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Top Stories by David Smith

by Norman Matloff The American Statistical Association (ASA) leadership, and many in Statistics academia. have been undergoing a period of angst the last few years, They worry that the field of Statistics is headed for a future of reduced national influence and importance, with the feeling that: The field is to a large extent being usurped by other disciplines, notably Computer Science (CS). Efforts to make the field attractive to students have largely been unsuccessful. I had been aware of these issues for quite a while, and thus was pleasantly surprised last year to see then-ASA president Marie Davidson write a plaintive editorial titled, “Aren’t We Data Science?” Good, the ASA is taking action, I thought. But even then I was startled to learn during JSM 2014 (a conference tellingly titled “Statistics: Global Impact, Past, Present and Future”) that the ASA leade... (more)

R tops KDNuggets data analysis software poll for 4th consecutive year

KDNuggests asked its readers the question "What programming/statistics languages you used for an analytics / data mining / data science work in 2014?" and one again, R was the #1 response. (R was also the #1 response in similar polls in 2013, 2012 and 2011.) The top 5 selections of the 719 respondents were: R (352 respondents) SAS (262) Python (252) SQL (220) Java (89) Respondents were able to select multiple languages, which is why the totals add up to more than the number of respondents. In fact, the analysis of data science software used together is quite interesting. Looking ... (more)

Revisiting package dependencies

by Andrie de Vries In my previous post I wrote about how to identify and visualize package dependencies.  Within hours, Duncan Murdoch (member of R-core) identified some discrepancies between my list of dependencies and the visualisation.  Since then, I fixed the dispecrancies. In this blog post I attempt to clarify the issues involved in listing package dependencies. In miniCRAN I expose two functions that provides information about dependencies: The function pkgDep() returns a character vector with the names of dependencies. Internally, pkgDep() is a wrapper around tools::pac... (more)

R User Group Roundup

by Joseph Rickert In the first half of 2014, worldwide R user group activity continued to increase, showing impressive growth over the same periods for the past couple of years.  For the last four months, the pace has been over 50 meetings per month.              n  There are now 147 user groups listed in Revolution Analytics' Local R User Group Directory. My take on this is that R is still exciting, and people find it worth some of their free time to seek out other R users to learn, to teach and to just talk. What follows is a small collage of some to the things that R users hav... (more)

Entering the field as a data scientist with certification

By Neera Talbert, VP Services and Ben Wiley, R Programmer at Revolution Analytics By now, everyone should be familiar with the data scientist boom. Simply logging onto LinkedIn reveals a seemingly infinite number of people with words and phrases like “Data Scientist”, “Big Data Specialist”, and “Analytics” in their title. A few weeks ago, an article floated around the internet about how R programmers are the highest paid software engineers in industry. But the career of a data scientist is hot not only because it’s highly lucrative; drawing conclusions from data is itself a rew... (more)