Simple Interactive Framework for Exploring Data in R

Simple Interactive Framework for Exploring Data in R

This article describes how create easily an interactive web framework for exploring data in R using the datadigest package.

This tool provides a concise summary of every variable in a data frame and includes interactive features such as real-time filters, grouping, and highlighting.

This might be very helpful in exploring clinical trial data.

Required R packages and key functions

Load the datadigest package:


Key R functions

#Summarize a single file
codebook(data = airquality)

# Explore multiple files
explorer(data = list(Cars = mtcars, Iris = iris), addEnv = FALSE)

# Run a shiny application
# Makes it possible to upload files

Explore interactively a data table

The main view available in the framework, include:

  • Shows a concise summary for each variable in the loaded data set.
  • Users can click any variable to see additional details.
  • Appropriate summary statistics, frequency tables and charts are provided.
  • Histograms with box plots are drawn for continuous variables and bar charts for categorical variables. Variable level metadata is also shown beneath the chart if provided by the user.
  • Provides a simple tabular output so that the user can interact with the raw data.
  • The listing is exportable, sortable and searchable.
  • Lets users customize labels, hide variables and specify which columns should be used as interactive groups and filters.
  • Create simple bivariate data visualizations.
  • The system automatically uses an appropriate visualization based on the types of the x and y variables selected.


Comments ( 2 )

  • Tester

    Thanks for this!
    Datadigest is a Great R pkg!.

    The only thing that doesn’t work (for me),
    is when you specify a “Group by” variable
    in the top menu of Codebook.

    It shows the message:
    “…Stack exceeded…”.

    It always works ok
    if the “Group by” menu option
    is set to: “None” (the default option).

    the menu option: “None” always works,
    but choosing any other variable gives the error message.

    – can you please include a simple example
    (say, with mtcars),
    using the “Group by” option?.

    *** THANKS!!! ***

    • Kassambara

      It works for me! In the example, above, you can choose Group By Month, and it works.

      Make sure you have the latest datadigest version.

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