Make your own HTML tables in R

I’ve avoid writing HTML tables by hand in R, reasoning that it would be far too complicated. But the problem with using packages like pander and rmarkdown, much as I love those packages, is you can’t fine tune the outputs. So if a colleague asks you to add little extra touches for a report you can’t really do it.

So it was a nice surprise to find that it’s actually not that hard. Here’s a table with 3 columns which looks very nice with bootstrap (don’t know what the styling options are on WordPress so it just looks unformatted here)

Service quality 95 90
Promoter 90 85
SUCE returns 1000 1200


paste0(c("<table class='table table-striped'>", 
  "<th>Score</th><th>Current quarter</th><th>Previous quarter</th>",
  "<tr>", paste0("<td>", c("Service quality", 95, 90), "</td>"), "</tr>",
  "<tr>", paste0("<td>", c("Promoter", 90, 85), "</td>"), "</tr>",
  "<tr>", paste0("<td>", c("SUCE returns", 1000, 1200), "</td>"), "</tr>",
  "</table>"), collapse = "")

Obviously you can make it dynamic pretty easily, the table above is from a Shiny app I’m currently developing, I’ve just replaced the numbers with static values for the blog post. So the next time someone asks me to style a table it should be pretty easy.

Simulating data

I try to publish as much of my work as I can on the internet, where the people who own the data agree (my little bit of the website is here) but very often I can’t publish the data because of issues with ongoing projects, other publications, various levels of confidentiality of data, and so on.

So I’ve decided to try to simulate the data whenever there is an issue with publication. It’s very easy and it’s an excellent way for me to be able to show people my work without any of the issues that come from showing real data. The code is below, it comes in two parts for the first set of variables because we fiddled with the questionnaire a bit after Time 8 in the dataset.

  which(names(mydatafirst)=="Service") : which(names(mydatafirst)=="Therapist")] = 
    apply(mydatafirst[mydatafirst$Time>8, which(names(mydatafirst)=="Service") : which(names(mydatafirst)=="Therapist")],
      2, function (x) sample(x[!], length(mydatafirst$Service[mydatafirst$Time>8]), replace=TRUE))

  which(names(mydatafirst)=="Service"):which(names(mydatafirst)=="Therapist")] = 
    apply(mydatafirst[mydatafirst$Time<9,which(names(mydatafirst)=="Service") : 
      2, function (x) sample(x[!], length(mydatafirst$Service[mydatafirst$Time<9]), replace=TRUE))

mydatafirst[c(which(names(mydatafirst)=="Imp1"), which(names(mydatafirst)=="Best1"))] =
  apply(mydatafirst[c(which(names(mydatafirst)=="Imp1"), which(names(mydatafirst)=="Best1"))], 2, function (x)
    sample(x[!], length(mydatafirst$Imp1), replace=TRUE))

Thanks to the magic of R, and in particular the Sweave and Brew packages, all I need to do is insert these four lines into the code, re-run the report, and I have a nicely simulated dataset. I must confess I didn’t use R to convert the comments to gibberish, it was easier to download them from here, but if this website didn’t exist then I certainly could have used R to do this very easily.

Something else that R and Sweave are really helping me with at the moment is making it possible to start to analyse data and compile reports before the data comes in. Because Sweave will automatically put together the statistics and graphs for me as I go along, it frees me up to just work on the data, share the progress with people as it comes along, and then put together the final analysis when all the data is collected, without having to manually re-write all the statistics and copy and paste all the graphs all the way through. I’ll post about the usefulness of Sweave and how it helps with workflow another time.

How do interest rates affect the way my mortgage is paid off?

With a baby on the way my wife and I have become very interested in the interest rate on our mortgage, and how it might go up or down, and how that will affect whether we overpay to build up some equity, etc. etc. etc. As you will know if you’ve ever thought about your mortgage payments, it’s all quite complicated and difficult to think about.

For a bit of fun I thought I would produce a graph which summarises the value of the mortgage over time as well as the proportion of the money which is spent on capital and interest payments. The repayment is fixed for a given value of interest, so a stacked barchart will have a fixed height, with a different proportion of the bar coming from capital and interest payments over time.

I was going to make it a dynamic graph in which you could change the interest rate with a slider (using the excellent RStudio manipulate library) but having worked through it it’s a bit more complicated than I thought- I’ll do this in a subsequent post because I’m dying to give the manipulate library a try. For now I’ve produced the code and the accompanying graph based on a mortgage of £150,000 with an interest rate of 4%.

The code, which really is very simple and owes a big debt to this wonderful post, follows:

# P = principal, the initial amount of the loan
# I = the annual interest rate (from 1 to 100 percent)
# L = length, the length (in years) of the loan, or at least the length over which the loan is amortized.
# J = monthly interest in decimal form = I / (12 x 100)
# N = number of months over which loan is amortized = L x 12
# Monthly payment = M = P * ( J / (1 - (1 + J) ^ -N))
# Step 1: Calculate H = P x J, this is your current monthly interest
# Step 2: Calculate C = M - H, this is your monthly payment minus your monthly interest, so it is the amount of principal you pay for that month
# Step 3: Calculate Q = P - C, this is the new balance of your principal of your loan.
# Step 4: Set P equal to Q and go back to Step 1: You thusly loop around until the value Q (and hence P) goes to zero. 

# set variables

P = 150000
I = 4
L = 25
J = I / (12 * 100)
N = L * 12
M = P * ( J / (1 - (1 + J) ^ -N))

# make something to store the values in


# loop

for (i in 1:300) {

H= P * J
C= M-H
Q= P- C
P= Q



# plot


barplot(matrix(rbind(Capital[seq(1, 300, 12)], Interest[seq(1, 300, 12)]), ncol=25), xaxt=&quot;n&quot;, yaxt=&quot;n&quot;, col=c(&quot;green&quot;, &quot;red&quot;), xlim=c(1, 33), bty=&quot;n&quot;, main=paste(&quot;Monthly payment £&quot;, round(M), sep=&quot;&quot;))
legend(&quot;topright&quot;, c(&quot;Capital payment&quot;, &quot;Interest payment&quot;), fill=c(&quot;green&quot;, &quot;red&quot;), bty=&quot;n&quot;)


plot(seq(1, 300, 12), Principal[seq(1, 300, 12)], xlab=&quot;Year&quot;, ylim=c(0,160000), ylab=&quot;Remaining loan amount&quot;, xaxt=&quot;n&quot;, xlim=c(1, 330), bty=&quot;n&quot;)
axis(1, at=seq(1, 300, 12), labels=1:25)

And here’s the plot (click to enlarge)!