The split-apply-combine paradigm in R

Last night at the DC R Users meetup, which was our largest meetup to date, I gave an introductory presentation on data munging, and spent a bit of time on the split-apply-combine paradigm that I use almost daily in my work. I talked mainly about the packages plyr and doBy, which I use a lot now. David Smith posted a link on the Revolution blog to this article by Steve Miller, talking about the virtues of the data.table package for doing “by-group processing”. It got me thinking about changing my workflow yet again and engaging this package in my computational workflow. I also noticed that Hadley Wickham tweeted that he wants to make plyr faster as well in the near future, which will of course be a very welcome development.