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Analyze Data: R and RStudio

Contributors: Lindsay Plater and Michelle Dollois

What is R / RStudio?

  • R / RStudio is a free software environment and coding language that is often used for statistical analysis and graphing data.
  • R is the base software application, RStudio is additional software that makes working with R easier.
  • R / RStudio supports a wide range of data tasks, including: data manipulation, data cleaning, data analysis (descriptive and inferential), and data visualization.
  • The R documentation provides information on packages, functions, and more. A great place to start if you have little-to-no R / RStudio experience is the Introduction to R manual. If you want to search for information on a specific package, you may use the RDocumentation website or type ?NAMEOFPACKAGE (where NAMEOFPACKAGE is the package name, i.e., ?sum) in the RStudio console.

Where can I access R and RStudio?

  • R / RStudio is available on the library public computers for use by University of Guelph students, staff, and faculty during library hours.
  • Download R here. R is open source (i.e., free) software. There are different versions for R, Mac, and Linux.
  • Download RStudio here. RStudio is also open source (i.e., free) software. RStudio is not required to use R, but you must have R before you can use RStudio.
  • The capabilities of R can be extended through the use of community developed packages. You can find an extensive list of available packages on the Available CRAN Packages By Name webpage.
  • If you need help installing R / RStudio on your computer you can either drop by the IT Help Desk located on the first floor of the library or contact CCS Help Services.

Get started with R / RStudio

The RDocumentation website referenced earlier is a great place to start when you are looking for help on how to use certain packages or functions. This guide contains step-by-step help (and screenshots) for a few common R / RStudio tasks, including:

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