Thursday, March 24, 2011
Growth of R users
In 2005 I was asked to determine he number of R users. It was like chasing ghosts. I could find lots of articles and posts about the explosive growth of R, but no numbers and no hard data. Finally I ran across a thread from some statisticians trying to determine the same thing in 2002. Their solution was to build a predictor model based on the number of unique user posts on Rhelp. I liked it, and it was the only rational idea I had seen on how to come to the total number of R users. I adopted their model and extended it until 2006. I ended up with an estimate of roughly one million users and never really revisited the subject. Lately I have seen more and more discussions about the number of R users. I loved the paper by Robert Muechen recently posted on r4stats. Robert tries to determine the popularity of various analytics packages. His paper made me think that the most important measure of the various packages may not be the number of users or even the popularity of the package, but rather the amount of analytics done in that package. Anyway in my current job no one asks me about this topic, but I still find it interesting.