Recreational Data: Data Golf
I’m still hopeful of working up the idea of recreational data as a popular pastime activity with a regular column somewhere and a stocking filler book each Christmas (?!;-), but haven’t had much time to commit to working up some great examples lately:-(
However, here’s a neat idea – data golf – as described in a post by Bogumił Kamiński (RGolf) that I found via RBloggers:
There are many code golf sites, even some support R. However, most of them are algorithm oriented. A true RGolf competition should involve transforming a source data frame to some target format data frame.
So the challenge today will be to write a shortest code in R that performs a required data transformation
An example is then given of a data reshaping/transformation problem based on a real data task (wrangling survey data, converting it from a long to a wide format in the smallest amount of R.
Of course, R need not be the only language that can be used to play this game. For the course I’m currently writing, I think I’ll pitch data golf as a Python/pandas activity in the section on data shaping. OpenRefine also supports a certain number of reshaping transformations, so that’s another possible data golf course(?). As are spreadsheets. And so on…
Hmmm… thinks… pivot table golf?