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R4HR in Buenos Aires: Leveraging R for Dynamic HR Solutions

By May 30, 2024Blog

Marcela Victoria Soto, co-organizer of the R4HR -Club de R para RRHH, Buenos Aires, Argentina, recently updated the R Consortium about the group’s recent activities. Last year, Sergio García Mora, the group’s founder, discussed the adoption and expansion of R in human resources in Argentina. Marcela emphasized the importance of data analysis for informed and agile decision-making for companies in Argentina. She also shared details of some of her budgeting, accounting, and annual income tax projects.

R4HR is holding an online event called “Data Visualization in HR” on June 1, 2024, for Spanish-speaking R users. The meetup will be conducted via Google Meet. 

Please share your background and involvement with the RUGS group.

I earned a bachelor’s degree in labor relations and received training as a labor relations teacher at the University of Buenos Aires (UBA). Additionally, I completed a postgraduate course in Human Resources Management from the Pontifical Catholic University of Argentina (UCA) and a Diploma in Computational Social Sciences from the National University of General San Martín (UNSAM). I also attended the Argentina Program at the University of Salta, completing all three program modules. 

What industry are you currently in? How do you use R in your work?

I currently work in the textile industry as the Head of Human Resources. At Yagmour, I use R to present reports on employee turnover, salary reports, accounting entries, etc. Additionally, I use R to consolidate the annual Human Resources budget according to the company’s accounts.

Can you share what the R community is like in Buenos Aires?

The R4HR community is a collaborative space comprising individuals interested in data and human resources. We hold various meetups within the community where projects, R packages, etc., are shared. It is a Spanish-speaking community. The R Club is a meeting space for professionals in the field, where we can share tools, new ways of addressing issues, and novel approaches to similar problems. People who attend and are familiar with R sometimes need to be made aware of everything this programming language offers for simple and complex issues—the benefit of attending lies in sharing and creating spaces for knowledge exchange.

You have a Meetup on “Data Visualization in HR” on June 1st, 2024. Can you share more about the topic covered? Why this topic?

In June, we will hold a meetup to address Data Visualization in HR using the ggplot2 package, adding interactivity and context with plotly. This topic is not just interesting but also highly practical. Visualization is a great way to interpret data and graphically identify behavior patterns, which can also prompt questions about the presented information. The plotly package can add insights that are not apparent in the graphs. Additionally, plotly allows for creating interactive visualizations, enabling users to explore and manipulate the charts directly within the visualization. It can include zooming, data selection, and more, providing a richer and more dynamic user experience. 

This meetup’s target audience is individuals interested in understanding the benefits of working with R‌ and people in the human resources field who are interested in the topic.

For this event, we conducted the invitation through Meetup and provided a Google Meet link. After the event, we will upload it to YouTube and communicate to the community through social media.

Would you like to tell us about an interesting recent Meetup from the group?

I recently presented at a group event titled Annual Income Tax with R to showcase the various problems one can address using R beyond data visualization or analysis. In Argentina, to carry out this development, one must consider the guidelines provided by the Federal Administration of Public Revenues (AFIP), which, at the national level, determines the parameters to be used for presentations; payroll software interprets these parameters. Those who do not have a payroll system can use the development done in R to carry out this presentation.

In Argentina, the frequent changes and calculation methods have made everything related to this tax quite complex. They impose this tax on salaries that are considered high-value. It is a tax withheld by the company, and due to inflation and various modifications, the analysis and handling of this tax end up being one of the most complex issues for employees in the country. I made this process easier in this meetup by using R. 

What trends do you currently see in R language and your industry? Are there any trends you see developing in the near future?

Trends in R are about its growing popularity and its transformative impact. It allows more people to join and enhances its application to various problems. There is also ongoing work on clustering applied to Human Resources to understand how each group functions, their relationships, common characteristics, etc. In Argentina, due to the current economic situation, data analysis not only at the salary level but also at the soft skills level is an urgent necessity for companies aiming to use data for agile decision-making. Business data is vital for analyzing the rest of the decisions that need to be made by Human Resources and the entire company. To use data for agile decision-making, companies must consider salary levels, understand which soft skills are needed and what the context requires, and make decisions accordingly.

A trend that will continue to develop in the future relates to Artificial Intelligence and how it complements everyday tasks or serves as a support tool.

Please share about a project you are working on or have worked on using the R language. What is the goal/reason, result, or anything interesting related to your industry?

I have worked on several projects in R, starting with the basics related to data visualization of absenteeism, turnover, and salary analysis.

Something different that I worked on with R was creating the annual Income Tax presentation. The objective was to consolidate the yearly information of each employee covered by the regulations according to the parameters provided by the Federal Administration of Public Revenues. It required interpreting each requirement at the programming level. This file had to be submitted in TXT format, which meant working with rare extensions in Human Resources areas.

Another different project in R was creating accounting entries. It allows for systematizing a large amount of information and grouping it according to the accounts.

I have also used R to prepare information presented to the Ministry of Labor, which required extensive cross-referencing. For example, it involved cross-referencing gender with absences, working hours, days, leaves, and paid leaves, among other variables. The complexity of this was the relationship between the data, where any incorrect data would ultimately lead to inconsistencies in the information.

Lastly, before applying R, the Budgeting process in our company involved transferring information across different Excel sheets, using pivot tables, and copying and pasting it into a summarized form. It took a significant amount of time, and whenever a variable needed to be changed, the entire process had to be redone, which implied errors due to the large amount of information transfer. Today, people work on this process dynamically in Excel and then process it in a script that consolidates all the information in minutes, sometimes less. It allows for the creation of multiple scenarios dynamically in a time of significant volatility and limited time. This process using R has achieved a substantial reduction in time, in addition to ensuring data consistency.

How do I Join?

R Consortium’s R User Group and Small Conference Support Program (RUGS) provides grants to help R groups organize, share information, and support each other worldwide. We have given grants over the past four years, encompassing over 68,000 members in 33 countries. We would like to include you! Cash grants and accounts are awarded based on the intended use of the funds and the amount of money available to distribute.