Here is a great website for sharing workflows – it is called MyExperiment.org and it can also include Work flows from many software.
Could it also include workflow from Red-R from #rstats or Enterprise Miner
Here is a great website for sharing workflows – it is called MyExperiment.org and it can also include Work flows from many software.
Could it also include workflow from Red-R from #rstats or Enterprise Miner
Additional features in R over other analytical packages-
1) Source Code is given to ensure complete custom solution and embedding for a particular application. Open source code has an advantage that is extensively peer- reviewed in Journals and Scientific Literature. This means bugs will found, shared and corrected transparently.
2) Wide literature of training material in the form of books is available for the R analytical platform.
3) Extensively the best data visualization tools in analytical software (apart from Tableau Software ‘s latest version). The extensive data visualization available in R is of the form a variety of customizable graphs, as well as animation. The principal reason third-party software initially started creating interfaces to R is because the graphical library of packages in R is more advanced as well as rapidly getting more features by the day.
4) Free in upfront license cost for academics and thus budget friendly for small and large analytical teams.
5) Flexible programming for your data environment. This includes having packages that ensure compatibility with Java, Python and C++.
6) Easy migration from other analytical platforms to R Platform. It is relatively easy for a non R platform user to migrate to R platform and there is no danger of vendor lock-in due to the GPL nature of source code and open community.
Statistics are numbers that tell (descriptive), advise ( prescriptive) or forecast (predictive). Analytics is a decision-making help tool. Analytics on which no decision is to be made or is being considered can be classified as purely statistical and non analytical. Thus ease of making a correct decision separates a good analytical platform from a not so good analytical platform. The distinction is likely to be disputed by people of either background- and business analysis requires more emphasis on how practical or actionable the results are and less emphasis on the statistical metrics in a particular data analysis task. I believe one clear reason between business analytics is different from statistical analysis is the cost of perfect information (data costs in real world) and the opportunity cost of delayed and distorted decision-making.
Specific to the following domains R has the following costs and benefits
Additional factors to consider in your R installation-
There are some more choices awaiting you now-
1) Licensing Choices-Academic Version or Free Version or Enterprise Version of R
2) Operating System Choices-Which Operating System to choose from? Unix, Windows or Mac OS.
3) Operating system sub choice- 32- bit or 64 bit.
4) Hardware choices-Cost -benefit trade-offs for additional hardware for R. Choices between local ,cluster and cloud computing.
5) Interface choices-Command Line versus GUI? Which GUI to choose as the default start-up option?
6) Software component choice- Which packages to install? There are almost 3000 packages, some of them are complimentary, some are dependent on each other, and almost all are free.
7) Additional Software choices- Which additional software do you need to achieve maximum accuracy, robustness and speed of computing- and how to use existing legacy software and hardware for best complementary results with R.
1) Licensing Choices-
You can choose between two kinds of R installations – one is free and open source from http://r-project.org The other R installation is commercial and is offered by many vendors including Revolution Analytics. However there are other commercial vendors too.
Commercial Vendors of R Language Products-
1) Revolution Analytics http://www.revolutionanalytics.com/
2) XL Solutions- http://www.experience-rplus.com/
3) Information Builder – Webfocus RStat -Rattle GUI http://www.informationbuilders.com/products/webfocus/PredictiveModeling.html
4) Blue Reference- Inference for R http://inferenceforr.com/default.aspx
Windows remains the most widely used operating system on this planet. If you are experienced in Windows based computing and are active on analytical projects- it would not make sense for you to move to other operating systems. This is also based on the fact that compatibility problems are minimum for Microsoft Windows and the help is extensively documented. However there may be some R packages that would not function well under Windows- if that happens a multiple operating system is your next option.
Reasons for choosing MacOS remains its considerable appeal in aesthetically designed software- but MacOS is not a standard Operating system for enterprise systems as well as statistical computing. However open source R claims to be quite optimized and it can be used for existing Mac users. However there seem to be no commercially available versions of R available as of now for this operating system.
Linux is considered a preferred operating system by R users due to it having the same open source credentials-much better fit for all R packages and it’s customizability for big data analytics.
Ubuntu Linux is recommended for people making the transition to Linux for the first time. Ubuntu Linux had an marketing agreement with revolution Analytics for an earlier version of Ubuntu- and many R packages can installed in a straightforward way as Ubuntu/Debian packages are available. Red Hat Enterprise Linux is officially supported by Revolution Analytics for it’s enterprise module. Other versions of Linux popular are Open SUSE.
You can also choose between having a VMware VM Player for a virtual partition on your computers that is dedicated to R based computing or having operating system choice at the startup or booting of your computer. A software program called wubi helps with the dual installation of Linux and Windows.
Hardware costs are a significant cost to an analytics environment and are also remarkably depreciated over a short period of time. You may thus examine your legacy hardware, and your future analytical computing needs- and accordingly decide between the various hardware options available for R.
Unlike other analytical software which can charge by number of processors, or server pricing being higher than workstation pricing and grid computing pricing extremely high if available- R is well suited for all kinds of hardware environment with flexible costs. Given the fact that R is memory intensive (it limits the size of data analyzed to the RAM size of the machine unless special formats and /or chunking is used)- it depends on size of datasets used and number of concurrent users analyzing the dataset. Thus the defining issue is not R but size of the data being analyzed.
citation- R Development Core Team (2010). R: A language and environment for statistical computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing,Vienna, Austria. ISBN 3-900051-07-0, URL http://www.R-project.org.
(Note- this is a draft in progress)
This is a fairly long post and is a basic collection of material for a book/paper. It is on interfaces to use R. If you feel I need to add more on a particular R interface, or if there is an error in this- please feel to contact me on twitter @decisionstats or mail ohri2007 on google mail.
|Faster learning for new programmers||Can create junk analysis by clicking menus in GUI|
|Easier creation of advanced models or graphics||Cannot create custom functions unless you use command line|
|Repeatability of analysis is better||Advanced techniques and custom flexibility of data handling R can be done in command line|
|Syntax is auto-generated||Can limit scope and exposure in learning R syntax|
A brief list of the notable Graphical User Interfaces is below-
1) R Commander- Basic statistics
2) Rattle- Data Mining
3) Deducer- Graphics (including GGPlot Integration) and also uses JGR (a Jave based GUI)
4) RKward- Comprehensive R GUI for customizable graphs
5) Red-R – Dataflow programming interface using widgets
1) R Commander- R Commander was primarily created by Professor John Fox of McMaster University to cover the content of a basic statistics course. However it is extensible and many other packages can be added in menu form to it- in the form R Commander Plugins. Quite noticeably it is one of the most widely used R GUI and it also has a script window so you can write R code in combination with the menus.
As you point and click a particular menu item, the corresponding R code is automatically generated in the log window and executed.
It can be found on CRAN at http://cran.r-project.org/web/packages/Rcmdr/index.html
Advantages of Using R Commander-
1) Useful for beginner in R language to do basic graphs and analysis and building models.
2) Has script window, output window and log window (called messages) in same screen which helps user as code is auto-generated on clicking on menus, and can be customized easily. For example in changing labels and options in Graphs. Graphical output is shown in seperate window from output window.
3) Extensible for other R packages like qcc (for quality control), Teaching Demos (for training), survival analysis and Design of Experiments (DoE)
4) Easy to understand interface even for first time user.
5) Menu items which are not relevant are automatically greyed out- if there are only two variables, and you try to build a 3D scatterplot graph, that menu would simply not be available and is greyed out.
Comparative Disadvantages of using R Commander-
1) It is basically aimed at a statistical audience( originally students in statistics) and thus the terms as well as menus are accordingly labeled. Hence it is more of a statistical GUI rather than an analytics GUI.
2) Has limited ability to evaluate models from a business analysts perspective (ROC curve is not given as an option) even though it has extensive statistical tests for model evaluation in model sub menu. Indeed creating a Model is treated as a subsection of statistics rather than a separate menu item.
3) It is not suited for projects that do not involve advanced statistical testing and for users not proficient in statistics (particularly hypothesis testing), and for data miners.
Menu items in the R Commander window:
File Menu – For loading script files and saving Script files, Output and Workspace
It is also needed for changing the present working directory and for exiting R.
Edit Menu – For editing scripts and code in the script window.
Data Menu – For creating new dataset, inputting or importing data and manipulating data through variables. Data Import can be from text,comma separated values,clipboard, datasets from SPSS, Stata,Minitab, Excel ,dbase, Access files or from url.
Data manipulation included deleting rows of data as well as manipulating variables.
Also this menu has the option for merging two datasets by row or columns.
Statistics Menu-This menu has options for descriptive statistics, hypothesis tests, factor analysis and clustering and also for creating models. Note there is a separate menu for evaluating the model so created.
Graphs Menu-It has options for creating various kinds of graphs including box-plot, histogram, line, pie charts and x-y plots.
The first option is color palette- it can be used for customizing the colors. It is recommended you adjust colors based on your need for publication or presentation.
A notable option is 3 D graphs for evaluating 3 variables at a time- this is really good and impressive feature and exposes the user to advanced graphs in R all at few clicks. You may want to dazzle a presentation using this graph.
Also consider scatterplot matrix graphs for graphical display of variables.
Graphical display of R surpasses any other statistical software in appeal as well as ease of creation- using GUI to create graphs can further help the user to get the most of data insights using R at a very minimum effort.
Models Menu-This is somewhat of a labeling peculiarity of R Commander as this menu is only for evaluating models which have been created using the statistics menu-model sub menu.
It includes options for graphical interpretation of model results,residuals,leverage and confidence intervals and adding back residuals to the data set.
Distributions Menu- is for cumulative probabilities, probability density, graphs of distributions, quantiles and features for standard distributions and can be used in lieu of standard statistical tables for the distributions. It has 13 standard statistical continuous distributions and 5 discrete distributions.
Tools Menu- allows you to load other packages and also load R Commander plugins (which are then added to the Interface Menu after the R Commander GUI is restarted). It also contains options sub menu for fine tuning (like opting to send output to R Menu)
Help Menu- Standard documentation and help menu. Essential reading is the short 25 page manual in it called Getting “Started With the R Commander”.
R Commander Plugins- There are twenty extensions to R Commander that greatly enhance it’s appeal -these include basic time series forecasting, survival analysis, qcc and more.
see a complete list at
- DoE – http://cran.r-project.org/web/packages/RcmdrPlugin.DoE/RcmdrPlugin.DoE.pdf
- epack- http://cran.r-project.org/web/packages/RcmdrPlugin.epack/RcmdrPlugin.epack.pdf
- Export- http://cran.r-project.org/web/packages/RcmdrPlugin.Export/RcmdrPlugin.Export.pdf
- MAc- http://cran.r-project.org/web/packages/RcmdrPlugin.MAc/RcmdrPlugin.MAc.pdf
- qcc- http://cran.r-project.org/web/packages/RcmdrPlugin.qcc/RcmdrPlugin.qcc.pdf and http://cran.r-project.org/web/packages/qcc/qcc.pdf
- Teaching Demos
Note the naming convention for above e plugins is always with a Prefix of “RCmdrPlugin.” followed by the names above
Also on loading a Plugin, it must be already installed locally to be visible in R Commander’s list of load-plugin, and R Commander loads the e-plugin after restarting.Hence it is advisable to load all R Commander plugins in the beginning of the analysis session.
However the notable E Plugins are
1) DoE for Design of Experiments-
Full factorial designs, orthogonal main effects designs, regular and non-regular 2-level fractional
factorial designs, central composite and Box-Behnken designs, latin hypercube samples, and simple D-optimal designs can currently be generated from the GUI. Extensions to cover further latin hypercube designs as well as more advanced D-optimal designs (with blocking) are planned for the future.
2) Survival- This package provides an R Commander plug-in for the survival package, with dialogs for Cox models, parametric survival regression models, estimation of survival curves, and testing for differences in survival curves, along with data-management facilities and a variety of tests, diagnostics and graphs.
3) qcc -GUI for Shewhart quality control charts for continuous, attribute and count data. Cusum and EWMA charts. Operating characteristic curves. Process capability analysis. Pareto chart and cause-and-effect chart. Multivariate control charts
4) epack- an Rcmdr “plug-in” based on the time series functions. Depends also on packages like , tseries, abind,MASS,xts,forecast. It covers Log-Exceptions garch
and following Models -Arima, garch, HoltWinters
5)Export- The package helps users to graphically export Rcmdr output to LaTeX or HTML code,
via xtable() or Hmisc::latex(). The plug-in was originally intended to facilitate exporting Rcmdr
output to formats other than ASCII text and to provide R novices with an easy-to-use,
easy-to-access reference on exporting R objects to formats suited for printed output. The
package documentation contains several pointers on creating reports, either by using
conventional word processors or LaTeX/LyX.
6) MAc- This is an R-Commander plug-in for the MAc package (Meta-Analysis with
Correlations). This package enables the user to conduct a meta-analysis in a menu-driven,
graphical user interface environment (e.g., SPSS), while having the full statistical capabilities of
R and the MAc package. The MAc package itself contains a variety of useful functions for
conducting a research synthesis with correlational data. One of the unique features of the MAc
package is in its integration of user-friendly functions to complete the majority of statistical steps
involved in a meta-analysis with correlations.
You can read more on R Commander Plugins at http://wp.me/p9q8Y-1Is
Rattle- R Analytical Tool To Learn Easily (download from http://rattle.togaware.com/)
Rattle is more advanced user Interface than R Commander though not as popular in academia. It has been designed explicitly for data mining and it also has a commercial version for sale by Togaware. Rattle has a Tab and radio button/check box rather than Menu- drop down approach towards the graphical design. Also the Execute button needs to be clicked after checking certain options, just the same as submit button is clicked after writing code. This is different from clicking on a drop down menu.
Advantages of Using Rattle
1) Useful for beginner in R language to do building models,cluster and data mining.
2) Has separate tabs for data entry,summary, visualization,model building,clustering, association and evaluation. The design is intuitive and easy to understand even for non statistical background as the help is conveniently explained as each tab, button is clicked. Also the tabs are placed in a very sequential and logical order.
3) Uses a lot of other R packages to build a complete analytical platform. Very good for correlation graph,clustering as well decision trees.
4) Easy to understand interface even for first time user.
5) Log for R code is auto generated and time stamp is placed.
6) Complete solution for model building from partitioning datasets randomly for testing,validation to building model, evaluating lift and ROC curve, and exporting PMML output of model for scoring.
7) Has a well documented online help as well as in-software documentation. The help helps explain terms even to non statistical users and is highly useful for business users.
Example Documentation for Hypothesis Testing in Test Tab in Rattle is ”
Distribution of the Data
* Kolomogorov-Smirnov Non-parametric Are the distributions the same?
* Wilcoxon Signed Rank Non-parametric Do paired samples have the same distribution?
Location of the Average
* T-test Parametric Are the means the same?
* Wilcoxon Rank-Sum Non-parametric Are the medians the same?
Variation in the Data
* F-test Parametric Are the variances the same?
* Correlation Pearsons Are the values from the paired samples correlated?”
Comparative Disadvantages of using Rattle-
1) It is basically aimed at a data miner. Hence it is more of a data mining GUI rather than an analytics GUI.
2) Has limited ability to create different types of graphs from a business analysts perspective Numeric variables can be made into Box-Plot, Histogram, Cumulative as well Benford Graphs. While interactivity using GGobi and Lattiticist is involved- the number of graphical options is still lesser than other GUI.
3) It is not suited for projects that involve multiple graphical analysis and which do not have model building or data mining.For example Data Plot is given in clustering tab but not in general Explore tab.
4) Despite the fact that it is meant for data miners, no support to biglm packages, as well as parallel programming is enabled in GUI for bigger datasets, though these can be done by R command line in conjunction with the Rattle GUI. Data m7ining is typically done on bigger datsets.
5) May have some problems installing it as it is dependent on GTK and has a lot of packages as dependencies.
This has the Execute Button (shown as two gears) and which has keyboard shortcut F2. It is used to execute the options in Tabs-and is equivalent of submit code button.
Other buttons include new Projects,Save and Load projects which are files with extension to .rattle an which store all related information from Rattle.
It also has a button for exporting information in the current Tab as an open office document, and buttons for interrupting current process as well as exiting Rattle.
It has the following options.
● Data Type- These are radio buttons between Spreadsheet (and Comma Separated Values), ARFF files (Weka), ODBC (for Database Connections),Library (for Datasets from Packages),R Dataset or R datafile, Corpus (for Text Mining) and Script for generating the data by code.
● The second row-in Data Tab in Rattle is Detail on Data Type- and its apperance shifts as per the radio button selection of data type in previous step. For Spreadsheet, it will show Path of File, Delimiters, Header Row while for ODBC it will show DSN, Tables, Rows and for Library it will show you a dropdown of all datasets in all R packages installed locally.
● The third row is a Partition field for splitting dataset in training,testing,validation and it shows ratio. It also specifies a Random seed which can be customized for random partitions which can be replicated. This is very useful as model building requires model to be built and tested on random sub sets of full dataset.
● The fourth row is used to specify the variable type of inputted data. The variable types are
○ Input: Used for modeling as independent variables
○ Target: Output for modeling or the dependent variable. Target is a categoric variable for classification, numeric for regression and for survival analysis both Time and Status need to be defined
○ Risk: A variable used in the Risk Chart
○ Ident: An identifier for unique observations in the data set like AccountId or Customer Id
○ Ignore: Variables that are to be ignored.
● In addition the weight calculator can be used to perform mathematical operations on certain variables and identify certain variables as more important than others.
Summary Sub-Tab has Summary for brief summary of variables, Describe for detailed summary and Kurtosis and Skewness for comparing them across numeric variables.
Distributions Sub-Tab allows plotting of histograms, box plots, and cumulative plots for numeric variables and for categorical variables Bar Plot and Dot Plot.
It also has Benford Plot for Benford’s Law on probability of distribution of digits.
Correlation Sub-Tab– This displays corelation between variables as a table and also as a very nice plot.
Principal Components Sub-Tab– This is for use with Principal Components Analysis including the SVD (singular value decomposition) and Eigen methods.
Interactive Sub-Tab- Allows interactive data exploration using GGobi and Lattice software. It is a powerful visual tool.
Test Tab-This has options for hypothesis testing of data for two sample tests.
Transform Tab-This has options for rescaling data, missing values treatment, and deleting invalid or missing values.
Cluster Tab-It gives an option to KMeans, Hierarchical and Bi-Cluster clustering methods with automated graphs,plots (including dendogram, discriminant plot and data plot) and cluster results available. It is highly recommended for clustering projects especially for people who are proficient in clustering but not in R.
Associate Tab-It helps in building association rules between categorical variables, which are in the form of “if then”statements. Example. If day is Thursday, and someone buys Milk, there is 80% chance they will buy Diapers. These probabilities are generated from observed frequencies.
Model Tab-The Model tab makes Rattle one of the most advanced data mining tools, as it incorporates decision trees(including boosted models and forest method), linear and logistic regression, SVM,neural net,survival models.
Evaluate Tab-It as functionality for evaluating models including lift,ROC,confusion matrix,cost curve,risk chart,precision, specificity, sensitivity as well as scoring datasets with built model or models. Example – A ROC curve generated by Rattle for Survived Passengers in Titanic (as function of age,class,sex) This shows comparison of various models built.
Log Tab- R Code is automatically generated by Rattle as the respective operation is executed. Also timestamp is done so it helps in reviewing error as well as evaluating speed for code optimization.
JGR- Deducer- (see http://www.deducer.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php?n=Main.DeducerManual
JGR is a Java Based GUI. Deducer is recommended for use with JGR.
Deducer has basically been made to implement GGPLOT in a GUI- an advanced graphics package based on Grammer of Graphics and was part of Google Summer of Code project.
It first asks you to either open existing dataset or load a new dataset with just two icons. It has two initial views in Data Viewer- a Data view and Variable view which is quite similar to Base SPSS. The other Deducer options are loaded within the JGR console.
Advantages of Using Deducer
1. It has an option for factor as well as reliability analysis which is missing in other graphical user interfaces like R Commander and Rattle.
2. The plot builder option gives very good graphics -perhaps the best in other GUIs. This includes a color by option which allows you to shade the colors based on variable value. An addition innovation is the form of templates which enables even a user not familiar with data visualization to choose among various graphs and click and drag them to plot builder area.
3. You can set the Java Gui for R (JGR) menu to automatically load some packages by default using an easy checkbox list.
4. Even though Deducer is a very young package, it offers a way for building other R GUIs using Java Widgets.
5. Overall feel is of SPSS (Base GUI) to it’s drop down menu, and selecting variables in the sub menu dialogue by clicking to transfer to other side.SPSS users should be more comfortable at using this.
6. A surprising thing is it rearranges the help documentation of all R in a very presentable and organized manner
7. Very convenient to move between two or more datasets using dropdown.
8. The most convenient GUI for merging two datasets using common variable.
Dis Advantages of Using Deducer
1. Not able to save plots as images (only options are .pdf and .eps), you can however copy as image.
2. Basically a data viualization GUI – it does offer support for regression, descriptive statistics in the menu item Extras- however the menu suggests it is a work in progress.
3. Website for help is outdated, and help documentation specific to Deducer lacks detail.
Components of Deducer-
Data Menu-Gives options for data manipulation including recoding variables,transform variables (binning, mathematical operation), sort dataset, transpose dataset ,merge two datasets.
Analysis Menu-Gives options for frequency tables, descriptive statistics,cross tabs, one sample tests (with plots) ,two sample tests (with plots),k sample tests, correlation,linear and logistic models,generalized linear models.
Plot Builder Menu- This allows plots of various kinds to be made in an interactive manner.
Correlation using Deducer.
Red-R – A dataflow user interface for R (see http://red-r.org/
Red R uses dataflow concepts as a user interface rather than menus and tabs. Thus it is more similar to Enterprise Miner or Rapid Miner in design. For repeatable analysis dataflow programming is preferred by some analysts. Red-R is written in Python.
Advantages of using Red-R
1) Dataflow style makes it very convenient to use. It is the only dataflow GUI for R.
2) You can save the data as well as analysis in the same file.
3) User Interface makes it easy to read R code generated, and commit code.
4) For repeatable analysis-like reports or creating models it is very useful as you can replace just one widget and other widget/operations remain the same.
5) Very easy to zoom into data points by double clicking on graphs. Also to change colors and other options in graphs.
6) One minor feature- It asks you to set CRAN location just once and stores it even for next session.
7) Automated bug report submission.
Disadvantages of using Red-R
1) Current version is 1.8 and it needs a lot of improvement for building more modeling types as well as debugging errors.
2) Limited features presently.
RKWard (see http://rkward.sourceforge.net/)
It is primarily a KDE GUI for R, so it can be used on Ubuntu Linux. The windows version is available but has some bugs.
Advantages of using RKWard
1) It is the only R GUI for time series at present.
In addition it seems like the only R GUI explicitly for Item Response Theory (which includes credit response models,logistic models) and plots contains Pareto Charts.
2) It offers a lot of detail in analysis especially in plots(13 types of plots), analysis and distribution analysis ( 8 Tests of normality,14 continuous and 6 discrete distributions). This detail makes it more suitable for advanced statisticians rather than business analytics users.
3) Output can be easily copied to Office documents.
Disadvantages of using RKWard
1) It does not have stable Windows GUI. Since a graphical user interface is aimed at making interaction easier for users- this is major disadvantage.
2) It has a lot of dependencies so may have some issues in installing.
3) The design categorization of analysis,plots and distributions seems a bit unbalanced considering other tabs are File, Edit, View, Workspace,Run,Settings, Windows,Help.
Some of the other tabs can be collapsed, while the three main tabs of analysis,plots,distributions can be better categorized (especially into modeling and non-modeling analysis).
4) Not many options for data manipulation (like subset or transpose) by the GUI.
5) Lack of detail in documentation as it is still on version 0.5.3 only.
Analysis, Plots and Distributions are the main components and they are very very extensive, covering perhaps the biggest range of plots,analysis or distribution analysis that can be done.
Thus RKWard is best combined with some other GUI, when doing advanced statistical analysis.
GrapheR is a Graphical User Interface created for simple graphs.
Depends: R (>= 2.10.0), tcltk, mgcv
Description: GrapheR is a multiplatform user interface for drawing highly customizable graphs in R. It aims to be a valuable help to quickly draw publishable graphs without any knowledge of R commands. Six kinds of graphs are available: histogram, box-and-whisker plot, bar plot, pie chart, curve and scatter plot.
Packaged: 2011-01-24 17:47:17 UTC; Maxime
Date/Publication: 2011-01-24 18:41:47
Advantages of using GrapheR
- It is bi-lingual (English and French) and can import in text and csv files
- The intention is for even non users of R, to make the simple types of Graphs.
- The user interface is quite cleanly designed. It is thus aimed as a data visualization GUI, but for a more basic level than Deducer.
- Easy to rename axis ,graph titles as well use sliders for changing line thickness and color
Disadvantages of using GrapheR
- Lack of documentation or help. Especially tips on mouseover of some options should be done.
- Some of the terms like absicca or ordinate axis may not be easily understood by a business user.
- Default values of color are quite plain (black font on white background).
- Can flood terminal with lots of repetitive warnings (although use of warnings() function limits it to top 50)
- Some of axis names can be auto suggested based on which variable s being chosen for that axis.
- Package name GrapheR refers to a graphical calculator in Mac OS – this can hinder search engine results
- Data Input -Data Input can be customized for CSV and Text files.
- GrapheR gives information on loaded variables (numeric versus Factors)
- It asks you to choose the type of Graph
- It then asks for usual Graph Inputs (see below). Note colors can be customized (partial window). Also number of graphs per Window can be easily customized
- Graph is ready for publication
- How would a graph of negative and positive acceleration differ(wiki.answers.com)
- Contest to build an R package recommendation engine(dataists.com)
- Dracula Graph Library(graphdracula.net)
- Why does a cumulative frequency graph never go down(wiki.answers.com)
- Heatmap tables (r-bloggers.com)
- Graph.tk – Online Graphing Utility (freetech4teachers.com)
- Graph Generator(topcoder.com)
Summary of R GUIs
Using R from other software- Please note that interfaces to R exist from other software as well. These include software from SAS Institute, IBM SPSS, Rapid Miner,Knime and Oracle.
A brief list is shown below-
1) SAS/IML Interface to R- You can read about the SAS Institute’s SAS/ IML Studio interface to R at http://www.sas.com/technologies/analytics/statistics/iml/index.html
2) Rapid Miner Extension to R-You can view integration with Rapid Miner’s extension to R here at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=utKJzXc1Cow
3) IBM SPSS plugin for R-SPSS software has R integration in the form of a plugin. This was one of the earliest third party software offering interaction with R and you can read more at http://www.spss.com/software/statistics/developer/
4) Knime- Konstanz Information Miner also has R integration. You can view this on
5) Oracle Data Miner- Oracle has a data mining offering to it’s very popular database software which is integrated with the R language. The R Interface to Oracle Data Mining ( R-ODM) allows R users to access the power of Oracle Data Mining’s in-database functions using the familiar R syntax. http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/database/options/odm/odm-r-integration-089013.html
6) JMP- JMP version 9 is the latest to offer interface to R. You can read example scripts here at http://blogs.sas.com/jmp/index.php?/archives/298-JMP-Into-R!.html
R Excel- Using R from Microsoft Excel
Microsoft Excel is the most widely used spreadsheet program for data manipulation, entry and graphics. Yet as dataset sizes have increased, Excel’s statistical capabilities have lagged though it’s design has moved ahead in various product versions.
R Excel basically works at adding a .xla plugin to
Excel just like other Plugins. It does so by connecting to R through Rpackages.
Basically it offers the functionality of R
functions and capabilities to the most widely distributed spreadsheet program. Alldata summaries, reports and analysis end up in a spreadsheet-
R Excel enables R to be very useful for people not
knowing R. In addition it adds (by option) the menus of R Commander as menus inExcel spreadsheet.
Enables R and Excel to communicate thus tieing an advanced statistical tool to the most widely used business analytics tool.
No major disadvatage at all to a business user. For a data statistical user, Microsoft Excel is limited to 100,000 rows, so R data needs to be summarized or reduced.
Graphical capabilities of R are very useful, but to a new user, interactive graphics in Excel may be easier than say using Ggplot ot Ggobi.
You can read more on this at http://rcom.univie.ac.at/ or the complete Springer Book http://www.springer.com/statistics/computanional+statistics/book/978-1-4419-0051-7
The combination of cloud computing and internet offers a new kind of interaction possible for scientists as well analysts.
Here is a way to use R on an Amazon EC2 machine, thus renting by hour hardware and computing resources which are scaleable to massive levels , whereas the software is free.
Here is how you can connect to Amazon EC2 and run R.
Running R for Cloud Computing.
1) Logging onto Amazon Console http://aws.amazon.com/ec2/
Note you need your Amazon Id (even the same id which you use for buying books).Note we are into Amazon EC2 as shown by the upper tab. Click upper tab to get into the Amazon EC2
2) Choosing the right AMI-On the left margin, you can click AMI -Images. Now you can search for the image-I chose Ubuntu images (linux images are cheaper) and latest Ubuntu Lucid in the search .You can choose whether you want 32 bit or 64 bit image. 64 bit images will lead to faster processing of data.Click on launch instance in the upper tab ( near the search feature). A pop up comes up, which shows the 5 step process to launch your computing.
3) Choose the right compute instance- – there are various compute instances and they all are at different multiples of prices or compute units. They differ in terms of RAM memory and number of processors.After choosing the compute instance of your choice (extra large is highlighted)- click on continue-
4) Instance Details-Do not choose cloudburst monitoring if you are on a budget as it has a extra charge. For critical production it would be advisable to choose cloudburst monitoring once you have become comfortable with handling cloud computing..
5) Add Tag Details- If you are running a lot of instances you need to create your own tags to help you manage them. It is advisable if you are going to run many instances.
6) Create a key pair- A key pair is an added layer of encryption. Click on create new pair and name it (note the name will be handy in coming steps)
7) After clicking and downloading the key pair- you come into security groups. Security groups is just a set of instructions to help keep your data transfer secure. You want to enable access to your cloud instance to certain IP addresses (if you are going to connect from fixed IP address and to certain ports in your computer. It is necessary in security group to enable SSH using Port 22.
Last step- Review Details and Click Launch
8) On the Left margin click on instances ( you were in Images.>AMI earlier)
It will take some 3-5 minutes to launch an instance. You can see status as pending till then.
9) Pending instance as shown by yellow light-
10) Once the instance is running -it is shown by a green light.
Click on the check box, and on upper tab go to instance actions. Click on connect-
You see a popup with instructions like these-
· Open the SSH client of your choice (e.g., PuTTY, terminal).
· Locate your private key, nameofkeypair.pem
· Use chmod to make sure your key file isn’t publicly viewable, ssh won’t work otherwise:
chmod 400 decisionstats.pem
· Connect to your instance using instance’s public DNS [ec2-75-101-182-203.compute-1.amazonaws.com].
Enter the following command line:
ssh -i decisionstats2.pem firstname.lastname@example.org
Note- If you are using Ubuntu Linux on your desktop/laptop you will need to change the above line to ubuntu@… from root@..
ssh -i yourkeypairname.pem -X email@example.com
(Note X11 package should be installed for Linux users- Windows Users will use Remote Desktop)
12) Install R Commander on the remote machine (which is running Ubuntu Linux) using the command
The list of top Statistical Softwares (GUI) is continued below. You can see the earlier post here
6. R Commander– While initially aimed at being a basic statistics GUI, the tremendous popularity of R Commander and the extensions in the form of plugins has helped make this one of the most widely used GUI. In short if you dont know ANY R, and still want to do basic descriptive stats and modeling this will come in handy- with an added script window for custom code for advanced users and extensions like that for DoE (design of experiments) and QCC (Quality Control) packages the e-plugins are a great way to extend this. I suspect the only thing holding it back is Dr Fox and the rest of R Core’s reluctance to fully embrace GUI as a software medium. You can read his earlier interview here-https://decisionstats.wordpress.com/2009/09/14/interview-professor-john-fox-creator-r-commander/
Technically it is possible to convert just about any package to a GUI menu in R Commander using the e-plugins.
7. SAS GUIs–
SAS Enterprise Guide was the higher end (and higher priced solution) to enhanced editor’s lack of menu driven commands. It works but many people I know prefer the text editor just as well.
Even the Base SAS Enhanced Editor does have some menus for importing data, or querying etc, but it is rarely confused for being a GUI.
8. Oracle Data Miner and Knime
I like both the ODM and Knime but I find the lack of advertising or promotional support puzzling. Both these softwares can do well to combine technical excellence with some marketing. And since they are both free you can check them out yourself here
You can download it here-(note- the Oracle Web Site itself is a bit aging 🙂 )
Knime is the open source GUI which can be found here-
Another R GUI- it stands out on the comprehensive ways you can customize your code in menus rather than writing all or learning by rote the syntax.
you can see it below. I recommend this GUI over other GUIs especially if you are new to R and do more data visualization which needs custom graphics.
10. Red R and R JGR/ Deducer
Red R and RJGR/Deducer are both up and coming GUIs for R. While REd R is R version for Enterprise Miner, Deducer is coming up with a new GUI for ggplot the powerful graphics package in R.
Some GUIs excluded from this list are – Statistica, MatLab, EViews(?) because I dont really work with them, and thought it best to turn them over to someone who knows them better.
Hope this list of GUIs helps you- note most of the softwares can be learnt within a quick hour and two if you know basic software skills/data manipulation so going through the GUI list is a faster way of adding value to your resume/knowledge base as well.
I was just walking about the U Tenn campus thinking about my next month departure from the school back to India when I ran into Bob Muenchen , head of the Stats consulting centre and more famously the author of ” R for SAS and SPSS users” . Bob mentioned that the edition for R for Stata should be ready for next month. It was also his idea for the article on Red R.
In fact what perplexes users of statistical software like me is why complex softwares like R or SAS choose interfaces that are clearly not as well designed in simplicity as they are in statistical rigor. I think SPSS to some extent and JMP to a much greater extent represent well designed user interfaces. While Rattle , R Commander , R Analytical Flow and Red R are examples for R interfaces SAS also invested in the Enterprise class interfaces.
On all these I belive there is a much greater need for say a Pro UI designer and clean it up. I was reading Prof Maeda’s laws of simplicity ( see http://lawsofsimplicity.com ) and just comparing and contrasting that with some of the softwares I end up using.
The Principles of Reduce ( Shrink, Hide , Embody ) and Organize ( Sort , Label , Integrate and Priortize ) need to be looked into by the Chief Software Interface designers for analytics and BI. While attempts to create more and more robust and faster algorithms and prettier dashboards are important is it not important to simplify the process and procedures to do so . The software which is easier to learn and pick up will tend to have an edge over less visually designed softwares. Keeping it simple helped Apple in the retail electronics and software , it needs to be seen who or which enterprise BI or BA software will make attempts to do the same. An ideal stats or BI interface should be simple and powerful enough to be used by decision makers directly on occasion rather rely on the middleware of analysts and consultants solely.
For people complaining about the GUI on R, here is the ah Enterprise Version of R called Red R.
It is available at the website at http://www.red-r.org/
You can read more there or just go through the short video created by them at
Basically it is a click and point method of using R with the ability to store schemas and thus very good for repeatable operations as well.