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Q. Define R?
R is an programming language used in statistical computing and with high-level graphics.
Q. Name some R functions?
Q. Brief R Commander?
R commander - A free statistical tool, command written as “Rcmdr” in R commander GUI. Here are the series of R commander plug-ins:
Q. How is R different from other statistical tools available in market? What are its strengths and weaknesses vis-à-vis SAS and SPSS?
R is fundamentally different from SAS language (which is divided into procedures and data steps) and the menu driven SPSS. It is object oriented, much more flexible, hence powerful, yet confusing to the novice, as there are multiple ways to do anything in R. It is overall a very elegant language for statistics and the strengths of the language are enhanced by nearly 5000 packages developed by leading brains across the universities of the planet.
Q. Which R packages do you use the most and which ones are your favorites?
I use R Commander and Rattle a lot, and I use the dependent packages. I use car for regression, and forecast for time series, and many packages for specific graphs. I have not mastered ggplot though but I do use it sometimes. Overall I am waiting for Hadley Wickham to come up with an updated book to his ecosystem of packages as they are very formidable, completely comprehensive and easy to use in my opinion, so much I can get by the occasional copy and paste code.
Q. What level of adoption do you see for R as a preferred tool in the industry? Are Indian businesses also keen to adopt R?
I see surprising growth for R in Business, and I have had to turn down offers for consulting and training as I write my next book R for Cloud Computing. Indian businesses are keen to cut costs like businesses globally, but have an added advantage of having a huge pool of young engineers and quantitatively trained people to choose from. So there is more interest in India for R, but is growing thanks to the efforts of companies like SAP, Oracle, Revolution Analytics and R Studio who have invested in R and are making it more popular. The R Project organization is dominated by academia, and this reflects the fact their priorities is making the software better, faster, stabler but the rest of the community has been making efforts to introduce it to industry.
Q. How did you start your career in analytics and how were you first acquainted with R?
I started my career after MBA in selling cars, which was selling a lot of dreams and managing people telling lies to people to sell cars. So I switched to Business Analytics thanks to GE in 2004, and I had the personal good luck of having Shrikant Dash, ex CEO GE Analytics as my first US client. He was a tough guy and taught me a lot. I came to R only after leaving the cozy world of corporate analytics in 2007.
Q. How do you see Analytics evolving today in the industry as a whole? What are the most important contemporary trends that you see emerging in the Analytics space across the globe?
I don’t know how analytics will evolve, but it will grow bigger and more towards the cloud and bigger data sizes. Big Data /Hadoop, Cloud Computing, Business Analytics and Optimization, Text Mining, are some of the buzz words that are currently in fashion.
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