The ability to export data is a vital function in any analytics routine. There might be a large dataset that you have managed to compile in your R environment, but now want to save outside of R for further manipulation, assessment in another software suite, or sending it to a colleague. In the R environment, the function we use for this purpose is write.csv(). In this article, we will delve deep into how to use this function to export a CSV in R.
Often when working with data in R, you are eventually going to want to send your results out of R. Maybe you need to share them with a colleague, maybe you want to store them in a permanent file, or maybe you just want to be able to manipulate them in a different program. This is where exporting data comes into play, and there are several different ways to export data in R.
The solution to exporting data from R is the write.csv() function. This function writes a data frame to a CSV file. The data frame is the standard data structure in R for data storage, and is a great data type for use with statistical modeling, among other things.
# you can replace "yourDataFrame" with the actual name of your data frame write.csv(yourDataFrame, "myData.csv")
Explanation of the code
The write.csv() function is very simple to use. You only need to specify two things: the name of your data frame, and the name of the CSV file that you want to create. The data frame should be in your workspace, and the CSV file will be created in your working directory.
- In this code snippet, “yourDataFrame” should be replaced with the name of your actual data frame.
- “myData.csv” is the name of the file that will be created in the working directory. You can specify a different directory path if you want the file to be created somewhere else.
Related Functions and Libraries
Another function that is similar to write.csv() in R is write.table(). This function is a little more complex, but it is also more flexible, and it can be used to export data in a variety of formats, not just CSV. The function has many options that can be used to control exactly how your data is exported.
Here is an example
write.table(yourDataFrame, file = "myData.txt", sep = "t", row.names = FALSE)
In addition to write.csv() and write.table(), the readr library in R also provides functions to export data. The write_csv() function from readr works in much the same way as write.csv(), but with faster speed and better handling of special characters and data types.
To use write_csv you first need to install and load the readr library:
# install the package install.packages("readr") # load the library library(readr) # use the function write_csv(yourDataFrame, "myData.csv")
These R functions and libraries form a basic but powerful set of tools for exporting data in R. They allow for not only flexibility in how the data is exported, but also, importantly, make it straightforward to export data in commonly used, universally readable formats, like CSV.