Advanced Analytics with R and Tableau

3 (3 reviews total)
By Jen Stirrup , Ruben Oliva Ramos
    What do you get with a Packt Subscription?

  • Instant access to this title and 7,500+ eBooks & Videos
  • Constantly updated with 100+ new titles each month
  • Breadth and depth in over 1,000+ technologies
  1. Free Chapter
    Advanced Analytics with R and Tableau

About this book

Tableau and R offer accessible analytics by allowing a combination of easy-to-use data visualization along with industry-standard, robust statistical computation.

Moving from data visualization into deeper, more advanced analytics? This book will intensify data skills for data viz-savvy users who want to move into analytics and data science in order to enhance their businesses by harnessing the analytical power of R and the stunning visualization capabilities of Tableau. Readers will come across a wide range of machine learning algorithms and learn how descriptive, prescriptive, predictive, and visually appealing analytical solutions can be designed with R and Tableau. In order to maximize learning, hands-on examples will ease the transition from being a data-savvy user to a data analyst using sound statistical tools to perform advanced analytics.

By the end of this book, you will get to grips with advanced calculations in R and Tableau for analytics and prediction with the help of use cases and hands-on examples.

Publication date:
August 2017
Publisher
Packt
Pages
178
ISBN
9781786460110

 

Chapter 1. Advanced Analytics with R and Tableau

Moving from data visualization into deeper, more advanced analytics? This book will intensify data skills for a data-savvy user who wants to move into analytics and data science in order to make a difference to their businesses, by harnessing the analytical power of R and the stunning visualization capabilities of Tableau.

Together, Tableau and R offer accessible analytics by allowing a combination of easy-to-use data visualization along with industry-standard, robust statistical computation. Readers will come across a wide range of machine learning algorithms and learn how descriptive, prescriptive, and predictive visually appealing analytical solutions can be designed solutions with R and Tableau.

Let's get ready to start our transition from being a data-savvy user to a data analyst using sound statistical tools to perform advanced analytics. To do this, we need to get the tools ready. In this topic, we will commence our journey of conducting Tableau analytics with the industry-standard, statistical prowess of R. As the first step on our journey, we will cover the installation of R, including key points about ensuring the right bitness before we start. In order to create R scripts easily, we will install RStudio for ease of use.

We need to get R and Tableau to communicate, and to achieve this communication, we will install and configure Rserve.

 

Installing R for Windows


The following steps shows how to download and install R on windows:

  1. The first step is to download your required version of R from the CRAN website [http://www.rproject.org/].

  2. Go to the official R website, which you can find at https://www.r-project.org/.

  3. The download link can be found on the left-hand side of the page.

  4. The next option is for you to choose the location of the server that holds R. The best option is to choose the mirror that is geographically closest to you. For example, if you are based in the UK, then you might choose the mirror that is located in Bristol.

  5. Once you click on the link, there is a section at the top of the page called Download and Install R. There is a different link for each operating system. To download the Windows-specific version of R, there is a link that specifies Download R for Windows. When you click on it, the download links will appear on the next page to download R.

  6. On the next page, there are a number of options, but it is easier to select the option that specifies install R for the first time.

  7. Finally, there is an option at the top of the page that allows you to download the latest R installation package. The install package is wrapped up in an EXE file, and both 32 bit and 64 bit options are wrapped up in the same file.

    Now that R is downloaded, the next step is to install R. The instructions are given here:

  8. Double-click on the R executable file, and select the language. In this example, we will use English. Choose your preferred language, and click OK to proceed:

  9. The Welcome page will appear, and you should click Next to continue:

  10. The next item is the general license agreement. Click Next to continue:

  11. The next step is to specify the destination location for R's files. In this example, the default is selected. Once the destination has been selected, click Next to proceed:

  12. In the next step, the components of R are configured. If you have a 32-bit machine, then you will need to select the 32-bit option from the drop-down list.

  13. In the next screenshot, the 64-bit User Installation option has been selected:

  14. The next option is to customize the startup options. Here, the default is selected. Click Next to continue.

  15. The next option is to select the Start Menu folder configuration. Select the default, and click Next:

  16. Next, it's possible to configure some of R's options, such as the creation of a desktop icon. Here, let's choose the default options and click Next:

  17. In the next step, the R files are copied to the computer. This step should only take a few moments:

  18. Finally, R is installed, and you should receive a final window. Click Finish:

  19. Once completed, launch RGui from the shortcut, or you can locate RGui.exe from your installation path. The default path for Windows is C:\Program Files\R\R- 2.15.1\bin\x64\Rgui.exe.

  20. Type help.start() at the R-Console prompt and press Enter. If you can see the help server page then you have successfully installed and configured your R package.

 

RStudio


The R interface is not particularly intuitive for beginners. For this reason, RStudio IDE, the desktop version, is an excellent option for interacting with R. The download and installation sequence is provided.

There are two versions; the RStudio Desktop version, and the paid RStudio Server version. In this book, we will focus on the RStudio Desktop IDE option, which is open source.

Prerequisites for RStudio installation

In this section, RStudio IDE is installed on the Windows 10 operating system:

  1. To download RStudio, you can retrieve it from https://www.rstudio.com/products/rstudio-desktop/.

  2. Once you have downloaded RStudio, double-click on the file to start the installation. This will display the RStudio Setup and Welcome page. Click Next to continue:

  3. The next option allows the user to configure the installation location for RStudio. Here, the default option has been retained. If you do change the location, you can click Browse to select your preferred installation folder. Once you've selected your folder, click Next to continue to the next step.

  4. In the next step, RStudio shortcuts are specified. Click on Install to proceed:

  5. RStudio installs in the next step:

  6. Once completed, launch RStudio IDE. You can find it by navigating to Start | All Programs | RStudio | RStudio.exe. Alternatively, you can type RStudio into the Cortana search box. If you specified a custom installation directory, then you can find RStudio as an EXE file. The default installation directory for RStudio IDE is C:\Program Files\RStudio\bin\rstudio.exe.

  7. Type help.start() at the RStudio prompt and press Enter. If you can see the help files on the screen then you have successfully installed and configured RStudio IDE to run with R.

 

Implementing the scripts for the book


Now that we have installed R and RStudio, we can download and install the scripts for this book. This book's scripts and code can be found on GitHub. If the reader hasn't got a free GitHub account, then it's recommended that Git and GitHub are set up. It's good practice for storing your own R scripts at a later date. If required, the reader is referred to the GitHub site for more details. GitHub itself can be found at github.com. Training material can be found at https://training.github.com/kit/.

After setting up Git and GitHub, you can download our data and scripts by taking a copy of this book's GitHub repository. Simply put, a fork is a copy of a repository, and it means that you can freely experiment with changes without affecting the original project. Please refer to the GitHub training material for more information on how to fork a repository, download data and scripts, and how to keep your local copy in sync with changes to the repository.

Note

Go to the GitHub repo at https://github.com/datarelish/Advanced-AnalyticsRandTableauBook.

At the top right-hand corner of the page, click Fork. This means you have forked the repository. The next step is to download the files to your local computer. To do this, you can run the following line of code in your Git Bash:

Testing the scripting

Before we proceed, let's proceed to run a script to test that our setup works:

  1. Open the script in RStudio's script editor.

  2. Go to the Code menu item.

  3. Choose Source from the menu.

  4. Navigate to the Packt Tableau and R Book Setup.r file.

  5. Press Ctrl + A to select the whole script.

  6. In the script window, click Run.

  7. You should see the results in the output window.

 

Tableau and R connectivity using Rserve


Rserve is a server that allows applications to access R functionality. It allows you to use a series of functions to pass R expressions to an Rserve server and obtain a result.

If you upload a workbook that contains R functionality to the Tableau server, then the Tableau server must have a connection to an Rserve server. See R Connection, in the Tableau Desktop help, for details.

R is not supported for Tableau Reader or Tableau Online.

In this section, we will install, run, and configure Rserve.

Installing Rserve

To install and run Rserve, follow these steps:

  1. Open RStudio and go to the Install Packages tab on the interface.

  2. In the Packages textbox, type Rserve and click OK.

  3. Rserve will install, and you will see the output messages in the RStudio Console. When it is finished, you will see the chevron again.

  4. Now, open Control Panel on the server, and search for environment variable in the search box.

  5. Click on the Edit the System Environment Variables option.

  6. Add a new variable to the PATH variable path. Add the directory containing R.dll to your path environment variable. For example, C:\Program Files\R\R-3.0.2\bin\x64.

  7. You should see the new path in the Edit Environment Variable window. You can see a sample image here:

  8. Click OK.

Let's check that Rserve is running properly:

In RStudio, let's call Rserve by running the following command in the RStudio Console:

library(Rserve)

Configuring an Rserve Connection

To configure an Rserve connection, follow these steps:

  1. On the Help menu in Tableau Desktop, choose Settings and Performance | Manage R Connection to open the Rserve connection dialog box.

  2. Enter or select a server name using a domain name or an IP address.

  3. Specify a port (Port 6311) is the default port for Rserve servers.

  4. If the server requires credentials, specify a username and password.

  5. Click Test Connection.

  6. Click OK.

 

Summary


In this chapter, we started on our journey of conducting Tableau analytics with the industry-standard, statistical prowess of R. In this chapter, we covered the installation of R, including a key point about ensuring the right bitness before we start. We also installed RStudio and ran a script, as a way of engaging with R. Finally, we installed and configured Rserve for Tableau.

In our next chapter, we will learn more about the underlying data structures of R so that we can make use of the analytic power of Tableau and R more effectively.

About the Authors

  • Jen Stirrup

    Jen Stirrup is a data strategist and technologist, a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP), and a Microsoft Regional Director, a tech community advocate, a public speaker and blogger, a published author, and a keynote speaker. Jen is the founder of a boutique consultancy based in the UK, Data Relish, which focuses on delivering successful business intelligence and artificial intelligence solutions that add real value to customers worldwide. She has featured on the BBC as a guest expert on topics relating to data.

    Browse publications by this author
  • Ruben Oliva Ramos

    Ruben Oliva Ramos is a computer systems engineer from Tecnologico de Leon Institute, with a master's degree in computer and electronic systems engineering and a specialization in teleinformatics and networking from the University of Salle Bajio in Leon, Guanajuato, Mexico. He has more than 5 years of experience of developing web applications to control and monitor devices connected with Arduino and Raspberry Pi, using web frameworks and cloud services to build the Internet of Things applications. He is a mechatronics teacher at the University of Salle Bajio and teaches students of the master's degree in design and engineering of mechatronics systems. Ruben also works at Centro de Bachillerato Tecnologico Industrial 225 teaching subjects such as electronics, robotics and control, automation, and microcontrollers. He is a consultant and developer for projects in areas such as monitoring systems and datalogger data using technologies (such as Android, iOS, HTML5, and ASP.NET), databases (such as SQlite, MongoDB, and MySQL), web servers, hardware programming, and control and monitor systems for data acquisition and programming.

    Browse publications by this author

Latest Reviews

(3 reviews total)
Book is not very well written and contains conceptual errors - eg what they describe as multiple regression (in getting started with multiple regression) is actually logistic regression. The book does however provide more understanding than the video.
it doesn't work as expected or as advertised...
very good would buy again
Advanced Analytics with R and Tableau
Unlock this book and the full library FREE for 7 days
Start now