You’ve probably heard of R, the statistical software package, but are you aware of all its benefits? I’m going to briefly outline the main advantages of R, with a focus on how it can help you clean up and sort all that messy data that threatens to disrupt your research project if not dealt with properly (as well as give you a major headache!).
The internet represents a vast and ever expanding source of social science data. Some of these data are well curated and easily downloadable, but much of these data are “hidden in plain sight”. An increasingly important tool in the social scientist’s toolkit is the ability to automatically collect data from the internet – a process commonly referred to as web scraping. Here’s a bitesize look at web scraping.