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Software for Data Analysis: R

Recommended resources (online tutorials and books) for social science data analysis, complied by software packages and level of proficiency.

NUIT R User Group

NUIT Research Computing sponsors a university-wide R User Group.  The group welcomes members of the Northwestern community using, or interested in using, the R statistical computing environment. All experience levels are welcome.  Anyone interested in the group should subscribe to the group listserv.

The R User Group is open to all levels of experience, but the group won't be teaching members how to use R. If you're looking to learn R or improve your skills, review the tutorials linked below or review the Software Workshops tab of this guide or Safari Books Online.

Safari Books Online - brings you ebooks and videos from 200+ respected publishers, including O’Reilly, Pearson, Wiley, Packt, Harvard Business Review, and Wharton Digital Press. NOTE: Users must register with a Northwestern email address.

Why R?

Why R?

Free! Flexbile!

R is free to download and use, and all the codes are open.  At the same time, the users can easily add their own programs (once they get familiar with statistics and programming).

Where to Find R?

Download a copy of R here for you own PC. R is installed on every public PC in the library and computer lab (link to software lists). 

A suggestion is to download R Studio, a free R integrated development environment (IDE) as well. R Studio provides a GUI interface that can make R more user friendly. Get that here.

R is also available through NUworkspace, which offers users a Windows virtual desktop with a suite of software applications for University work. Accounts are available upon request to eligible faculty, staff and students.

Finding Data

Where to find the data for your analysis?

Make an Appointment

Set up an appointment to meet with Social Science Data Services staff to discuss your research and learn about one, or more, of the following:

  • what data is available
  • data formatting for analysis
  • using software to analyze data
  • data visualizations


Online Tutorials

Recommended Books

Subject Guide

Anne Zald's picture
Anne Zald
Anne Zald
Subjects: Government Information; Social Science Data; Regulatory Compliance
Main Library Room 1214
Northwestern University Library
1970 Campus Drive
Evanston, IL 60208
Skype Contact: anne.zald