R Markdown does three main things pretty close to magic. First, it lets you make a completely reproducible, parameter-set and automatable R report. Second, it lets you export that report into a multitude of formats (HTML, Word, .js slide show, interactive web app, etc.). Third, it does the first two things really fast. Wishing for a way to document your code so it still makes sense to you or somebody else six months down the road? Presto! R Markdown does that. Hoping for a button you could click to reproduce your entire analysis with a new data set or parameter? Shazaam! R Markdown does that. Sick of having to copy and paste your results? Poof! R Markdown takes the pain away. If you’re an analyst, scientist, actuary, statistician, or a programmer familiar with R, you should add this package to your bag of tricks.
Garrett Grolemund is a Data Scientist with RStudio, one of the largest contributors of content and software related to the open source R language. He is Editor-in-Chief of the Shiny development center at shiny.rstudio.com. He wrote the popular lubridate R package; the R focused O'Reilly Media titles Hands-On Programming with R, R for Data Science (co-author), and Expert Data Wrangling with R.