Getting Started with the Free Software “R” for Statistical Analysis (H16)


The open-source software known as “R” is used worldwide for statistical analysis. Some professionals prefer it over SPSS. This workshop will help participants overcome three challenges to getting started with the free software: the barren start screen; the importing of data; and, the need to find simple, straightforward instruction online.

The learning curve for R is steep. Evaluators who have access to SPSS or SAS, or have found that the statistical capabilities of Excel fully meet their needs, would probably gain little from exploring R. However, R could be ideal for the low-budget evaluator who is willing to invest time in learning to use free, sophisticated statistical software.

Note: Participants must bring to the workshop a laptop or notebook pre-loaded with R. A free version of R is available for Windows, Mac and many other operating systems at


Michael  Obrecht

Michael Obrecht is a credentialed evaluator and recipient of an award for service to the CES. He has used SPSS for quantitative analysis in research and evaluation projects for more than 25 years. Michael started learning R about 12 months ago and has since used it in two program evaluation projects. He has 25 years of experience with SPSS.

Workshop Level




Date and time

Wednesday, June 18, 2014
1:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Alignment with CE Designation Competencies

  • Aware of self as an evaluator (knowledge, skills, dispositions) and reflects on personal evaluation practice (competencies and areas for growth)
  • Assesses reliability of data
  • Analyzes and interprets data
  • Reports evaluation findings and results
  • Reports on progress and results