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The second meeting of the Wellington R-Users Group

Attention R-Users in Wellington:
We are very pleased to advise the presentation of the second meeting of the Wellington R-Users Group. The R-Users Group reflects the community of R-Users within the Wellington area and is about profiling the breadth of the R statistical programming language, assisting users with tips and techniques and supporting the increased use of the language within analytical work. Everybody is very welcome, there are no membership requirements or registration fees, but attendees are encouraged to sign up to the Group on the above website for regular updates.

Non-Alcoholic drinks and potato chips provided.
Please spread the word. 

Time Topic
5:30 - 5:40 Meet & Greet and Big Hello
5:40 - 6:25 Using R with Large Datasets
Who Dr. Lisa Chen and/or Glenn Thomas 

Focus R and ‘big data’ don’t always seem to be a good fit (at least for the community version of R) but there are situations when you just have to ‘make it work’. Actually, R can handle it much better than people anticipated. Come and listen to Lisa/Glenn for some practical tips, solutions and R packages which they have explored for a recent project that involved analysing (and making sense of) 15million + transactional records. The observed performance of some of those will be discussed. Insights from the audience who have had experience analysing large datasets in R are also welcome and encouraged for knowledge sharing. 

Biography Lisa and Glenn are working as statisticians at Harmonic Analytics. Lisa has 10 years of experience in using R and is also an R trainer. Glenn is an undergraduate Statistics and Finance student at the university of Auckland with a keen interest in using R. Both Lisa and Glenn have had experience with tackling big data issues in R from previous Harmonic projects. 

6:25 - 6:40 Tips and Tricks
Requests from Users Group Discussion PRIOR TO MEETING: Post Tips & Tricks Requests to

AT MEETING: Questions taken from floor 

6:40 - 6:50 Next R-Users Group Meeting
Next Presentation Topic Sweave/KnitR – James Stanley, Biostatistical Services, University of Otago, Wellington

Questions for Audience: what would they like the presenter to focus the presentation on? What would you like to know?

6:50 - 7:00 Update on R-Users Group Formation
1. Proposed Face to Face Meeting Frequency
2. Overlapping Meeting Format
3. Presentation Topics

Join or login to comment.

  • Peter E.

    Thanks for the talk Lisa. Were you using bigmemory on a Windows machine? I'm having trouble installing it - there's no .zip binary on CRAN, and when I try to install it from source I get "ERROR: Unix-only package". Searching the web shows a range of similar problems but no obvious solution.

    October 15, 2013

    • Lisa C.

      Hi Peter. Yes, I was using bigmemory on a Windows machine. The Windows binary is not available for this package so the best is for you to build from source.

      The 'bigmemory' package news on cran says "Windows support is temporarily suspended due to issues with the Boost headers', so it is better for you to use a (slightly) older version of 'bigmemory' package for now.

      So here is a potential solution for you:

      1) Download the package archive here (http://cran.r-project...­). I am currently using 'bigmemory_4.2.11.t­ar.gz'. 2) Download the development tool 'Rtools' for building R for Windows. Here is the link

      3) After installing 'Rtools', you can build the package from the source. Here is a link explaining how to do it. (Answer on the first reply by the author of 'Rtools')­

      Hope it helps.

      October 15, 2013

    • Peter E.

      Thanks, good tip to use an old version of the bigmemory source. I was able to install from source the old version [masked], July 2011) - the most recent one that didn't return a "unix only" error.

      October 15, 2013

  • Finlay T.

    Thanks for the great talk Lisa. Look forward to the next one.

    1 · October 11, 2013

    • Lisa C.

      Thanks Finlay. I am also looking forward to the next one.

      October 15, 2013

  • Jayden M.

    Thanks for a great talk with some good lessons and fantastic metrics!

    One thing you didn't touch on (I think) was performance improvement using solid-state HDD technology and how much performance improvement may be gained by combining the specific packages for big-data, e.g. is it worth investing in SSHDD for performance gain with R for big-data sets.

    I'll be looking forward to James Stanley's next talk.

    October 11, 2013

    • Lisa C.

      Interesting! Thanks for the comment Jayden.

      October 15, 2013

  • James H.

    Pretty good for the second meeting - this group is shaping up well. The technical ability of the audience was high. Good to know for future meetings.

    October 11, 2013

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