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Data Analysts Captivated by R's Power  

2009-01-13 15:05:28|  分类: 默认分类 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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Data Analysts Captivated by R's Power
New York Times (01/07/09) Vance, Ashlee

The R programming language is being used by a growing number of data analysts as data mining is increasingly being used by organizations to set ad prices, find new drugs faster, or fine-tune financial models. The open source language also has become popular among statisticians, engineers, and scientists without a background in programming because of the language's ease of use. "R is really important to the point that it's hard to overvalue it," says Google research scientist Daryl Pregibon. "It allows statisticians to do very intricate and complicated analyses without knowing the blood and guts of computing systems." Statisticians find R particularly useful because it contains several built-in mechanisms for organizing data, running calculations on the information, and creating graphical representations of data sets. Some familiar with R describe it as a stronger version of Microsoft's Excel spreadsheet that can help present data trends more clearly than is possible using information in rows and columns. R also is popular because users can alter the software's code to write variations for specific tasks. "The great beauty of R is that you can modify it to do all sorts of things," says Google's Hal Varian. "And you have a lot of prepackaged stuff that's already available, so you're standing on the shoulders of giants."
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