Many professionals are eager to learn R programming but hesitate because of the perceived up-front costs. R is a free, open-source programming language, meaning it’s free to download and use. In addition, a surprising number of free resources are available to help beginners get the hang of this versatile language.
Read on to learn more about the different types of free resources and tutorials available to help you learn R programming.
What is R Programming?
R is a programming language that statisticians created for statistical data analytics. This popular language has a range of applications for performing statistical computing and creating data visualizations. It is often used by Data Scientists, Business Analysts, Data Analysts, and those working in academia or science for tasks specifically involving statistical analysis. R is currently available for free and can run on Windows and Mac OS, as well as a variety of UNIX platforms and related systems.
R provides users with a range of graphical and statistical techniques, such as time-series analysis, clustering, classification, and linear and nonlinear modeling. One of the benefits of working with R is that it simplifies the process of creating publication-quality plots, especially those that incorporate formulas or mathematical symbols. This versatile language includes a fully integrated suite of software tools, such as a data storage and handling facility, operations for performing calculations on arrays, an extensive, integrated set of data analytics tools, and graphical tools designed to analyze and visualize data.
Read more about what R programming is and why you should learn it.
What Can You Do with R Programming?
R was created to primarily help with graphics and statistical computations. This language can accomplish various tasks, from data storage to data analysis to generating statistical models. Of all the available programming languages, R is considered to be the one with the most tools devoted exclusively to statistics. This language can aid with descriptive statistics tasks, like calculating standard deviations and designing models for mapping linear regression.
One of R’s most useful features is its ability to help users create customized data visualizations and dashboards. Some consider R’s ggplot2 package the best data visualization tool available. This package allows users to draw nearly any plot they can conceive. In addition, those who wish to take their data visualizations in R to the next level can combine ggplot2’s syntax with Plotly’s interactive features to make dashboards that are as engaging as they are interactive.
R draws from various machine learning tools so that users can make accurate, data-driven predictions. Users can select from an array of machine learning models, which have applications for creating predictive models, such as movie recommendation systems and churn models. In addition, R users can automate reporting by using R Markdown documents. R Markdown offers a straightforward, accessible syntax to generate various reports, such as presentations, books, or other written documents. This helps R users easily communicate data analysis results with others.
Free R Resources
If you want to study R but may not have the time or work flexibility to commit to regularly meeting classes, the good news is that there are many free resources available online to help you master this open-source language. Not only are resources available, but many are offered for free by top educational providers. The following are just a few of the excellent free R resources:
- Noble Desktop also provides valuable content related to the data sciences on its Data Science Blog & Learning Resources page. Over 140 articles are available for free. Content is available in core data science topics, such as working with SQL and Python, data science tools and libraries, career information, the job outlook in the data sciences, and the benefits of learning R for data science.
- The RStudio Community is a useful free resource for those who want to learn more about R and connect with other R learners. Those who sign up to be a part of this community can access a range of content on topics specific to R programming and general coding information. Not only can community members post or answer questions, but they can also search for jobs at the RStudio Community forum. Various discussion categories are listed, such as Shiny, R Markdown, tidyverse, and RStudio IDE.
- Coursera’s Data Analysis with R Specialization is a free course that helps students analyze and visualize data in the R environment. Participants in this fully online class also receive instruction on data modeling and creating reproducible data analysis reports.
- Udemy’s free data science tutorial, Learn Data Science with R Part 1, is the first installment of a ten-part series that covers core data science concepts, such as factors, data frames, vectors, data types, and list matrices. Those enrolled also learn to use RJDBC, ROracle, and RODBC to read and understand data.
- If you want to supplement your R study with a written text, an excellent resource on this programming language is the online book R for Data Science, written by Garrett Grolemund and Hadley Wickham. This text presents an overview of standard R procedures, such as transforming and visualizing data, understanding workflows, performing data wrangling, and performing statistical modeling.
- The e-book R Programming for Data Science was written by Roger Peng and is another valuable reference for those who want to learn the fundamentals of programming with R. This text provides readers with a basic overview of working with R, as well as information on R’s different functions, procedures for debugging, and practices for optimizing code.
- Google’s R style guide is also available for free online. This resource contains essential information on how to make R’s code easier to read, verify, and share with others.
Learn R Programming with Hands-on Training at Noble Desktop
Noble Desktop has several excellent learning options for those new to R and courses for more advanced programmers interested in mastering complex R skills. Noble’s Data Analytics with R Bootcamp is an immersive class designed to take participants from the basics of coding to a portfolio showcasing your experience working with R. Those enrolled receive expert instruction and can retake the class for up to one year to brush up on course materials.
In addition to the variety of programming courses Noble teaches, this top educational provider also has several in-person and live online Data Analytics classes. Noble’s Data Analytics Technologies Bootcamp is a beginner-friendly course that prepares students to work with core data analytics tools like SQL, Excel, and Tableau. In addition, a certificate in data analytics is also available for those interested in becoming a Business Analyst or Data Analyst. This rigorous learning opportunity prepares students to perform data analysis, statistical analysis, and data visualization, as well as how to use relational databases. All students receive one-on-one mentoring to help with their learning process.
- Because R is an open-source programming language, it can be downloaded and used for free.
- R has a variety of applications for data analysis, statistical computing, and data visualization.
- Free resources, such as YouTube videos, online tutorials, and community forums, are available to help with your R learning journey.
- Enrolling in one of Noble Desktop’s in-person or live online R courses is a great way to learn more about programming with R.