August 23, 2021

Parameterized RMarkdown is Amazing

Parameterized R Markdown A while back, I learned that you can parameterize markdown. You can send it something to process as argument. This is amazing. Let me show an example. First, I want to build an RMarkdown file. In RStudio, that is File > New file > R Markdown. We will need to add a bit of metadata to the top. The key component is the params: argument. I want to pass a ticker with a default option.

November 25, 2020

Socrata is amazingly handy for open data

The Socrata package makes it easy to access API calls built around SODA for open data access. If you try to skip the Socrata part, you usually only get a fraction of the available data. Socrata is intended to make open access data easier to manage and many government entities in the US use it as the portal to public data access. The R package makes interfacing with it much easier.

October 19, 2020

Datasaurus Dozen

The datasaurus dozen The datasaurus dozen is a fantastic teaching resource for examining the importance of data visualization. Let’s have a look. The basic idea is that all thirteen (datasaurus plus 12) contain nearly identical means and standard deviations though they do vary if the five number summaries are deployed. The scatterplots that are derived from data with similar x-y summaries is a useful reminder that data science is about patterns, not just statistics.

October 19, 2020

TT: Beyoncé and Taylor Swift Lyrics

tidyTuesday: Beyoncé and Taylor Swift Lyrics tidyTuesday for the final week of September 2020 is based on the music of Beyoncé and Taylor Swift. To be honest, I do not know either artist well so I will pick Beyoncé and look at her lyrics. The raw data are organized as a rather typical text file though there is some underlying tidyness to the rows and songs as embedded data to work with.

September 15, 2020

tT: Spending on Kids

Spending on Kids The Urban Institute has a collection of data on government spending on children. The tidyTuesday page links to some of their commentary and to an article from Governing on the subject. The data are rich and interesting and are conveniently packaged into the tidykids package for R. My goal is to combine geofacets with animation to produce an animation of education spending over time by US states and territories.

May 28, 2020


This week’s tidyTuesday contains data on cocktails with data from cocktail recipes drawn from two sources. Because one of the datasets comes from Mr. Boston, it is not exactly neutral with respect to alcohols and I am not a particular fan of gin. That said, the data should provide an interesting playground for looking at some frequencies and learning some things about cocktail recipes and ingredients. With that in mind, let turn to the data.

May 1, 2020

Non-Profits in Oregon: Socrata is Cool

Socrata: The Open Data Portal I did not previously know much about precisely how open data portals had evolved. Oregon’s is quite nice and I will take the opportunity to map and summarise non-profits throughout the state. I have posted elsewhere about other aspects of Socrata; it is a very neat tool for accessing open data portals. The non-profit data is not extraordinarily rich though there is quite a bit that can be extracted.