2009-10-13

RExcel

I am not a fan of MS Windows software. However, the reality is that majority of people use it and it is often easier for me to live with this than to convert the sorounding souls. Additionally I am find ing out lately that majority of my favourite open-source programs work on all major platforms: MS Windows, Mac, and UNIX/Linux. Then there is no problem for me to work on any of these systems. MS Excel tool is similarly very widely used by mases, but not really powerfull when it comes to data analysis. However, we must admit that it is jolly usefull for handling medium sized data and that majority of people perform analyses with Excel. For those that can not live without Excel and have some working knowledge of R I suggest to take a look at the RExcel and its demo video (28 min!). It seems to be very nicely integrated - Excel keeps tracks of all the dependencies, while R takes care of the computations. Of course you can do the same stuff in R, by reruning the script for each change, but the interactivity offered by the Excel has its own merit. Regarding the quality of graphics it is obvious that Excel plots can not match with R. But if you need some interactivity (imagine you would like to study the effect of a particular parameter on distribution density), then Excel plots are good enough.

5 comments:

romunov said...

I read recently that anayses performed in Excel are indeed questionable (at best). Did you know that our health institutions are moving to Open Office? I received a file from a nurse a few months ago in .ods format.

Gregor Gorjanc said...

Yes, Excel's accuarcy is questionable as I have bloged here. It is nice that Open Office is catching up, but I am still surprised that it is not catching faster. Finnaly, RExcel developers also have a package that works with OpenOffice!

Tal Galili said...

Hello Gregor,
I am trying to contact you so to ask to add your blog to:
http://www.r-bloggers.com/

I wrote more about it on:
http://www.mail-archive.com/r-help@r-project.org/msg78301.html

And my e-mail is: tal.galili@gmail.com

(Sorry for leaving a comment istead of e-mailing, but I can't seem to find your e-mail on this blog)

Please let me know,
Best,
Tal

gk405 said...

quick question to Gregor: Does the new excel 2011 on mac have full compatibility with RExcel. I heard that the macros are back in Excel 2011 for Mac and I am considering switching to mac.

Gregor Gorjanc (gg) said...

No idea. You will have to contact RExcel people.