This is a book about Software for Data Analysis: using computer software to extract information from some source of data by organizing, visualizing, modeling, or performing any other relevant computation on the data. We all seem to be swimming in oceans of data in the modern world, and tasks ranging from scientific research to managing a business require us to extract meaningful information from the data using computer software.
This book is aimed at those who need to select, modify, and create software to explore data. In a word, programming. Our programming will center on the R system. R is an open-source software project widely used for computing with data and giving users a huge base of techniques. Hence,Programming with R.
R provides a general language for interactive computations, supported by techniques for data organization, graphics, numerical computations, modelfitting, simulation, and many other tasks. The core system itself is greatly supplemented and enriched by a huge and rapidly growing collection of software packages built on R and, like R, largely implemented as open-source software. Furthermore, R is designed to encourage learning and developing, with easy starting mechanisms for programming and also techniques to help you move on to more serious applications. The complete picture— the R system, the language, the available packages, and the programming environment—constitutes an unmatched resource for computing with data.