- Paperback: 608 pages
- Publisher: Manning Publications; Second edition (June 6, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1617291382
- ISBN-13: 978-1617291388
- Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 1.5 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 52 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #32,099 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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R in Action: Data Analysis and Graphics with R Second Edition
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About the Author
Dr. Rob Kabacoff is a seasoned researcher and teacher who specializes in data analysis. He also maintains the popular Quick-R website at statmethods.net.
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At the beginning the examples are practical, showing how to make graphs based off data sets that come packaged with R. Sometimes packages are required to install to get the examples running, and the author is clear about how to do this.
In chapter eight there was an excellent description about Regression analysis. I knew what regressions were, but this explanation helped clear up some confusion I had. The author says (p.167): "It's [regression analysis] a broad term for a set of methodologies used to predict a response variable (also called a dependent, criterion, or outcome variable) from one or more predictor variables (also called independent or explanatory variables).
Following this explanation is a concrete example given showing how to predict the number of calories a person burns on a treadmill based off different factors. I liked that the author defined all the terms, and then gave a concrete example. It is a pattern throughout the book that worked very well.
The later parts of the book briefly dive in machine learning and more advanced data science concepts.
The main focus of the book is on statistics, graphing, and plotting. This worked well, because it shows the areas where R shines compared with other languages. Luckily for the reader the author knows which techniques work well, and states when certain data analysis techniques work better than others. The author remains humble throughout, stating when he finds a topic complex.
R in Action is a great resource for learning R and learning statistics. Explanations transition from easy to hard in a logical manner and this book will be useful for data scientists of all experience levels.
I have only one issue with the book (which is a generic issue with most statistics or data science books centered around a software). That is, it contains very little, if any, mathematical basis or details of the methods being discussed. These days, statistics is taught "thorough" a software. Hence, it is artificial to separate mathematical statistics from computational aspects. I am waiting for a book which will start with the mathematical aspects including derivations of the theorems/equations, give examples of real world applications, and illustrate the application in R.
One minor issue is related to very poor quality of the binding of the book. In the copy that I received, perhaps the pasting was defective, and as soon as I first opened it, the first page tore off. Soon, the binding opened up and pages/sections started falling off. I am not sure if this is just limited to the copy that I got or is a systemic issue.
Chapters 7 on actually cover college level statistics including one-way and two-way tables, t-tests, regression . For statistical reference and data modeling the graphics that are included use the latest library's so you won't be wasting time trying to write your own functions. Chapters 12 on are pretty advanced statistics with real world examples.