Saving time with integration of data processing and reporting

Reporting on processed data can become tedious. Imagine having produced twenty graphs from (processed) measurement data. When looking at the graphs the other day, it occurs to you that the colors are indistinguishable for color blind people. Thus you need to produce those twenty graphs a second time. Just because of the colors. You could save yourself from this extra work, when you integrate data processing and reporting.

Integration of data processing and reporting reduces not only the work needed for a color error, but also in case of more serious mistakes in for example calculations. […] Another example: you have discovered an error in the calculations you performed for the processing of experiments 10 to 15. Now, you have to check whether other experiments also suffered from this error. Then, you have to recalculate all affected data and create the resulting graphs again. You have to insert these graphs once more in your report. This comes with all the risk of new errors, such as mixing up experiments. A dynamic link between your data processing and reporting ensures quick reprocessing of the data and painless typesetting of the processed data in your report. 

R integrates data processing with LyX and LaTeX

R is a free and open source data processing system that integrates nicely with LyX and LaTeX. R has grown from a statistics package into a programming language that can be used for all kinds of data processing, calculations and visualizations. A lot of packages have been contributed to R. 

Set your Text offers a method to seamlessly integrate output from R into your report made in LyX & LaTeX. All graphics can retain vectors and are dynamically regenerated when necessary. Choosing a workflow with R and LaTeX brings some other advantages:

  • data processing is transparant and thus reproducible
  • redundancy, and thus the risk of errors, is reduced
  • excellent visual quality of graphs

From sequential to parallel data processing and reporting

A scientist collects and processes data typically before writing a report. The author inserts output data mostly only at the time of writing a thesis or article. There is no dynamic connection between the output data and the data processing system(s). Thus, calculation changes or new data necessitate another labor-intensive round of graph generation. All output data such as tables and graphs needs to be inserted in the report, again. 

Not so when you integrate data processing and reporting, using for example R, LyX and LaTeX. Then you can easily correct errors, change calculations or add new data without much manual efforts for changing your report. Set your Text can help you with that. See for an example report in pdf the blog post “Graphing nitrogen dioxide air concentration data”. 

Set your Text offers tools for efficient data processing with R

A course or consultation with Set your Text enables you to switch to more efficient data processing with R. Please get in touch for a talk on the options available. 

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