How do R and Power BI fit together?
Technically, it is about munging data around between R and Excel and the Power BI components.
You can use RODBC to connect to data between R and SQL Server, or R and Excel. Alternatively you can import data in.
Why else might you use R?
- Pivot Tables are not always enough
- Scaling Data (ScaleR)
- R is very good at static data visualisation but Power BI and Excel are very good at dynamic data visualisation
- You want to double check your results or do further analysis
They complement one another; they do not replace one another.
You may have heard my story about one organisation calculating the median incorrectly.
The truth is, people don't often check their data. I help design data warehouses all the time, and I don't always hear people talk about reconciliation. I do hear about people racking up SSAS and diving straight in.
Just because something works technically, does not mean it is correct.
Upworthy and Facebook use R. A lot. So why not you? It is achievable.
Why R, and not some other package?
- R most widely used data analysis software - used by 2M + data scientist, statisticians and analysts
- Most powerful statistical programming language
- used with RStudio, it can help you for the purposes of productivity
- Create beautiful and unique data visualisations - as seen in New York Times, Twitter and Flowing Data
- Thriving open-source community - leading edge of analytics research
- Fills the talent gap - new graduates prefer R.
- It's fun!
Excel is used by an estimated 1.3 billion people on the planet. That sounds really impressive, until you think that many people are often using it wrong!
R just helps you to do that double check, the sanity check, to see if your data is correct.