Chapter 1 Why we love R

Thank you for choosing this book on using R for health data analysis. Even if you’re already familiar with the R language, we hope you will find some new approaches here as we make the most of the latest R tools including some we’ve developed ourselves. Those already familiar with R are encouraged to still skim through the first few chapters to familiarise yourself with the style of R we recommend.

R can be used for all the health data science applications we can think of. From bioinformatics and computational biology, to administrative data analysis and natural language processing, through internet-of-things and wearable data, to machine learning and artificial intelligence, and even public health and epidemiology. R has it all.

Here are the main reasons we love R:

  • R is versatile and powerful - use it for
    • graphics;
    • all the statistical tests you can dream of;
    • machine learning and deep learning;
    • automated reports;
    • websites;
    • and even books (yes, this book was written entirely in R).
  • R scripts can be reused - gives you efficiency and reproducibility.
  • It is free to use by anyone, anywhere.