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R For Dummies Paperback – June 25, 2012

ISBN-13: 978-1119962847 ISBN-10: 1119962846 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 406 pages
  • Publisher: For Dummies; 1 edition (June 25, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1119962846
  • ISBN-13: 978-1119962847
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.8 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #45,339 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Master the programming language of choice among statisticians and data analysts worldwide

Coming to grips with R can be tough, even for seasoned statisticians and data analysts. Enter R For Dummies, the quick, easy way to master all the R you'll ever need. Requiring no prior programming experience and packed with practical examples, easy, step-by-step exercises, and sample code, this extremely accessible guide is the ideal introduction to R for complete beginners. It also covers many concepts that intermediate-level programmers will find extremely useful.

  • Master your R ABCs — get up to speed in no time with the basics, from installing and configuring R to writing simple scripts and performing simultaneous calculations on many variables
  • Put data in its place — get to know your way around lists, data frames, and other R data structures while learning to interact with other programs, such as Microsoft Excel
  • Make data dance to your tune — learn how to reshape and manipulate data, merge data sets, split and combine data, perform calculations on vectors and arrays, and much more
  • Visualize it — learn to use R's powerful data visualization features to create beautiful and informative graphical presentations of your data
  • Get statistical — find out how to do simple statistical analysis, summarize your variables, and conduct classic statistical tests, such as t-tests
  • Expand and customize R — get the lowdown on how to find, install, and make the most of add-on packages created by the global R community for a wide variety of purposes

Open the book and find:

  • Help downloading, installing, and configuring R
  • Tips for getting data in and out of R
  • Ways to use data frames and lists to organize data
  • How to manipulate and process data
  • Advice on fitting regression models and ANOVA
  • Helpful hints for working with graphics
  • How to code in R
  • What R mailing lists and forums can do for you

Learn to:

  • Use R for data analysis and processing
  • Write functions and scripts for repeatable analysis
  • Create high-quality charts and graphics
  • Perform statistical analysis and build models

About the Author

Andrie de Vries is a market research consultant specializing in surveys, statistical analysis, and strategy.

Joris Meys is a statistician and R programmer with the faculty of bio-engineering at the University of Ghent.

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Customer Reviews

The R language was recommended to me.
Very disappointed with the size of the book yet the apparent lack of information.
It has a very good pace and it is very easy to read.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Roman Lustrik on September 25, 2012
Format: Paperback
Given the series' reputation, R for Dummies should be suited for readers with little or no experience in programming or R. After a cover to cover read, I can say that this book delivers. It helps to have some experience with a command line interface paradigm (in other words, you should not be afraid of typing commands into the computer) or at the least, to be susceptible to some new concepts. The book guides the reader through every step from a blinking console cursor to a handsome trellis graphic and assumes no prior experience with R.

Throughout the book, all the examples are executable, which means that the reader can have a rich hands-on (dare I say fun?) experience with managing the data. Topics covered give the reader enough to start and regularly invite him or her to further explore the topic in very rich documentation that already comes with R and add-on packages. The book works as a map for navigating around main streets but an inquisitive reader can (and should) always make turns into smaller alleys to explore issues further.

The book is ready to be read from cover to cover or be a light reference for when you're starting out coding your analysis. The authors did a great job introducing topics that literally may take thousands of pages to explain in detail (e.g. advanced graphics, introductory statistics). From my experience with teaching R to scientists and students, it is that information overload which can be a problem. This book eases the reader into basic structures and slowly builds on them, giving time for that knowledge to settle.

Introduction to various popular packages is very useful and gives the reader a good starting ground to tackle data crunching on their own. Authors endorse various software and techniques, but do not hide the alternatives.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Dr Richard A. Saldanha on September 21, 2012
Format: Paperback
After listening to Andrie de Vries' talk at LondonR [...] about how he and Joris Meys went about writing "R for Dummies", I thought I purchase a copy of the book for people at work who may have had little or no contact with R. I'm pleased to say that de Vries and Meys have produced a book that contains all the essential information to get a complete novice working usefully in R quickly. In particular, "R For Dummies" covers data input and output; matrices, arrays and data frame structures; dates; vectorized calculations; graphics; and add-on packages. These are all areas that new users of R can find difficult. I particularly liked the chapter on 10 things you can do in R that you would have done [dare-I-say-it less efficiently] in Excel.

Experienced R users (myself included) will find this book too lightweight. It generally stops at the point where many existing users will wish to begin. This is of course not a book aimed at such people. I do, however, thoroughly recommend "R For Dummies" to completely new or inexperienced users of R. It will provide a springboard to more advanced texts such as Venables and Ripley's two books, "Modern Applied Statistics with S" and "S Programming" (the latter book is not for the faint-hearted); Hadley Wickham's "ggplot2: Elegant Graphics for Data Analysis"; and the large number of other books describing detailed areas of the S language and/or R implementation. "R For Dummies" also provides useful directions to the various R online communities. Other introductory books on R exist but this is a compact text that will get new users of R started quickly. Buy it with confidence if you are such a user.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Skeeter on October 9, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had not done any programming for at least 15 years. I had a project that needed programming. The R language was recommended to me. I had no experience with R so I bought this book. I found it an excellent way to learn the basics and the nuances of R. I recommend it highly.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Ellie Scott on November 9, 2012
Format: Paperback
Executive summary

Pretty much all I'd hoped for -- and I had high hopes.


The "Dummies" series is popular for introducing specific topics in an inviting way. R For Dummies is a worthy addition to the pack.

There is a competitor by the name of Statistical Analysis with Excel For Dummies. Now this may also be well-executed -- it probably is -- but some of us are of the opinion that the last two words of the title are redundant.

There are millions of people doing data analysis in spreadsheets, even though spreadsheets are dangerous. R For Dummies gives these people a reasonable entrance into the world of R where their analyses will be safer, faster and deeper -- after an admittedly uncomfortable period of adjustment.

The world will be more productive on account of people switching from spreadsheets to R for data analysis. The problem is that hardly any spreadsheet users are aware that there is a more comfortable way of living than walking along a cliff edge. The cliff is invisible to them. Hopefully R For Dummies will help change that by making R a more obvious alternative.


Chapter 19 is "Ten Things You Can Do in R That You Would've Done in Microsoft Excel". They resisted the subtitle "And by the way, generally much easier too".

Writing introductions to computer programs is astoundingly hard. A key problem is the curse of knowledge. Once we know something, we find it hard to imagine not knowing. So a writer who knows the program is not good, but a writer who doesn't know the program is no use as a navigator. R For Dummies sails these stormy seas well, partly from the discipline of the "Dummies" template, partly from the skill of the authors.
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