R has been the perfect language for the back end of this government data dashboard I am developing.
- It has excellent packages to pipe in data from every significant source
- Tools like dplyr and tidyr make cleaning and munging data trivial
- It is ideal for automating analysis
In the R script that powers my dashboard, I have everything from simple averages and frequency tables, to a complex algorithm that converts timeseries figures to Z-Scores and then selects the top 3 variables to display based on standard scores from the last 7 days. (Today that happens to include an uptick in reports of dead animals on the streets and sidewalks, which is disgusting but useful to know).
This blogpost describes the technical details, and the dashboard’s repository is here.