R for the Rest of Us: A Statistics-Free Introduction

You are reading the free online version of this book. If you’d like to purchase a physical or electronic copy, you can buy it from No Starch Press, Powell’s, Barnes and Noble or Amazon.

About the Book

The R programming language is a remarkably powerful tool for data analysis and visualization, but its steep learning curve can be intimidating for some. If you just want to automate repetitive tasks or visualize your data, without the need for complex math, R for the Rest of Us is for you.

Inside you’ll find a crash course in R, a quick tour of the RStudio programming environment, and a collection of real-word applications that you can put to use right away. You’ll learn how to create informative visualizations, streamline report generation, and develop interactive websites — whether you’re a seasoned R user or have never written a line of R code.

You’ll also learn how to:

  • Manipulate, clean, and parse your data with tidyverse packages like dplyr and tidyr to make data science operations more user-friendly

  • Create stunning and customized plots, graphs, and charts with ggplot2 to effectively communicate your data insights

  • Import geospatial data and write code to produce visually appealing maps automatically

  • Generate dynamic reports, presentations, and interactive websites with R Markdown and Quarto that seamlessly integrate code, text, and graphics

  • Develop custom functions and packages tailored to your specific needs, allowing you to extend R’s functionality and automate complex tasks

Unlock a treasure trove of techniques to transform the way you work. With R for the Rest of Us, you’ll discover the power of R to get stuff done. No advanced statistics degree required.

About the Author

David Keyes

David Keyes is the founder and CEO of R for the Rest of Us, which offers online courses, workshops, and custom training sessions that help organizations take control of their data. He has a PhD in anthropology from UC San Diego, as well as a master’s degree in education from Ohio State, and has dedicated his professional life to teaching people to embrace R as the most powerful tool for data analysis and visualization.


This book is a testament to the many members of the R community who share their knowledge freely and encourage others generously. I call myself self-taught, but really what I am is community-taught. Throughout this book, you will read about several R users from whom I have learned so much; still, many others go unmentioned. To everyone who has worked to develop R, share your knowledge about R, and make R a welcoming place, thank you.

I’d also like to thank the team at R for the Rest of Us. Working directly with talented R users has taught me so much about what is possible with R.

Finally, I’d like to thank people who have provided feedback as I’ve written this book. Technical reviewer Rita Giordano has helped me make sure everything works and suggested great ideas for improvement. My editor, Frances Saux, has provided fantastic input along the way. To Bill Pollock and the entire team at No Starch: thank you for taking a flyer on me and my strange idea to write a book about nonstatistical uses of a tool created for statistics.

Buy the Book

There will always be a free online version of this book. However, if you’d like to purchase a physical or electronic copy, you can do so directly from No Starch Press, Powell’s, or Amazon.