The Stagraph Project Starts

Thursday, September 1, 2016 | Milos Gregor

Today I begin publicly with the new software project. The purpose of this software is fast production of statistical graphics and visual exploration of multidimensional data.

For a long time I was looking for such tool. Existing solutions did not suit me and I decided to create solution that fits my requirements. Most of the software that I created was dedicated to processing and visualization of specialized data (hydrology, hydrogeology, geochemistry and spatial data), but a general-purpose tool missed. I was looking for ways to create such a utility. The result of this effort will be Stagraph.

In the search for ways I tried different approaches and opportunities, until I finally got to the R language and ggplot2 package that accurately represent my needs. Its disadvantage (and also advantage) is the need to learn a new language. Since I do not use R language every day, R scripts writing and debugging needed long time. The first step was development of specific IDE and GUI for R language (fasterstat.com).

In the next step comes Stagraph. The program is practically a user interface that control R console, which is running in the background. With this interface you can to the R terminal import data from different sources, combine them, edit, statistically process and ultimately visualize. All of the steps can be performed without the need for writing code. However, if you want to realize some actions in code, program allows you to do it through the build-in console (with features as code autocompleting or syntax highlighting).

The main functionality is data visualization. The process of statistical graphics production differs from other existing solutions. For charting it uses so-called “Grammar of Graphics”. From the beginning, you can perceive this approach as unclear, especially if you use spreadsheets for charting (e.g. MS Excel). But its complexity is significantly simplified by prepared user interface. For graphs forming, you do not need to write any code and the program will automatically generate all required scripts for you in the background.

Stagraph can be considered as a desktop alternative to software solutions such as Tableau, Spotfire, Plotly, QlikView or Grapher (in the field of fast data visualization and exploration).

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