I’m an NHS data analyst based in Inverness, Scotland.

I’m not a data scientist but my role involves writing code, statistics and data visualisation.

I began using R intermittently, and, over time, it has become integral to my workflow.

The ability to produce many plots, with just a few lines of code, has become crucial when I have hundreds of charts to produce each month.

The main packages I use are ggplot2 and qicharts for plotting, dplyr for data manipulation and RODBC for linking to MS SQL Server.

I’m also getting to grips with data.table, because it’s super fast and has some very useful functions, as do ggExtra and janitor

I’ve also used R for:

I’m also interested in using R for time series (using forecast) and predictive analytics.

In addition to R, and driven by the large scale data requirements of my role, I’ve also developed skills in:

  • Excel Dashboards / Advanced Excel
  • VBA, including custom functions and manipulating other MS Office software from within Excel
  • SQL, including complex T-SQL queries and SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS)
  • Exensive experience of using data for improvement, particularly Run Charts and Statistical Process Control

In addition to visualisation with R and Excel, I have also experience of:

  • SQL Server Reporting Services
  • QlikView

About this blog:

I can’t demonstrate my work publicly, so this is a forum for me to show some R work:

  • Anything I produce for demonstration at our local R user group (InveRness RUG)
  • Notes to myself on things I’ve learned (the hard way) at work
  • Chart makeovers using R
  • Exploring techniques and technology that I don’t currently use in my role

Code examples

Most of the code I write will appear on my github as a gist or repository.

My code is pretty well commented, so I don’t go into too much depth in these posts.

Some posts will be related to things I am learning about for my own development, so they may not go into a lot of detail but I aim to update these as my learning increases.

Please check the session info on the code scipts for details of loaded packages and dependencies.


My R skills are not at the level of the awesome Hadley et al, at least, not yet.
It does bug me when I see an interesting blog post and find that the code does not work when you try to use it.
I am confident that if you run my code as is it will work.


I have taken the plunge into social media - it feels weird - but let’s see how it goes.
Most of these posts are written late at night/early in the morning as I try to fit in around the demands of family life.
At the moment I’m not posting as frequently as I would like but hope to get more content soon.

If you like what you read here, please let me know! It’s nice to get feedback :)

You’ll find my contact details at the bottom of the page and also @HighlandDataSci