Jeffrey Breen just gave a talk entitled “Tapping the Data Deluge with R” to the Boston Predictive Analytics Meetup. He suggests there are two types of data in this world

  1. Data you have, and

  2. Data you don’t have…yet.

In the talk Jeffrey provided a nice overview of several methods for importing data into R, including:

  • Reading CSV files

  • Reading XLS files

  • Reading data formats from other statistics packages (e.g., SPSS, Stata, etc.)

  • Reading email data

  • Reading online data files

  • Web scraping data

  • Using APIs to access data

He also touches on some of the R packages that are useful for adding supplementary data to enrich an analysis (e.g., zipcode).