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2.6. Summary

One of the most challenging tasks in data analysis is data preparation. We’ve made a good start in this chapter by outlining the various structures that R provides for holding data and the many methods available for importing data from both keyboard and external sources. In particular, we’ll use the definitions of a vector, matrix, data frame, and list again and again in later chapters. Your ability to specify elements of these structures via the bracket notation will be particularly important in selecting, subsetting, and transforming data.

As you’ve seen, R offers a wealth of functions for accessing external data. This includes data from flat files, web files, statistical packages, spreadsheets, and databases. Although the focus of this chapter has been on importing data into R, you can also export data from R into these external formats. Exporting data is covered in appendix C, and methods of working with large datasets (in the gigabyte to terabyte range) are covered in appendix G.


  

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