PMean: Measuring pixels in an R graph

I have an R cheat sheet, How Big Is Your Graph, that explains how to measure the size of various features of your graph in R. This blog post illustrates unit conversions. If you want to measure the length of a diagonal line segment in an R graph, you need to calculate the size of the plotting region in pixels, compare that to the range of the plotting region in the x and y directions, and then apply the Pythagorean Theorem. Continue reading

PMean: Independent consulting and the cold call

There’s been some more discussion about getting started as an independent statistical consultant. One person is ready to hang their shingle and proposes to “find a niche I can serve, contact companies in that niche, etc.” but didn’t know what that niche might be. I had one cautionary comment and then discussed finding your niche. Continue reading

PMean: What do you hate most about independent consulting

Someone on the Statistical Consulting forum mentioned that she is going to become an independent consultant when she graduates and wanted to find out from people who are currently in that position what the one thing is that they hate most. This email drew a lot of responses including several people who cautioned this women about the difficulties for a young person to become an independent consultant. Here are the thoughts I shared on the thing I hate most and what the issues are with embarking out on your own as an independent consulting early in your career. Continue reading

Recommended: Where Do You Run Your R Scripts?

I’m an experienced R programmer trying to learn a little about SQL. One of my good friends who lives totally in the database world (I call her the Teradata Queen), shared a link to a blog post at SQLServerCentral about using R. Microsoft is including R in its SQL Server distribution, so this is an opportunity for a lot of interesting work combining the data manipulation power of SQL Server with the data analysis power of R. Anyway, the blog post explains some of the cost and performance issues associated with R scripts running on a SQL Server CPU. Continue reading

Recommended: Oracle Dates and Times

I’m working with R and SQL, and some of the work uses SQLite, and some of the work uses Oracle. There are subtle differences between the two, and for that matter between any two database programs. While there are SQL standards, most packages have minor deviations, or enhancements. Dates in Oracle represent one deviation. In particular, Oracle does not use the ISO 8601 standard date format (yyyy-mm-dd) by default. Here’s a nice overview of how to work with Oracle dates. Continue reading