Even today, most of the companies use Microsoft Excel for storing their information. It is convenient, data is formatted in a tabular fashion, and needs no training as most of the employees know excel very well.
Excel files can be stored either as excel workbook.(.xls , .xlsx) or as Comma Separated values (.csv).
Before importing data into R, it would be helpful to set working directory where files are stored. This avoids providing the entire path for reading each file. It can be done using the following command
#knowing current working directory getwd() #setting a new working directory setwd("C:/...imaginary file path")
Notice the use of forward slash while providing working directory
Importing csv data into R
csv data can be read into a dataframe in R using the following command
mydata = read.csv('mydata.csv', header=TRUE)
Notice that as we have already set working directory, we need not provide the entire path where file is stored
Importing excel data into R
There are multiple packages to read excel data into R such as ‘xlsx’, ‘gdata’, ‘xlsReadWrite’ and the one which is illustrated here ‘readxl’
#install package readxl install.packages('readxl') #load package library(readxl) #read excel file (with .xls or .xlsx extension) into r dataframe mydata = read_exce('myfile.xlsx', sheet=1) #reading first sheet #for xls file replace .xlsx with .xls above
The advantage of ‘readxl’ package is that it has no external dependencies and is easy to install and use on all operating systems.