First post

Welcome to the first ever post of the data gent. If you’d like to know a bit more about me and this blog, check out my about page.

With introductions out of the way, I’d like to dive straight in and talk about a pet project I’ve been working on.

I’m a big fan of the R language and I’ve recently started looking at some of the shinier elements of the language from the redoubtable RStudio. I’ve been playing with my personal data from journeys on the London Underground and I’m creating a simple web application to enable others to explore some of it.

I found getting to grips with the shiny-app framework really easy (note: I have no web-design experience whatsoever). Some lecture materials from Coursera really helped, as did the examples from the RStudio tutorial pages.

I’ve managed to create a simple app with multiple tabs showing:
  • some simple summaries done with ggplot2;
  • an interactive map of the stations I’ve visted done with leaftlet; and
  • a table of the raw data done with datatables.

These second two packages are interfaces from R to JavaScript libraries, both released by RStudio. In short: they’re flipping brilliant. I continue to be astounded by the great work that company is doing for R, and for data science generally (in fact I might write a post about that).

For now I still have a few features I’m working on, so I’m not going to provide a link to the app. (Plus I’m too cheap to shell out for more than 25 hours uptime a month!). However over the next few weeks I’ll write a quick summary of what I’ve done so far (with some code) and then a couple of posts about the other features I’d like to add before sharing a link to the app - so watch this space.