Paperback: 608 pages
Publisher: Manning Publications; 2 edition (June 6, 2015)
Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 1.4 x 9.2 inches
Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #12,182 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #7 in Books > Computers & Technology > Software > Mathematical & Statistical #7 in Books > Textbooks > Computer Science > Database Storage & Design #9 in Books > Computers & Technology > Databases & Big Data > Data Mining
Back in 2011, I was an early enthusiast of "R in Action"'s first edition, praising the book as the only high-quality product in a growing field of R introductions rushing to market. (In the parallel universe of statistics-with-R books, "The R Book" by Crowley - now also in its second edition - reigned). In 2014, I revised my review, and reiterated my endorsement, but noted "R for Everyone" by Jared Lander as an appealing, "fresh" upstart rival. At that time, second edition of "R in Action" was already listed on as available for pre-order, but the release date kept being postponed. Having pre-ordered "R in Action" 2.0 in May 2014, I only got it in June 2015.The changes from the first edition are helpfully summarized on page xxvii, but I will distinguish five strands. First, there is a nod to the computer-science (vs. "proper" statistics) sensibility, via addition of a chapter on clustering and another chapter on classification, discussing CART and SVM methods. Second, two new chapters deal with R as a programming language, with one chapter dedicated to package-building. Third, there is a new chapter on producing reports, focusing on, but not limited to, the capability of "rmarkdown" R package. Fourth, second edition boosts coverage of "ggplot2" package. Finally, statistics repertoire is expanded with a short chapter on (very basic) time-series analysis, relying on "forecast" R package.I may have wished for a few different choices. The package-building chapter could have been dropped, and more space given to either statistics (one could say more about regression - maybe taking a page from "Modern Regression Techniques Using R" by Wright and London) or machine learning.
Whether data analysis is your field, your current major or your next career-change ambition, you likely need this book. Free and open source R is one of the world's most popular languages for data analysis and visualization. And Robert I. Kabacoff's updated new edition is, in my opinion, one of the top books out there for getting a handle on R. (I have used and previously reviewed several R how-to books.)R is relatively easy to install on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux machines. But it is generally considered difficult to learn. Much of that is because of its rich abundance of features and packages, as well as its ability to create many types of graphs. "The base installation," Kabacoff writes, "provides hundreds of data-management, statistical, and graphical functions out of the box. But some of its most powerful features come from the thousands of extensions (packages) provided by contributing authors."Kabacoff concedes: "It can be hard for new users to get a handle on what R is and what it can do." And: "Even the most experienced R user is surprised to learn about features they were unaware of."R in Action, Second Edition, contains more than 200 pages of new material. And it is nicely structured to meet the needs of R beginners, as well as those of us who have some experience and want to gain more.The book (579 pages in print format) is divided into five major parts. The first part, "Getting Started," takes the beginner from an installing and trying R to creating data sets, working with graphs, and managing data. Part 2, "Basic Methods,"focuses on graphical and statistical techniques for obtaining basic information about data.
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