Workshop Recap: Introduction to Programming and Data Analysis with R

On April 10th and 11th, The Methods Lab organized the second edition of the workshop Introduction to Programming and Data Analysis with R. Led by Roland Toth from the Methods Lab, the workshop was designed to equip participants with fundamental R programming skills essential for data wrangling and analysis.

Across two days, attendees engaged in a comprehensive exploration of R fundamentals, covering topics such as RStudio, Markdown, data wrangling, and practical data analysis. Day one focused on laying the groundwork, covering the main concepts in programming including functions, classes, objects, and vectors. Participants were also familiarized with Markdown and Quarto, enabling them to include analysis results while producing text, and the key steps and techniques of data wrangling.

The first half of the second day was dedicated to showcasing and exploring basic data analysis and various visualization methods. Afterwards, participants had the opportunity to put into practice the knowledge they had gained from the previous day by working with a dataset to formulate and address their own research questions. Roland was on hand to offer assistance and guidance to the participants, addressing any challenges or concerns that arose along the journey.

The workshop fostered a collaborative learning environment, with lively discussions and ample questions from all. We thank all participants for their active involvement!

Workshop: Introduction to Programming and Data Analysis with R (April 10-11, 2024)

Level: Beginner/Intermediate
Category: Data Analysis

After being well received last year, we’re happy to announce the return of our workshop Programming and Data Analysis with R for its second edition. This two-day intensive workshop led by Roland Toth (WI) will take place on Wednesday, April 10, and Thursday, April 11, at the Weizenbaum Institute.

During the first day, attendees will receive comprehensive training in programming fundamentals, essential data wrangling techniques, and Markdown integration. The second day will center around data analysis, providing participants with the chance to engage directly with a dataset and address a research topic independently. A blend of concepts, coding techniques, and smaller practical tasks will be interspersed throughout both days to reinforce hands-on learning.

For more information, check out the program page!

Workshop Recap: Introduction to Programming and Data Analysis with R

From March 29-30, the Methods Lab organized a workshop on the use of the programming language R for working with data, led by Roland Toth. The focus was on the main principles of programming in order to understand what is happening under the hood when working with data.

Day 1 focused on the advantages of using a programming language to work with data over dedicated software such as SPSS or Stata. In the course of this, the most important principles of programming in a research context, such as functions, classes, objects, vectors, and data frames were covered. Before going into the specific tasks in the context of data analysis, the markup language Markdown in combination with R was first introduced. This allows data analyses to be not only performed, but also reported in a directly reproducible and seamlessly interrelated manner, so that entire research papers can be written using R and Markdown. The day concluded by covering the key steps and techniques in data wrangling and performing calculations of typical descriptive and inferential statistical measures, tests, and models. At the end of each section of the day, there were small tasks to be solved by the participants to apply what they had learned.

On Day 2, the data analysis section was wrapped up with a demonstration of numerous visualization methods. This was followed by a longer section in which participants were allowed to think about their own research question based on a freely available data set from the European Social Survey (ESS) and answer it in R using all the techniques they had learned. They were supported by the workshop leader, since at the beginning of working with a programming language there are often many small, unforeseen problems that can quickly lead to frustration without prior experience. Lastly, an outlook was given on what techniques and packages to familiarize oneself with once beginning to dive deeper into data analysis in R and programming in general (for example, custom functions, loops, and pipes). The workshop was concluded with a Q&A where remaining questions could be asked.

For the purpose of optimizing the training offered by the Methods Lab, a short, anonymous evaluation was conducted at the very end of the workshop. Thankfully, the participants were very satisfied with the workshop throughout and only commented that more frequent and smaller tasks might have been even better. Although this is in parts difficult to reconcile with the concept of the workshop, this feedback is appreciated and will be used to improve future offerings in this regard.

The Methods Lab would like to thank all participants for their participation and commitment and hopes that the skills learned will be of benefit to them in future research projects and other application scenarios.

Workshop: Introduction to Programming and Data Analysis with R (March 29-30, 2023)

Our second workshop, Programming and Data Analysis with R, will be held on March 29 and 30 at the Institute.

During the first day of the workshop, Roland Toth (WI) will introduce and establish the fundamentals of programming in R/R Studio, combining it with Markdown. Building of the first, the second day will be dedicated to applying this knowledge to data analysis and working on a custom research question. No previous experience is necessary.

You can find more information about the workshop on its program page.