This tutorial provides step-by-step instructions on how to open an existing R AnalyticFlow file. For this tutorial, we will specifically use the analysis workflow created specifically for the 3ie impact evaluation in Sudan.

R AnalyticFlow is a software that enables simple to complex data analysis through the drawing of analysis flowcharts. The key advantage of the use of analysis flowcharts is the effective sharing of the data analysis processes in multi-user or multi-developer or team collaboration contexts. R AnalyticFlow is one of a number of integrated / interactive development environment (IDE) for R. An IDE is a software application that provides comprehensive facilities to computer programmers for software development.

The R AnalyticFlow software is developed and made available without charge for any purpose by Ef-prime, Inc.

This tutorial shows how to open an R AnalyticFlow file on a computer with Windows 7 installed. The same set of instructions will be applicable for a computer running on Windows 8.

This tutorial assumes that R is already installed on your computer (see tutorial on Installing R) and that you are familiar with what R is (see Introduction to R) and that R AnalyticFlow is also already installed on your computer (see tutorial on Installing R AnalyticFlow).

1. Get the R AnalyticFlow file you need

The first step will be to obtain the R AnalyticFlow file that you need to work with. For this example we will use the analysis workflow created specifically for the 3ie Impact Evaluation in Sudan. We will be using version 2.0 (21 November 2016). This workflow and the associated files can be downloaded here. The download is a zipped folder that contains the following:

  • steppedWedge.rflow – this is the R AnalyticFlow file that was created to analyse the stepped wedge data for all rounds of data collection (1);
  • maps – this is a folder that contains Sudan-specific mapping data. This is needed for the mapping of the indicator results (2).

Once downloaded, the R AnalyticFlow file and the maps folder should be placed in the same directory in your computer. This directory should ideally be the same directory you intend to use for R AnalyticFlow (see below). Also, it would be ideal to choose a directory that doesn’t contain any other files.


2. Launch R AnalyticFlow

Launch R AnalyticFlow either by double-clicking on the shortcut menu on your Desktop or from the list of programmes in the Start Menu.


3. Create new project

Once R AnalyticFlow has initialised, the Projects dialog gox will come out. To create a new analysis project, click on the ‘New Project…’ button (3).


4. Specify information about the new project

Clicking on ‘New Project…’ will bring up the ‘New Project…’ dialog box (4) which asks for additional information relevant to the new project that is being created:

  • Project Name – this is the name you want to give to the new project you are creating (5);
  • Path – this is the path to a directory in your computer which you want to be the working directory for the project you are creating (6);
  • Add to Bookmark as – this option allows for a bookmark to be saved in the projects cache of R AnalyticFlow. The next time R AnalyticFlow is launched, the bookmark chosen for this specific project will be displayed and is selectable. This option is by default selected and you can provide the name to use for the bookmark (7).



For this example, the following information were used:

  • Project Name – as this is the 3ie workflow, we suggest using ‘3ie’ as the project name.
  • Path – you would have noticed that as soon as a project name is entered, R AnalyticFlow automatically specifies a directory path which is located in the computer’s Documents folder inside a folder named using the project name specified (which in this case is ‘3ie’) which is in turn found in a folder created by R AnalyticFlow which it has named ‘RAnalyticFlow’. The suggested directory path would look like this:

We highly suggest to change the directory path to where you have saved or placed the workflow that you have made or are using. In this case, we highly recommend changing the directory path to where you have saved or placed the 3ie workflow. The directory path can be changed by clicking on the button with three dots (8).


5. Specify a directory path for the new project

This will then bring up the File Explorer (9) from which you can navigate towards the directory that you wish to specify.


Once you have selected the appropriate directory path, the ‘New Project’ dialog box will show the selected directory path (10).

  • Bookmark – a name for the bookmark can be specified which in this case we use ‘3ie’ (11).

After all these information has been specified, click on OK to continue (12).


Select workflow to open

You will now have the R AnalyticFlow IDE on your screen. On the upper left hand section of the IDE, you will see that the working directory is set to the path that you have specified earlier. Also, you will note that the file viewer of R AnalyticFlow is showing the the 3ie workflow (named ‘steppedWedge.rflow’) and the associated maps folder (13).

Select the 3ie workflow and then double-click it to open the file.


6. Select workflow to open

You will then see the 3ie workflow open on the IDE (14).


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