Anyone using R or interested in it?

Tags: #<Tag:0x00007f9327ac4920> #<Tag:0x00007f9327ac47e0>

(Mariel Matze, Schoolzilla) #1

Is anyone curious about using R in their data work? Anyone already doing so? @rknight, @jkahane, @suzi_king, @pjones, @amanda_gonzalez, @anthonynevico, @jboots, @david_roth and team, @twest and @johnclack

What have you already tried with R? What would you like to be able to do?

(We thought bringing folks together at Data Champion Summit this year might be neat. Depending on where the conversation goes and if there’s interest, we can make space to talk shop in person!)

(Sven Halvorson, Santa Fe Public Schools) #2

I use R on a daily basis to work on data requests, prep for tableau, and other projects. I even have an in progress R package of the routines I built for my job. I would be happy to chat with anyone else interested. I’m hoping to learn more about Sweave and knitr!

(Jonathan Stewart, Education for Change) #3

We’ve used R mostly for transforming flat data files into more usable Tableau data sources. I would definitely be interested in learning how other orgs use R, particular for statistical analysis that is not available in Tableau.

@Mariel - I know that it’s possible to use R within Tableau reporting, but does Schoolzilla support this feature? If so, I would be interested to know how folks are using it.

(Amanda Gonzalez, KIPP Bay Area Schools) #4

Thanks for reaching out!

I think I’m slightly more interested in a Python gathering since that seems like a more flexible language for things that are not just data transformation and cleaning. A lot of the platforms schools work with have APIs, often for which there are Python packages (not sure the same exist for R).

That said, I’d still be happy to join an R session. I’ve got some left over code from Kelly that’s in R, that in theory I should be maintaining.

Thank you so much for keeping us organized!


(Ryan Knight, UP Education Network) #5

Hi All,

Thanks for starting this. We use R quite a lot at UP. We also use some Python.

We have created several R packages to connect to databases / known flat files and return a well-structured response, which we use to make development faster. I would be happy to demo our approach if folks are interested.

Many of our packages are private because they include queries to databases, and the database provider could consider the field/table names private information. We have connections in either R or Python to Deanlist, Illuminate (private, through there is this), Aspen (private), Massachusetts state education site, and our own database.

I could probably make a very basic public R package to help folks connect to the SchoolZilla database R, if there is interest and if SZ is OK with it.

@shalvorson – Have you looked at janitor? It was created by a couple of Ed types to handle some similar data manipulation tasks to yours – some of your functions might make good contributions!

@jstewart – I haven’t found the Tableau / R integration to be very helpful. It’s usually easier to take the approach that you are taking, and doing your initial manipulation in R, then either using tabcmd to update extracts or load the result to your own DB for connecting in Tableau.

@amanda_gonzalez – Check out httr for connecting to APIs in R. It works really well for simple APIs. I use Python when I need better logging, exception handling, or complex json parsing than R offers, but for well-structured, reliable APIs it’s pretty simple to use R.

(Josh Carson, LEAD Public Schools) #6

Thanks for starting this conversation, everyone. I am definitely curious to learn more about R, and I would love to talk in person at Summit. I am an R novice, but I’m confident it could help me in my work. The resources and ideas shared so far are much appreciated.

(Jason Boots, Rocketship Education) #7

I would consider myself r-curious. We’ve had some debates about whether we should invest my time in R or Python. Rumors suggest that Python is more generalist and might encompass more uses, but I’d be happy to to hear some debate from data champions.

(Mariel Matze, Schoolzilla) #8

Awesome, let’s get together and trade notes at Summit! Looks like almost everyone’s already planning on coming; is there anyone who you think should join us who I haven’t looped in?

@rknight, are you coming to Summit this year? We’d be really sad to miss what sounds like a lot of R/Python wisdom. (If you are, just a friendly heads up that ticket prices are going up on 11/30. Registration link here. :slight_smile: )

(Mariel Matze, Schoolzilla) #9

Hi @jstewart, excellent question. You can use R with Tableau Desktop right now, but the Tableau Server component of Schoolzilla isn’t yet enabled. If that sounds like it’d be useful enough to a large enough group of folks, that feature could certainly be a good candidate for our roadmap.

What I’ll do is make sure there’s someone from Schoolzilla there to join us from a product feedback standpoint. That way, we can kick around ideas for what what you’re like to do with Tableau and R in conjunction and then go from there. How does that sound to you?

(Jonathan Stewart, Education for Change) #10

Sounds like a great first step!

(Ankeet Shah, Summit Public Schools) #11

Hi everyone,

I would definitely love to connect with others using R and Python at the Summit! I’d say I’m fairly beginner-level, but as I’ve been learning more about both, I’ve been trying to find ways to apply it more to our reporting and analytics.

Also, not sure if folks have seen this, but Tableau recently announced Python integration (in addition to their existing R integration):

Curious to see if anyone’s played with it?

@jboots I recently came across this article that compares R and Python. Hoping this helps?

(Mariel Matze, Schoolzilla) #12

Fantastic, this is exciting! I’ll ping each of you on this thread when we get closer to March so you can be sure to make a plan for meeting up.

Do not hesitate to post questions or resources in the meantime! (Has anyone explored the Tableau Python integration that @ashah mentioned?)

(Larry Jerome, KIPP DC) #13

I’d also love to updated about the R or Python training/meetup at summit.

(Anthony Nevico, Achievement First) #14

We previously leveraged R integrated with Tableau server (back in version 8) but the reports that used it leveraging some of the new functionality in Tab 9. Still use R for a little bit of ad-hoc data analysis (and built a couple of Shiny apps). We don’t have much running on R now (but still actively run/maintain some legacy SAS code). Would be interested if anyone is currently running python in tableau (don’t currently have a use case but could be really interesting).

From a new stuff perspective we’ve been toying with an the Ed-Fi ODS, and dabbling a little bit with Redshift/BigQuery. Not sure if any folks are using these tools, but if so would love to connect.

(Mariel Matze, Schoolzilla) #15

@anthonynevico, you sound like the perfect person to join this conversation at Summit! If someone else from Achievement First is attending instead, would you loop them in here so they can join us instead?-- I’m positive this group is going to want to hear more.

(Philip Jones, KIPP NYC) #16

We’re just starting to implement a few Python scripts so would be interested in joining this conversation as well!

(Mariel Matze, Schoolzilla) #17

As promised, here’s your ping for a meet-up at Summit. @shalvorson, @jstewart, @amanda_gonzalez, @josh_carson, @jboots, @ashah, @larry_jerome, @anthonynevico, and @pjones, how does meeting up in the Collaboration Cafe on Day 1 at 11:30am work?

Per Jonathan’s request, @scott is available to sit-in from the Schoolzilla side.

Let me know if I can help further. Otherwise, have fun!

(Mariel Matze, Schoolzilla) #18

@jane_hornickel , FYI

(Jonathan Stewart, Education for Change) #19

Mariel - Thanks for organizing! Works for me!

(Sven Halvorson, Santa Fe Public Schools) #20

w00t, I’ll put it on my calendar!