Skip to main content

Online Learning Resources: R

This is the first in a series of posts on online learning resources for data science and programming.

Maybe you’ve seen the dashboards or reports your colleagues produce with Shiny or R Markdown. Perhaps you’ve heard about how R can support a reproducible workflow, or you’re hoping to make more effective data visualizations. Or maybe you just need to use one of the thousands of free packages available. Whatever the reason, R is a great language for statistical analysis, data manipulation, and visualization.

Below are some resources to help you get started, improve your skills, or start developing R tools for others. As with other guides in this series, we’re focusing on resources that can be accessed for free by members of the Northwestern community, and we’re focusing on resources other than full-length online courses.

Getting Started

To get started with R, see our instructions for installing R and RStudio or accessing them online.

R for Data Science
Garrett Grolemund, Hadley Wickham
This is the resource I recommend most frequently for people looking to build data analysis and manipulation skills in R. It covers the tidyverse set of packages and includes exercises in each chapter (you can search for answers online). There’s also an online community of folks using this book to learn if you’re looking for support or a social learning experience!

Learning statistics with R: A tutorial for psychology students and other beginners
Danielle Navarro
This online book is particularly well-suited for those in psychology as it covers the statistical methods most commonly used in the field.

Cloud Based Data Science
Johns Hopkins Data Science Lab
The series of courses covers a full set of tools for data manipulation, analysis, and visualization using R. You can work completely online without the need to install software. It assumes no background in programming or data analysis.

Getting Better

Tidy Tuesday Screencasts
David Robinson
Dave analyzes data from the Tidy Tuesday project that he’s never seen before. See how an expert data analyst attacks a new dataset using mostly tidyverse packages in R.

RStudio 2020 Conference Videos
If you’re looking for inspiration or to see what’s new with R, try the rstudio::conf 2020 videos.

Text Mining with R
Julia Silge, David Robinson
Have text data? Use R? When exploring your data, the tidytext package makes the process easy! Learn how to process your data and look at differences between groups. For more advanced analysis, you’ll need to move on to additional packages, but tidytext makes the often painful process of exploratory analysis of text data actually fun.

Statistical Modelling Examples
UCLA Statistical Consulting
Need to see some example code of how to run a specific statistical model in R? The UCLA Statistical Consulting group is the place to go. They have examples of how to run common models in R, Stata, SPSS, SAS, and MPlus. They also walk you through the reasoning for various modeling choices.

R Cookbook
Paul Teetor, JD Long
Are you familiar with R, but struggling to figure out how to do something specific? That’s where a cookbook comes in. The R Cookbook gives you code snippets along with the background and details you need to understand those snippets. For example: how to convert data to z-scores, extract a substring, or work with time series data.

Programming and Development with R

Advanced R
Hadley Wickham
Looking to level-up your R skills or explore R as a programming language? This book is an essential resource as you move from using R for data analysis to developing tools for yourself or others.

The Art of R Programming
Norman Matloff
If you have programming skills in another language and want to approach learning R as a programming language (rather than a data analysis tool), this is the book for you. It starts at the beginning without assuming you know R, but those who have been using R for a while will also likely learn a lot from it (did you know “{” is a function?). This book will help you learn why R works how it does.

Looking for more?

If you’ve got an R question, don’t know what resource to start with, or need to learn something not covered above, remember you can always request a free consultation with our data science consultants. We’re more than happy to answer questions and point you in the right direction.

We also have a longer R Resource list. If you want a structured learning experience and full-length course, there are many online courses on Coursera using or focused on R. Many are free if you do not want the paid credential for completion.

One Comment:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *