I’m finally back from my travels, which started at the international R user group conference in Nashville. Almost 500 attendees were treated to a delightfully geeky week at useR! 2012, hosted by Frank Harrell and the Biostatistics Department of Vanderbilt University. The weather, facilities and hospitality couldn’t have been better.

The tough part of my two useR! days was making the hard choices of which presentations to attend. Indeed, on my office shelves are books written by at least eight conference participants. The single-threaded keynotes were no-brainers, but I had to make hard choices among the multi-tasked Kaleidoscope and Focus sessions. To make my conference life easier, I settled on a “data science” theme, opting to concentrate on R business applications, visualization, and the “big data” sub-topics of the cloud, Hadoop, database integration and performance/capacity enhancement.

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