A programming language provides great flexibility and power because it can be used to control the computer hardware, including accessing data from mass storage, processing data values within RAM, and displaying data on screen.

R is a good programming language for working with data because it is relatively easy to learn and it provides many tools for processing data.

A data structure is the format in which a collection of data values is stored together within RAM. The basic data structures in R are vectors, matrices, data frames, and lists.

Standard data processing tasks include: reading data from external files into RAM; extracting subsets of data; sorting, transforming, aggregating, and reshaping data structures; searching and reformatting text data; and formatting data for display on screen.

Paul Murrell

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