R is hot. Whether measured by more than 10,000 add-on packages, the 95,000+ members of LinkedIn's R group or the more than 400 R Meetup groups currently in existence, there can be little doubt that interest in the R statistics language, especially for data analysis, is soaring.
Why R? It's free, open source, powerful and highly extensible. "You have a lot of prepackaged stuff that's already available, so you're standing on the shoulders of giants," Google's chief economist told The New York Times back in 2009.