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Is Python really supplanting R for data work?

27th Nov `13, 10:22 AM in Analytics

After years of chortling at those who could get worked up enough to launch flame wars over Windows…

BDMS
Guest Contributor
 

After years of chortling at those who could get worked up enough to launch flame wars over Windows vs. Mac vs. Linux or iOS vs. Android, I seem to be engaged in one of my own: Python vs. R.

Except this one isn’t quite the same, since we’re not arguing over which is better for data analysis (I’ve got no idea, since I know little Python beyond “Hello, world”) but which is more popular. And for that claim, sorry, I think some data is required.

It started with a piece headlined Python Displacing R As The Programming Language For Data Science. Now, if you’re not familiar with R, one of the most appealing things about it is its large community and thousands of add-on packages making it easier to do tasks ranging from analyzing your Twitter feed to creating interactive graphics. If R is going to be “displaced” for data work, meaning the community is likely to dwindle, that’s a pretty serious charge.

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