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R in Action [Paperback]

Robert Kabacoff
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)

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Book Description

August 27, 2011 1935182390 978-1935182399 1


R in Action is the first book to present both the R system and the use cases that make it such a compelling package for business developers. The book begins by introducing the R language, including the development environment. Focusing on practical solutions, the book also offers a crash course in practical statistics and covers elegant methods for dealing with messy and incomplete data using features of R.

About the Technology

R is a powerful language for statistical computing and graphics that can handle virtually any data-crunching task. It runs on all important platforms and provides thousands of useful specialized modules and utilities. This makes R a great way to get meaningful information from mountains of raw data.

About the Book

R in Action is a language tutorial focused on practical problems. It presents useful statistics examples and includes elegant methods for handling messy, incomplete, and non-normal data that are difficult to analyze using traditional methods. And statistical analysis is only part of the story. You'll also master R's extensive graphical capabilities for exploring and presenting data visually.

Purchase of the print book comes with an offer of a free PDF, ePub, and Kindle eBook from Manning. Also available is all code from the book.

What's Inside
  • Practical data analysis, step by step
  • Interfacing R with other software
  • Using R to visualize data
  • Over 130 graphs
  • Eight reference appendixes


Table of Contents

    Part I Getting started
  1. Introduction to R
  2. Creating a dataset
  3. Getting started with graphs
  4. Basic data management
  5. Advanced data management
  6. Part II Basic methods
  7. Basic graphs
  8. Basic statistics
  9. Part III Intermediate methods
  10. Regression
  11. Analysis of variance
  12. Power analysis
  13. Intermediate graphs
  14. Re-sampling statistics and bootstrapping
  15. Part IV Advanced methods
  16. Generalized linear models
  17. Principal components and factor analysis
  18. Advanced methods for missing data
  19. Advanced graphics

Frequently Bought Together

R in Action + R for Everyone: Advanced Analytics and Graphics (Addison-Wesley Data & Analytics Series) + R Cookbook (O'Reilly Cookbooks)
Price for all three: $88.72

Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Rob Kabacoff is a seasoned researcher who specializes in data analysis. He has taught graduate courses in statistical programming and manages the Quick-R website at

Product Details

  • Paperback: 472 pages
  • Publisher: Manning Publications; 1 edition (August 27, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1935182390
  • ISBN-13: 978-1935182399
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 7.4 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #74,748 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Rob Kabacoff is Vice President of Research for MRG, a global organizational development firm based in Portland Maine and Dublin Ireland. He has more than 20 years of experience providing research and statistical consultation to government, academia, and private industry. Prior to joining MRG, Dr. Kabacoff was a professor of psychology at Nova Southeastern University in Florida, where he taught graduate courses in clinical psychology, quantitative methods and statistical programming. He lives in Portland, Maine with his wife Carol Lynn and golden retriever Ella.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
70 of 72 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars High-quality, but slightly out of date September 10, 2011
... I revised the review in January 2014, after seeing Jared Lander's "R for Everyone". "R in Action" remains my beginner-to-intermediate-general-purpose-R-book recommendation - a visually appealing, well-thought-out book - but the sloppier, though also nice-to-look-at, "R for Everyone" brings a lot of useful content ("ggplot2" graphics, to mention just one important item) whose value cannot be denied. I would suggest getting both and seeing which one you prefer.

PS. Oh, second edition of "R in Action" is coming out in July?
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best R book I ever read May 30, 2012
The reason I picked this book because I read a article in a Chinese R BBS which recomanded this book as the best book for beginner. I checked Amazon reviews, it only had 3.4. Someone even gave it one star. I was glad I didn't take these reviews serously. Just as the saying: one man's food is another man's poison. I found this book was right for me.

First, there is no book which can cover everything of R, even the very common used part. If there is one, it might be the most boring book in the world. Second, the part you use day in day out, might not be the part others use frequently. Third, a lot of stuff, you have to learn when you have a problem to solve. The simple example is, when I started to learn read.table, I have no idea what all these arguments were and how to use them. Later, I had problem, I gradually learned how to use skip, nrows, row.names. There are still a lot, such as check.names, I have never used so far and don't know and don't care. I don't think a book should list all these stuff. That would be super boring.

I had taught myself R using The R Book before I read this one. I found the best of book, it taught you something you could put to use right away. I especially like its statistic part, simple, clear, and staight forward. It covers a lot of stuff usually not covered by most of books. For example, it explains the output of the summary (lm(x~y)) which I wanted to know but felt too embarrassed to ask because I thought everybody knew except me.

This book is right for beginner like me. As I said, if you want to learn how to build a car, how the engine works before you learn how to drive a car, this book is not for you. If you simple want to learn just how to drive plus a little bit maintenance, totally don't care how engine works, this is the right book for you. By the way, The R Book is a really good book for the R part. The statistic part is too complicate for me. Two much engine manufacture stuff.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Includes Topics That Others Skip October 22, 2011
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. Kabacoff's writing is clear and concise. He covers a wide range of statistics and graphics, including topics that many books skip, such as missing values analysis and interactive graphics. One of the best things about R is the huge number of packages available for it. But which ones are worth investigating? This book covers quite a few packages I have never used before, so even experienced R users will make many useful discoveries reading it. I have no doubt this book will become as popular as his web site, Quick-R (
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
This book fills an important gap by introducing the basics of R and statistical data analysis from a very practical and pragmatic point of view. It has a broad coverage and after introducing basic data set manipulation techniques and commands, it goes on to describe many important statistical data analysis techniques from simple linear regression to more advanced methods such as ANOVA, power analysis, resampling, bootstrapping, generalized linear models, PCA, factor analysis, and handling missing values.

One of the nice features of the book is the description and discussion of many different visualization methods. The author, using many interesting and real world examples, shows how basic and more advanced visualization methods in R can be very helpful in exploring and understanding many different types of data sets.

The reader should be careful, though. This book does not dive into the gory details of all the topics it covers. Luckily the author is also aware of that, and he always mentions the good and detailed references for the readers who want to master the mathematical details. But make no mistake, some of the discussions about the pitfalls of some modeling techniques such as regression are quite adequate.

You should also bear in mind that this book is not a guide to programming in R in general, even though you'll be able to do many different types of data analysis after having finished this book, you'd definitely need a book like The Art of R Programming: A Tour of Statistical Software Design in order to develop your own sophisticated functions, modules and packages.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Quite a few texts on R have entered the marketplace over the last few years, so my decision to go with this text about a year ago was based on my survey of a number of reviews others have written for this and other books in this space, along with my personal experience with other Manning publications such as "Spring in Action", "Java Persistence with Hibernate", and "Hadoop in Action". In general, my experience working through this book has been pleasant, so I personally do not understand some of the complaints that other reviewers have made about the content that Kabacoff provides here.

That said, however, be forewarned that as with other texts, you should not expect to find all of your answers about R in this book. In my opinion, Manning publications are typically written in a format that fits well with the agile learning method with which I have grown accustomed during my consulting career. The author introduces topics along the way, sometimes more piecemeal that I would like, but his style forced me to explore other resources for more detail, bringing familiarity to other available resources. The number of plugin statistical packages for R has grown exponentially over the years (there are now over 2500), for example, so no book, not even "R in a Nutshell: A Desktop Quick Reference (Second Edition)", which I purchased recently, should be expected to be a one-stop shop.

This text quickly brought me up to speed with R language basics working with data sets, and introduced me to specifics with regard to R statistical methods and visualizations. Using R 2.15.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Necessary book if you are learning R
Very good book. Lots of examples to practice with.
Published 7 days ago by Sandra K.
5.0 out of 5 stars This book helped me learn R from ground up !
Learning R from 'scratch' can be difficult, confusing and frustrating due to the following reasons:
1. Lack of good starter books
2. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Ramakrishanan
5.0 out of 5 stars Haven't tried other texts, but this would probably be the best anyway.
This is still the default R manual. Kabacoff gets R.

The author provides examples and explanations that are coherent and useful.
Published 3 months ago by cccdavi01
4.0 out of 5 stars good introduction to R for beginners
execent introduction to R. thanks to downloadable scripts the book is easy to follow. This was the first R book I bought
Published 3 months ago by haga2000
5.0 out of 5 stars helpful
The book is a good text to use to learn statistical methods in R and the companion website is an excellent reference.
Published 4 months ago by GEORGE R. FISHER
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Clear
This book is a very clear introduction to the main concepts of R. A very readable.introduction to R. A great first book in R.
Published 5 months ago by Charles T McGavin Jr
3.0 out of 5 stars Not very extensive
I didn't find this book to be very useful. I had to return it and now I'm just using google. I wanted to learn more about the aggregate command, and it just gave the same... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Paca N.
5.0 out of 5 stars Favorite book on R
This is the best R text I have read.
The writing is straightforward.
The author provides many examples, explains them well.
I enjoyed reading this book.
Published 7 months ago by W. Hogan
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent examples
This books give some excellent examples to follow.. if you're serious about R you should have this book. seems difficult at first.. just read it slow.
Published 7 months ago by chrisinsouthphx
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book!
This is a very useful book--it is clear and readable. It is worth the money. However, the index could be better.
Published 7 months ago by Michael J. Maranda
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