Once you've installed and configured R to your liking, it's time to start using it to work with data. Yes, you can type your data directly into R's interactive console. But for any kind of serious work, you're a lot more likely to already have data in a file somewhere, either locally or on the Web. Here are several ways to get data into R for further work.

[This story is part of Computerworld's "Beginner's guide to R." To read from the beginning, check out the introduction; there are links on that page to the other pieces in the series.]

Sample data

If you just want to play with some test data to see how they load and what basic functions you can run, the default installation of R comes with several data sets. Type:

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