In This Chapter
Performing calculations and other operations on data
Going beyond what you can do in a spreadsheet
The spreadsheet is probably one of the most widely used PC applications — and for good reason: Spreadsheets make it very easy to perform calculations and other operations on tabular data. But spreadsheets pose some risks as well: They’re easy to corrupt and very difficult to debug.
The good news is, you can use R to do many of the same things you used to do in spreadsheets. In R, you use data frames to represent tabular data. R has many functions, operators, and methods that allow you to manipulate and calculate on data frames. This means that you can do just about anything (and more) in R that you would’ve done in Microsoft Excel, LibreOffice Calc, or your favorite spreadsheet application.
In this chapter, we offer some pointers on functions that you can explore in R, most of which are covered earlier in this book. In most cases, we provide some sample code but not the results. Try these examples yourself, and remember to use the R Help documentation to find out more about these functions.
One task that you may frequently do in a spreadsheet is calculating ...