After four days at sea doing Manta Safari, now we are back on shore and it’s time to examine the data we have recorded. Today we learned all about using R for data analysis and statistics.
R is a free software and visualisation tool. It is an important tool for reproducible research, which means you can share your data and your analysis with other researchers.
R can help us to present data in a visually appealing way using charts, maps and many more. Our task today was to learn some of the basic concepts of R and how we could use R to analyse our own data.
Analysing data using R is very flexible, It requires you to build analysis functions using code. I have never written code before, and I was very nervous about today’s exercise. But I should not be worried. Using R was much more easy than I thought.
There are two options for installing and using R on your computer:
The first is to download the R language files from http://cran.rproject.org/. This method is for serious coders, and requires you to be comfortable writing coding from the command line.
The second option is much easier, and is what we did today. We downloaded RStudio which is a graphic interface for R. This means that while we are learning how to write code, there are buttons we can click for certain functions.
RStudio is very useful when we are learning R, but Andy reminded us not to develop bad habits and that we should always try to understand what is happening when we click on a button or menu in RStudio.
After today’s introduction, we should now be ready to analyse our manta. I wonder what we will find?