Desktop Survival Guide
by Graham Williams

Loading Data

Data can be sourced from many diverse repositories. Data is often stored today in relational databases like Oracle, MySQL, and SQLite, and accessed by the structured query language (SQL). Our source data might alternatively be be stored in systems like SAS or Stata and many other alternative proprietary systems. Many such systems provide access to the data in a number of forms and have particularly well tuned and efficient procedures for accessing the data. Such access is fine for many applications, but the user tends to be limited to the functionality provided by the particular application environment.

R provides a wealth of tools for importing data. In this section we overview the functions used to access common data formats. For a more complete exposition see ().

Data warehouses

OLTP systems such as billing systems

Special databases, such as marketing and sales

Excel, Access

Flat files

External data sources, e.g., demographic data, market survey data

Describe output variable and input variables.

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