Launch of R Screencasts

16 May 2022

A great way to learn how to analyze data or improve the skills you have is to watch experienced people do it. It’s handy if you have experienced colleagues around you, but what if your colleagues are too busy to help coach you, you’re still trying to break into data analysis or are one of the many analysts now working remotely? It can be tricky to find good examples of someone doing a live analysis on new data and see how they approach it.

Luckily, thanks to a bunch of very generous people, I’m super excited about this new website I’ve JUST launched that’ll be a great help to many new and experienced analysts alike. 80 hours data analysis recordings. Annotated timestamps. Video, code and data freely available.

There’s a weekly data analysis challenge called Tidy Tuesday in which a new dataset is posted and everyone analyses it, sharing their results and R code. It’s a fun way to learn and improve your skill especially because you can see how other people got their results. 

A very experienced Data Scientist called David Robinson has recorded his Tidy Tuesday analyses and posted them on Youtube – well over 80 of them, each at about an hour long! Watching his screencasts is a fantastic way to see how someone approaches an analyses when it’s the first time they see the data. 

Perhaps showing even more dedication, Alex Cookson and Eric Fletcher have painstakingly gone through the recordings, timestamped and annotated them with a description of David’s activity and which packages and functions he’s used. Make no mistake, this is an incredible amount of work. They captured everything in this publicly available google sheet

Based off my experience in generating website content from a spreadsheet for Big Book of R, and wanting to try build a website with Quarto (next generation of rmarkdown), I put everything together to create Now you can more easily navigate the screencasts, the individual timestamps, packages, functions and all via a searchable web interface. Using Quarto was easier than I expected (I’ve never used blogdown or distill before) and thanks to chat with Gavin Masterson (twitter)who has tried it, I felt confident enough to give it a go. 

A small hope of mine is that someone sees this and feels inspired to timestamp and annotate all of Julia Silge’s screencasts. If you do and can use the same format as the David Robinson timestamps, then let me know and we can update this site with her screencasts too  – that’d be REALLY amazing. 

I hope you find useful and as always, if you have any feedback I’m eager to hear it. 

If you’ve found RScreencasts useful, you might also like this blogpost:

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