R Programming Language (Analysis Software for Statistics & Data Science)

R is a programming language and software that is becoming increasingly popular in the disciplines of statistics and data science.

R is a dialect of the S programming language and was developed by Ross Ihaka and Robert Gentleman in the year 1995. A stable beta version was released in the year 2000.

The R software is completely free and gets developed collaboratively by its community (open source software) – every R user can publish new add-on packages.

The open source ideology of R programming reflects a huge contrast compared to most traditional programming environments (e.g. SAS, SPSS, Stata etc.), where the software development is in the hands of a paid development team.

All R Programming Tutorials on Statistics Globe

In the following, you can find a list of R tutorials on statisticsglobe.com. In the tutorials, I’m explaining statistical concepts and provide reproducible example codes in R.



The Increasing Popularity of R Programming

Since the R programming language provides features for almost all statistical tasks without any costs for the user, R is rapidly growing since its release. Let’s check some numbers…


R Programming Language Increased Popularity

Graphic 1: Google Scholar Search Results for R Programming Filtered by Year


Reasons to Learn R

The pros:

+ R is free

+ R’s popularity is growing – More and more people will use it

+ Almost all statistical methods are available in R

+ New methods are implemented in add-on packages quickly

+ Algorithms for packages and functions are publicly available (transparency and reproducibility)

+ R provides a huge variety of graphical outputs

+ R is very flexible – Essentially everything can be modified for your personal needs

+ R is compatible with all operating systems (e.g. Windows, MAC, or Linux)

+ R has a huge community that is organized in forums to help each other (e.g. stackoverflow)

+ R is fun 🙂


The cons:

– Relatively high learning burden at the beginning (even though it’s worth it)

– No systematic validation of new packages and functions

– No company in the background that takes responsibility for errors in the code (this is especially important for public institutes)

– R is almost exclusively based on programming (no extensive drop-down menus such as in SPSS)

– R can have problems with computationally intensive tasks (only important for advanced users)


You are not sure yet, whether you should learn the R programming language? In that case, I can recommend the following video of the YouTube channel RenegadeThinking. The speaker provides you with many reasons, why it is advisable to learn R.


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Appendix 1: R code for the creation of Graphic 1

year <- 2018:2000                                       # Years
r_gs <- c(21600 * 2, 43300, 43100, 38100, 33200, 29800, # Google Scholar searches
          28500, 25500, 22400, 19100, 15900, 12000,
          8270, 5930, 3740, 2600, 1980, 1600, 1360)
data <- data.frame(software = rep("R", 19),             # Combine data
                   year = year, 
                   searches = r_gs)
ggplot(data) +                                          # Create plot
  geom_point(aes(x = year, y = searches, 
                 color = software, shape = software)) +
  geom_line(aes(x = year, y = searches, 
                color = software)) +
  theme(legend.title = element_blank(),
        legend.position = "none") +
  ggtitle("Google Scholar Search Results") +
  labs(x = "Year", y = "Search Results") +
  scale_y_continuous(labels = comma)


Appendix 2: How to create the header graphic of this page

par(mar = c(0, 0, 0, 0))                           # Remove space around plot
par(bg = "#1b98e0")                                # Set background color
set.seed(10293847)                                 # Seed
N <- 100000                                        # Sample size
x <- rnorm(N)                                      # X variable
y <- rnorm(N) + x                                  # Correlated Y variable
plot(x, y, col = "#353436", pch = 19, cex = 0.1    # Create plot
     , xlim = c(- 4, 4), ylim = c(- 7, 7))
text(0, 0, "R", col = "#1b98e0", cex = 12)         # Write R
points(0, 0, col = "#1b98e0", cex = 30, lwd = 5)   # Create circles
points(0, 0, col = "#1b98e0", cex = 50, lwd = 5)
points(0, 0, col = "#1b98e0", cex = 70, lwd = 5)
points(0, 0, col = "#1b98e0", cex = 90, lwd = 5)
points(0, 0, col = "#1b98e0", cex = 110, lwd = 5)
box(col="#1b98e0")                                 # Color of box



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