[R] Do you use R for data manipulation?

hadley wickham h.wickham at gmail.com
Wed May 6 14:53:35 CEST 2009

> Take a look at plyr and reshape packages (http://had.co.nz/), I have a hunch
> that they would have saved me a lot of headache had I found out about them
> earlier :)

As the author of these two packages, I'm admittedly biased, but I
think R is unparalleled for data preparation, manipulation, and
cleaning (with the small caveat that your data needs to fit in
memory).  The R data frame is a fantastic abstraction that most other
programming languages lack, and vectorised subscripting make it
possible to express many transformations in an elegant and efficient
manner.  On top of the facilities provided by base R, there are a huge
number of packages available to load data from just about every data
format, as well as a number of packages (plyr, reshape, sqldf, doBy,
gdata, scope, ...) for data manipulation - just pick the metaphor that
is most natural to you.



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