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4.13: Summary

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  • This chapter continued where Chapter 3 left off. The focus was still primarily on introducing basic R concepts, but this time at least you can see how those concepts are related to data analysis:

    • Installing, loading and updating packages. Knowing how to extend the functionality of R by installing and using packages is critical to becoming an effective R user (Section 4.2)
    • Getting around. Section 4.3 talked about how to manage your workspace and how to keep it tidy. Similarly, Section 4.4 talked about how to get R to interact with the rest of the file system.
    • Loading and saving data. Finally, we encountered actual data files. Loading and saving data is obviously a crucial skill, one we discussed in Section 4.5.
    • Useful things to know about variables. In particular, we talked about special values, element names and classes (Section 4.6).
    • More complex types of variables. R has a number of important variable types that will be useful when analysing real data. I talked about factors in Section 4.7, data frames in Section 4.8, lists in Section 4.9 and formulas in Section 4.10.
    • Generic functions. How is it that some function seem to be able to do lots of different things? Section 4.11 tells you how.
    • Getting help. Assuming that you’re not looking for counselling, Section 4.12 covers several possibilities. If you are looking for counselling, well, this book really can’t help you there. Sorry.