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Based on an analysis of Google Scholar data on usage of statistical software, Bob Muenchen makes a forecast: R will overtake SAS and SPSS in 2015. Forecasting is extrapolation — always a tricky business — so Bob also provides these qualitative reasons why R will continue to grow at the expense of SAS and SPSS:

We had a great Twitter conversation last Thursday on the use of big-data analytics, Revolution R Enterprise, and IBM Netezza in the search for a cure for MS. Many thanks to the other panelists: Murali Ramanathan (SUNY Buffalo), Tim Coetzee (National MS Society) and moderator Shawn Dolley (IBM) for fielding and answering questions from interested parties following #IBMDataChat.

Looking to learn R, or to expand your R skills for data visualization or package development? Here are some R courses presented by the experts you may be interested in:

When I was a kid growing up in Australia, it seemed like every commercial break during the Saturday morning cartoon's or after-school shows was punctuated by some PSA encouraging us to lead a healthier life. These "community service announcements" were government-sponsored, and often paired a low-budget animations with a catchy jingle. Strangely enough, lots of Australians (me included) remember them fondly, and can still recite the songs on demand. Here are a few of my favourites:

"Slip Slop Slap" made avoiding skin cancer fun (an important lesson in the Sunburnt Country):

Kevin Quealy, graphics editor at the New York Times, has published another fascinating behind-the-scenes look at how the Times creates data visualizations for print and online. In his latest post, he looks at how a visualization of the Yankee's Mariano Rivera performance compared to other Major League Baseball pitchers was created.

In case you missed them, here are some articles from April of particular interest to R users.

Information Age published a feature article on R, describing how new graduates are driving adoption of R in industry.

In yesterday's webinar, Revolution Analytics CTO David Champagne demonstrated how to integrate statistical graphics and analytic computations created using R software with a variety of third-party applications.

Foursquare, the mobile location-sharing app (of which I'm a big fan), has an excellent recommondation system. Based on your recent checkins, places your friends found popular, and even the time of day, Foursquare Explore will recommend a great place for a sushi lunch, or the best place to buy new shoes.