A Quick Guide to R Programming Language for Business Analytics


Eshna Verma

Last updated November 30, 2016


Today, it is imperative for every modern business to understand the huge amounts of data it maintains on its customers and itself. Using spreadsheets is futile and though SAS offers a solution, it is not the best one. The R Programming Language is an open source programming language that has been widely used by scientists across the world. It is a language that can also help businesses analyze huge amounts of information easily and effectively.

The R programming language makes it easy for a business to go through the business’s entire data. What the language does is it scales the information so that different and parallel processors can work upon the information simultaneously. When using a regular R package, most computers do not generally have sufficient memory to handle high amounts of data. However, the R programming language offers ScaleR, which will repurpose the information into smaller chunks so that the information can then be processed on various servers at the same time. In other words, ScaleR makes it easy to divide a huge database across different nodes. This allows users of the programming language to make analyses of statistical information in a very sophisticated manner. Furthermore, the language also makes it possible for programmers to easily perform periodic checks on the information as it is being processed. This benefits businesses because they can use high amounts of data and fine-tune it to do more sophisticated analyses.

To show you the power of the R programming language let us take a simple example. A business with thirty million rows of information for sixty different variables can now be analyzed in just ten minutes with the help of an R package. SAS cannot compete with this, which is why so many companies and businesses are becoming fans of R.

Secondly, R also provides businesses with the best view of the kind of information that it is dealing with. The nice thing about using R is that businesses do not require developing customized tools and they also do not need to write a lot of code. R allows the business to easily and quickly clean and explore the information that it wants to analyze. The nice thing about this language is that it allows the business to explore new information with the help of customized visualizations. The simple truth is that R is very strong when it comes to visualizations and graphics. It allows businesses to easily create the most appealing graphics, which is something that SAS just cannot do. In fact, SAS’s graphics are really ugly and horrible.

R analytics

Today, a modern business does a lot more with its data than in the past. There is in fact a revolution that is taking place in regard to what can be done with information today. The R programming language is designed for and used by statisticians and it is also the ideal tool for computing statistical information and creating top-notch graphics. This is why so many mathematicians and statisticians as well ad data miners and scientists use this language. Ross Ihaka and Robert Gentleman originally wrote the program. The R Development Core Team has since developed it. Here is what it can do.

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First of all, it stores and also handles information in a very efficient manner by making use of different numerical as well as textual operators to calculate arrays and matrices of information. Secondly, it comes with many tools that make analysis of data that much more simple and effective. Thirdly, it comes with graphical services that aid in doing better analysis of information. Fourthly, the R programming language is made up of excellent programming techniques and it has functions and loops as well as conditionals that are very nicely developed and easy to use. Lastly, it is also able to provide best documentation abilities both for hard copies and also for soft copies. This is what gives the language so much extensibility through its various functions and extensions. The end result is that developers are able to add to its existing capabilities.

The language has been designed to help people conduct analysis of data. It comes with a number of algorithms for retrieving data, processing it and analyzing it as well as to provide topnotch graphics. It comes with inbuilt statistical methods like:
  • Mean
  • Median
  • Distributions
  • Covariance
  • Regression
  • Non-linear mixed effects
  • GLM
  • GAM, and a lot more
The other nice thing about this language is that it is object oriented. This makes the language very proficient in developing complete object oriented programs. It is also a language that allows the programmer to do some wonderful branching and looping as well as modular programming. It comes loaded with various statistical procedures like the following:
  • Time series analysis
  • Classic parametric tests
  • Non-parametric tests
  • Linear modeling
  • Non-linear regression modeling
  • Clustering
  • Smoothing, and much, much more
The nice thing about using R for business analytics is that it is a language that helps you create some wonderfully topnotch graphics. Best of all, it also provides features like advanced analytics. Its packages like CRAN and Task Views are very useful as well.

At present, about two million people across the world are using this language and the numbers are steadily growing. R is more than a programming language. It is also a culture among the world’s best programmers. In fact, there are many new websites and forums as well as articles that you can find on the Internet that deal with the R programming language.

The bottom line is that the R programming language has been helping researchers as well as statisticians perform the most innovative analyses of data without needing to be computer programmers. Today, R is one of the main programming languages being used for various applications to help organizations across various industries. R packages make it easy for businesses to do sophisticated analyses. All that the business needs to do is download and install specially created packages that are written by the best minds in the world. R also comes with the best graphics capabilities and this is what makes the language so attractive to users. The graphics can be created in the R language without needing to do extensive programming. R allows you to create graphics exactly like you want and you can also present the information visually in a very appealing manner.
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About the Author

Eshna is a writer at Simplilearn. She has done Masters in Journalism and Mass Communication and is a Gold Medalist in the same. A voracious reader, she has penned several articles in leading national newspapers like TOI, HT and The Telegraph. She loves traveling and photography.

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