graphs more efficiently than numbers and text, this environment is all about supporting faster discovery. Of course, JMP also has a scripting language (JSL) allowing you to incorporate SAS code, R code, build analytical applications for others to leverage SAS, R and other applications for users who don’t code or who don’t want to code.
JSL is a powerful scripting language on its own. It can be used for dialog creation, automation of JMP statistical platforms, and custom graphic scripting. In other ways, JSL is very similar to the R language. It can also be used for data and matrix manipulation and to create new analysis functions. With the scripting capabilities of JMP, you can create custom applications that provide both a user interface and an interactive visual back-end to R functionality. Alternatively, you could create a dashboard using statistical and/or graphical platforms in JMP to explore the data and with the click of a button, send a portion of the data to R for further analysis.
Another JMP feature that complements R is the add-in architecture, which is similar to how R packages work. If you’ve written a cool script or analysis workflow, you can package it into a JMP add-in file and send it to your colleagues so they can easily use it.
Ajay- What is the official view on R from your organization? Do you think it is a threat, or a complimentary product or another statistical platform that coexists with your offerings?
Kelci- Most definitely, we view R as complimentary. R contributors are providing a tremendous service to practitioners, allowing them to try a wide variety of methods in the pursuit of more insight and better results. The R community as a whole is providing a valued role to the greater analytical community by focusing attention on newer methods that hold the most promise in so many application areas. Data analysts should be encouraged to use the tools available to them in order to drive discovery and JMP can help with that by providing an analytic hub that supports both SAS and R integration.
Ajay- While you do use R, are there any plans to give back something to the R community in terms of your involvement and participation (say at useR events) or sponsoring contests.
Kelci- We are certainly open to participating in useR groups. At Predictive Analytics World in NY last October, they didn’t have a local useR group, but they did have a Predictive Analytics Meet-up group comprised of many R users. We were happy to sponsor this. Some of us within the JMP division have joined local R user groups, myself included. Given that some local R user groups have entertained topics like Excel and R, Python and R, databases and R, we would be happy to participate more fully here. I also hope to attend the useR! annual meeting later this year to gain more insight on how we can continue to provide tools to help both the JMP and R communities with their work.
We are also exploring options to sponsor contests and would invite participants to use their favorite tools, languages, etc. in pursuit of the best model. Statistics is about learning from data and this is how we make the world a better place.
About- Kelci Miclaus
Kelci is a research statistician developer for JMP Life Sciences at SAS Institute. She has a PhD in Statistics from North Carolina State University and has been using SAS products and R for several years. In addition to research interests in statistical genetics, clinical trials analysis, and multivariate analysis/visualization methods, Kelci works extensively with JMP, SAS, and R integration.
Events in the field of data that impacted us in 2011
1) Oracle unveiled plans for R Enterprise. This is one of the strongest statements of its focus on in-database analytics. Oracle also unveiled plans for a Public Cloud
2) SAS Institute released version 9.3 , a major analytics software in industry use.
3) IBM acquired many companies in analytics and high tech. Again.However the expected benefits from Cognos-SPSS integration are yet to show a spectacular change in market share.
2011 Selected acquisitions
Q1 Labs October 2011
Algorithmics September 2011i2 August 2011
Tririga March 2011
4) SAP promised a lot with SAP HANA- again no major oohs and ahs in terms of market share fluctuations within analytics.
5) Amazon continued to lower prices of cloud computing and offer more options.
6) Google continues to dilly -dally with its analytics and cloud based APIs. I do not expect all the APIs in the Google APIs suit to survive and be viable in the enterprise software space. This includes Google Cloud Storage, Cloud SQL, Prediction API at https://code.google.com/apis/console/b/0/ Some of the location based , translation based APIs may have interesting spin offs that may be very very commercially lucrative.
7) Microsoft -did- hmm- I forgot. Except for its investment in Revolution Analytics round 1 many seasons ago- very little excitement has come from MS plans in data mining- The plugins for cloud based data mining from Excel remain promising yet , while Azure remains a stealth mode starter.
8) Revolution Analytics promised us a GUI and didnt deliver (till yet ) . But it did reveal a much better Enterprise software Revolution R 5.0 is one of the strongest enterprise software in the R /Stat Computing space and R’s memory handling problem is now an issue of perception than actual stuff thanks to newer advances in how it is used.
9) More conferences, more books and more news on analytics startups in 2011. Big Data analytics remained a strong buzzword. Expect more from this space including creative uses of Hadoop based infrastructure.
10) Data privacy issues continue to hamper and impede effective analytics usage. So does rational and balanced regulation in some of the most advanced economies. We expect more regulation and better guidelines in 2012.
Interestingly a Google Plugin to share Microsoft Office on the Cloud.
Google Cloud Connect is a plug-in for Microsoft Office® 2003, 2007, and 2010 that lets you share and edit Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Excel documents simultaneously with other people in your organization. You get the collaboration benefits of Google Docs, while still using Microsoft Office.
Google Cloud Connect for Microsoft Office
Google Cloud Connect for Microsoft Office brings collaborative multi-person editing to the familiar Microsoft® Office experience. You can share, backup, and simultaneously edit Microsoft Word, PowerPoint®, and Excel® documents with coworkers.
Watch the videos below to learn how Google Cloud Connect teaches your old docs new tricks.
Learn how Cloud Connect helped Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca (English only)
- Windows XP with .NET Framework 2.0, Windows Vista, or Windows 7
- Microsoft Office 2003, Office 2007, or Office 2010