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What is R? An Introduction for Beginners

13 Mar 2020

is a free, open-source software and programming language for statistical computation. RStudio is an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) that is required for developing programs in R. It can run on desktops (Windows, Mac, and Linux) and even on browsers through RStudio Server. 

language is widely used for virtually any application, discipline, or field of study because of its graphical capabilities as well as GIS capabilities, not to mention the ability to provide extra functionalities through its dedicated packages.  

To help you better understand the concept of R language, listed below are its features and advantages. 

  1. Open source – its software license is free 
  2. Repeatable or reproducible function – by just copying and pasting R code, it allows you to recreate your problem  
  3. Scalable – applicable to small and large systems 
  4. Highly compatible – can be integrated with various database management systems, technologies, and even other programming languages like Python, Java, etc. 
  5. Efficient Data Wrangling – vast array of packages available for converting complex and messy data into recognizable, structured form 
  6. Platform Independent – can be used without hassle or delay over Windows, Linux, and Mac 
  7. Constantly Evolving – automatically updates new developments or changes 

Things to Remember When Using R for the First Time 

  • R is case sensitive – make sure words are spelled correctly 
  • R is command-line driven – it won’t run if command prompts are incomplete 
  • Use the # symbol before any text (e.g. #instructions, #notes, #comments) that you want R to ignore 

R has a steep learning curve but with enough self-motivation and lots of practice, you should be good to go after some hands-on training. If you want to learn R from scratch, ClinkIT Solutions PH offers free resources to make you R expert. 

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