R Consortium aims to strengthen data analysis

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Representatives from the R Foundation and industry representatives including Microsoft, Google and Oracle have formed the R Consortium to strengthen the technical and user communities around the R programming language for statistical data analysis.

The Linux Foundation today announced the formation of the R Consortium, intended to strengthen the technical and user communities around the R language,  a specialized programming language for statistical data analysis.

Representatives from the R Foundation and industry representatives are behind the new consortium. Microsoft and RStudio have joined the consortium as platinum members. TIBCO Software is a gold member and silver members include Alteryx, Google, HP, Mango Solutions, Ketchum Trading and Oracle.

[Related: Learn to crunch big data with R ]

"The R Consortium will complement the work of the R Foundation, a nonprofit organization that maintains the language, and will focus on user outreach and other projects designed to assist the R user and developer communities," Joseph Sirosh, corporate vice president in Microsoft's Cloud & Enterprise Group, wrote in a blog post Tuesday. "This includes both technical and infrastructure projects such as building and maintaining mirrors for downloading R, testing, QA resources, financial support for the annual useR! Conference and promotion and support of worldwide user groups."

Microsoft closed its acquisition of Revolution Analytics, a commercial provider of software and services for the R programming language, in April. At the time, Sirosh made it clear that Microsoft considers the active and passionate open source community around R an essential element to the programming language's success, adding that Microsoft plans to "support and amplify" Revolution Analytics' open source projects.

[ Related: Learn R for beginners with our PDF ]

"While the R Foundation continues its role as the maintainer of the core R language engine, the R Consortium will initiate projects to help the user community make even better use of R, and to help the R developer community further extend R via packages and other ancillary software projects," David Smith, who was chief community officer at Revolution Analytics and now serves as principal program manager at Microsoft, said in his own blog post Tuesday.

The Linux Foundation noted that the open governance model for the R Consortium includes an infrastructure steering committee that will direct technical decisions and oversee working group projects, and a board of directors to guide business decisions.

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