What is the best way to share the results of an analysis that you’ve made in R? [Excel -> R Meetup Q&A]

A Question from the meetup, Meetup: Making the Shift from Excel to R: Perspectives from the back-office

What is the best way to share the results of an analysis that you’ve made in R?

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I like to send it via html; this is the easiest for me at the current moment. There’s often a lot of requests to put it back into Excel and I try to fight that as much as I can. I have the leverage to be able to do that now. I like sending it as html because when it shows up as a website, people find it a lot more dazzling.

It depends on what you want the audience to do, and how much time you think they will have to interact with your results. If you think the audience should interact with the data and analysis then a shiny app seems like a good choice. It provides some flexibility, yet also some focus. If you want the focus to be only on your message then PowerPoint is great. At the other extreme, put the data on a common server, and give them the R code and a read me file. They can run the program to get the analysis, graphics, and tables and they can modify it as they may need. I might go this route if the audience was another group of data scientists. It also depends on if you will be there to walk through the analysis and results or if this is a static report that is sent off somewhere. In general, data sets with many variables and many replicates present opportunities for a wider range of analysis possibilities and (at least the data scientists) will like the option of exploring some of the opportunities that you did not have time to cover in your presentation. I would also have to ask if the audience can use R, or if you are the only one. The key is communication, and if everyone else is locked into Excel, then Excel might still be the most effective communication tool. In that case I might use Excel for the key message, and include some flashy graphics to show that there is more to life than Excel.

Tony's answer: I can add that in Dow, at this point with the pro RStudio, we share everything in RStudio Connect. If I have to communicate with a team, I just make a Shiny app. It takes an hour for me to do so and is so much more effective for me than sending out an html that they’re not familiar with. I found that shiny apps completely change how you can communicate to a team. If I need to, I will knit a PDF and send them that.

I tend to knit analyis in R using Rmd and share it on my rpubs if its a personal project and ok to share with public , else we use RSConnect for sharing internally at work. I could also knit it to pdf and I have also recently learnt to make presentations right from my analysis in Rmd file, which comes very handy for presenting purposes. The presentation was then converted to pdf and shared with the audience as it is on slack.