The growth and popularity of R programming has been helping data-driven organizations succeed for years. Nearly every industry now sees data and analytics as a strategic competitive advantage, and R is the language of choice for data analyst. Because of its popularity, not only is R helping drive success for companies using it, it’s driving its success as the industry standard for using data effectively. Here are a few examples of how companies use R to drive their bottom line.


Airbnb uses R to drive a number of company initiatives, using an internal R package called Rbnb. 80% of Airbnb data scientists use R, and 64% of them use it as their primary analysis tool. Analysts use R to predict re-booking rates using past guest ratings and to automate guest/host matching. The tool is also used for internal reporting and data visualizations.


Facebook used R to perform sizable behavior analysis based on status and profile picture updates. Carlos Diuk, a Facebook data scientist, created an analysis on the formation of love, based on Facebook relationship status updates. What they found is that as a relationship is formed, the number of timeline posts go down. However, the amount of positive emotions in posts rise.

fb-posts-relationship fb-postitive-emotions


Using R, Twitter has created some pretty impressive projects. Below is geo-tagged data that represent every tweet in the United Stated since 2009. Twitter also has created open-source packages for anomaly and breakout detection, which has helped improve their customer experience.



For those Xbox gamers out there, you can thank Microsoft for choosing R for visualization in their matchmaking system. Matchmaking is how Xbox pairs gamers up with someone of their equal skill level, because no one with an advanced skillset wants me on their team! Analysis of both the gaming community and the games themselves (for example, where players are getting stuck) is achieved using the R language and statistical modeling.

John Deere

Farming equipment manufacturer, John Deere, saw huge company savings when they dropped their “flop forecasting software” and adopted R. John Deere uses R for short and long-term forecasting, forecasting crop yields, data coordination, and optimizing the build order on the production line.


Search giant, Google, uses R in many ways. One specific way Google uses R is to determine the effectiveness of display ads. For example, a brand can set an ad that would show on a site such Animal Planet or HGTV. Just because a visitor doesn’t click on the ad does not mean they did not convert. Google uses R to gather and visualize search behaviors of those who saw the ad and didn’t visit the site, versus viewers who saw the ad and visited the advertiser’s site without clicking the ad itself. This ensures advertisers are getting the most for their dollar.

Trulia and Zillow

If you’ve been on the hunt for a house or even a rental, you probably have turned to Trulia or Zillow. Both companies use R in a way that has a huge impact on your purchasing decision. Zillow’s “Zestimate” gives users an estimate of a property’s value. The “Zestimate” takes data and runs it through proprietary software powered by R to give the user the estimate they see on the screen. In fact, Zillow is currently offering a $1.2M prize in a Kaggle competition for whoever can develop the most accurate home pricing algorithm.

Have you ever found that house or apartment that looked amazing, then you scrolled down to the bottom and recoiled in horror over the amounts of stabbing and domestic disputes are in the crime reports? That’s Trulia using R and statistical modeling to scare you into looking somewhere else.

As you can see, some of the top companies use R to propel their business – are you ready to learn?



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