If you’ve been considering a career in people analytics, you’re probably aware that a considerable part of your role will involve collecting and interpreting data – most likely with a specialised software program.
If you’ve only recently started researching R software and need some help better understanding it, this guide will help you gain some additional insight on why R is such a popular tool for data analysis.
What is R?
R is a programming language and software environment that provides a wide array of statistical and visualisation techniques. It was designed by statisticians Ross Ihaka and Robert Gentleman.
R is an extremely accessible tool and can be run on a wide range of platforms, including Windows, MacOS, and Linux. It is open-source software – meaning it can be used for free, and that its source code is open to public inspection and improvements.
It is one of the most increasingly popular programming languages and (as of January 2021) ranks 9th on the TIOBE index – a popularity indicator that calculates the most used languages worldwide.
Why use R for analytics?
R was written by statistics for statisticians, so it’s unsurprising that it is a powerful tool for data analysis.
Due to its many features for handling, storing, analysing and interpreting data, R is an extremely popular choice for professionals looking to make data-driven decisions.
Analysts across a number of industries, from academia to business, will frequently turn to R in order to retrieve, assess, and present data. Its substantial following also means that new practitioners have a large support system available to them.
Additionally, R benefits from having thousands of extensions (otherwise known as R packages) available for use with the language. This allows people to utilise R alongside a vast number of sector-specific applications as well, which results in greater connectivity and efficiency.
As mentioned previously, R has a large, established community in the data industry. Due to this, novices and veterans alike have an excellent support system to turn to with any questions.
Plus, R can be easier to learn than most languages for programming beginners – though, of course, those with more experience won’t struggle with it either.
With its considerable capabilities around analytics and graphics, R serves as an excellent option for anyone hoping to enter the world of people analytics.
After all, many would argue that data becomes most useful once it can be easily understood – so the ability to present accessible, engaging insights to an organisation’s decision-makers is of no small value.
As a student of our online, part-time MSc in People Analytics, you'll get an introduction to the use of R software and other data-gathering instruments.
Throughout the course, you will gain the ability to see complex situations as a whole and decide which tools and methods are most appropriate to different projects: