R vs Matlab

R vs Matlab | Which is The Best for Statistics and Why?

R vs Matlab is one of the most crucial battles for the students. Because the students are always confused about choosing the best between R and Matlab, both of these languages provide the best data analytics functionality to the users. Apart from that, these languages are widely used by data scientists and statisticians. We all know that the data is growing at a rapid pace like never before.

Therefore the demand for data modeling tools is also increasing. That is why R and Matlab are getting more popular than ever before. Both of these programming languages are also useful in business analytics to drive actionable insights from decision-making data. 

But learning both of these programming languages is not convenient for anyone. Therefore the students want to choose the best programming language to learn between R vs Matlab. Let’s start this comparison with an overview of these programming languages.

Is R better than Matlab?

As a whole, I can say the R is better than Matlab. Of course, most Matlab lovers would not agree with me because we all know that Matlab is quite powerful. It is more powerful than R in most cases. But if we talk about the industry usage of R programming, then it is quite wider compared with Matlab programming. 

Apart from that, it is an open-source programming language. That is why a large number of developers keep developing this programming language. Therefore R gets regular updates in quick time as compared with Matlab. These are some of the reasons that make me feel that R is better than Matlab.

Is Matlab faster than R?

Undoubtedly, Matlab is always faster than R. It is quite fast to perform technical computing and statistics. Apart from that, you can also perform faster machine learning features with MATLAB. The reasons are that Matlab library calls are well optimized, and its code is compiled with a Just-in-time compiler.

Is Matlab based on R?

The quick answer is no; Matlab is not based on R. Instead, Matlab is a multi-paradigm programming language. It has one of the best numerical computing environments. It is developed by a company named MathWorks. Therefore there is no link between Matlab and R in terms of platform.

is Matlab easy to learn

No doubt, Matlab is easy to learn. It is even easier to learn than any other programming language. MathWorks provides great support for Matlab. You can find all the documentation for free on their website. Apart from that, there are hundreds of books on Matlab that can easily help you learn Matlab.

Matlab features

Matlab is used for the following purpose. Here is the best answer of what Matlab can do and what Matlab is good for.

  • Functions, statements, plots, directory navigation easy
  • S-Functions
  • Model-based software development
  • Simple variabel control
  • REPL
  • Solve invertible matrix
  • Data Processing
  • Machine Learning, Neural Networks, Beyond Statistics
  • Interfacing with Other Languages
  • Simulink

R features

R is used for the following tasks

  • Data analysis
  • Graphics and data visualization
  • Flexible statistical analysis toolkit
  • Access to powerful, cutting-edge analytics
  • Easy packages setup
  • Interactive
  • R Studio IDE
  • Preferred Medium
  • Shiny interactive plots
  • Cutting-edge machine learning straight from researchers

Companies use of R

What companies use MATLAB?

Here is the list of the top 10 companies that are using Matlab in their workplace.

  • AMD
  • Broadcom
  • Diffbot
  • Volvo Cars
  • Facebook
  • Google
  • Twitter
  • Airbnb 
  • Uber

What companies use R Language?

Here is the list of the top 7 companies that are using R in their workplace.

  • Instacart
  • Delivery Hero SE
  • Hepsiburada
  • Zalando
  • Walmart
  • Fiverr
  • doubleSlash Net-Business GmbH
  • Butterfly
  • Solcast
  • NetworkQuantiModo

Introduction to R

R is an open-source programming language. It is one of the most popular programming languages for statistical computing and graphics. You can extend the capabilities of R programming with the help of libraries and packages in R. There are hundreds of pre-installed libraries in R programming that are used for statistical and graphical techniques. 

It is widely used for machine learning algorithms, time series analysis, regression, clustering, etc. You can also embed user-generated packages in R programming. You can create the packages for R programming in itself or any other programming languages, i.e., C, C++, Java, and Python.

You can use the command line and the graphical user interface, i.e., IDE’s to code in R programming. 

One of the best IDEs for R programming is R studio and visual studio. You can also access the R functionality with other scripting languages such as Perl, Php, Ruby, and many more scripting languages. Moreover, R has one of the best integration support with many tools and technologies such as Jupyter, Apache Zeppelin, Stan, RapidMiner, KNIME, cnvrg.io, Neptune. 

Matlab Definition

The full form of MATLAB is the matrix laboratory. It is a paid programming language developed by MathWorks. It is one of those programming languages that offer a multi-paradigm programming environment to the programmers. 

The major purpose of MATLAB programming is to use engineers and scientists for mathematical and technical computing. It is widely used for functional plotting, algorithm implementation, user interface creation, and other programming interactions. Matlab is not like the traditional programming language where you need to code from scratch. In Matlab, you go to the build toolbox that allows you to perform almost every task in Matlab. 

You can also extend the functionality of MATLAB by adding more tools to its toolbox. Its toolbox contains some default files, i.e., known as M files. These files are crucial in MATLAB that is used to solve the specific set of problems in MATLAB, such as signal systems, control systems, neural networks, etc. MATLAB is one of the most powerful software for image processing in the world. Matlab has great integration support with lots of tools such as Plotly.js, Octave, Stan, RapidMiner, ggplot2, Dynamo, SketchUp etc.

R vs Matlab Trends

R vs MATLAB Popularity

R vs Matlab Tabular Form

InstallationR is a platform-independent programming language. It means that you can run it on any operating system such as Linux, Windows, and macOS.Matlab is a platform-dependent programming language. It runs on a specific licensed version. You need to have a specific version of Matlab to run it on Windows or macOS.
UsagesR is one of the leading statistics languages. That is used to solve statistics queries.Matlab is used for various purposes such as mathematics, calculus, outlining charts, etc.
Language TypeR is the leading language for data analysis by numerous industries.Matlab is the leading programming language for data visualization and analysis.
CostR is an open-source programming language. It means that you need not pay anything to use R for commercial projects.Matlab is a paid software and you need to pay some amount to use it for commercial projects.
PerformanceYou can increase R programming speed with the help of some techniques. Even in some cases, you can achieve faster speed as compared with Matlab.Matlab is faster as compared with R programming. And you can perform tasks such as statistics, technical computing, and machine learning quite faster.
Availability Of LibrariesThere are lots of libraries and packages in R to perform multiple functionalities.In Matlab, you have a limited number of libraries as compared with R programming.
Community SupportR programming has great community support as compared with Matlab. There are millions of programmers helping each other. It also has a large amount of documentation.Matlab doesn’t have large community support as compared with R programming. Matlab documentation is quite comparable.
Machine LearningR is one of the most powerful programming languages for machine learning. It has almost all the packages required for machine learning.Matlab has built-in support for machine learning in its toolbox.
VisualizationMatlab has built-in 2D and 3D plotting feathers for the best graphical user interface. Matlab gives 2D & 3D plotting features that offer the best graphical user interface.R also has the best graphic implementations like Grid graphics, base graphics Ggplot2, and Lattice graphics.
SpeedR is slower than Matlab, but yes it can be faster with the help of some libraries and packages.Matlab is quite faster as compared with R programming.
FunctionalitiesR is used for data processing and statistical analysis..Matlab is used for several engineering applications such as machine learning, matrix manipulation, image processing, signal processing, robotics, etc.

Also Read

R vs Matlab

Easy to learn

R programming is quite tough to learn if you don’t have any programming background. Likewise, most programming languages have unique syntax, decision-making statements, loops, and many more. That is why non-programming background students or users need to invest plenty of time to learn R programming.

R is not created for the beginner or nonprogrammer. But after the development of R commander and R studio. Now it is quite convenient to code in R programming compared to coding in the command line interface.

On the other hand, Matlab is quite easier than R programming. In this programming language, you need not learn the complex syntax and programming structures. It offers the best simple and easy-to-use syntax. Even a nonprogramming background user can also get familiar with Matlab. MATLAB offers the toolbox to accomplish most of the tasks. Therefore all you need to do is spend your time learning the toolbox that is not as tough as learning R programming from scratch. 


R is a free programming language. You need to pay for internet charges to download it from the internet. On the other hand, MATLAB is a paid programming language that offers different license types to its users, such as students, organizations, and many more. MATLAB costs you a little more than most of the paid programming languages.


R is quite faster than Matlab. But you can only achieve the faster speed from R programming if you have a good command of it.

On the other hand, Matlab offers you a faster speed for technical computation, statistics, and machine learning compared to the normal speed of R programming.

Support and Documentation

When it comes to supporting, R programming does not offer official after-sales support to the users. But it is an open-source programming language. That is why it has one of the largest communities in the world. You can also find the official documentation of R on its official website.

On the other hand, Matlab offers official after-sales support to its users. It has one of the best customer support globally; apart from that their official site also provides complete documentation to its users. It also offers hundreds of prewritten codes to beginners to get started with MATLAB. Finally, it has more than 500+ dedicated technical support experts worldwide for 24×7 online support.

Machine Learning

Both of these programming languages are efficient in performing machine learning activities. R is offering the best-in-class libraries to perform machine learning tasks. On the other hand, Matlab is offering statistics and a machine learning toolbox for machine learning tasks. With this toolbox, you can perform classification, data exploration, train models, data validation, and many more tasks. If you want to perform image processing in machine learning, then Matlab is the best option for you.

On the other hand, if you want to use complex algorithms for machine learning, then R is best. Even you can have better control over machine learning using R. It may not be as fast as Matlab for some cases. But yes, it is quite reliable and capable of performing a variety of machine learning tasks. 


R programming and Matlab both are offering best in class data visualization to its users. R is offering the best graphics implementations. It has four graphic implementations, i.e., Base graphics, Grid graphics, Lattice graphics, and Ggplot2. The base graphics in R programming can do most of the data visualization tasks.

On the other hand, Matlab is offering 2D and 3D plotting functions. You can customize plots in Matlab either interactively or programmatically based on your skillset. Matlab also offers packages to extend its graphical capabilities, such as Simulink is used for data modeling, simulation, and analysis of multi-domains.

Platform Independent

R is a platform-independent programming language. You can run it on any operating system such as Linux, Windows, and macOS. You can also operate it on server-oriented OS such as Solaris OS. If you start to code in R on macOS and edit the code again on Windows, you can do it without any additional packages and code changes. The code will work the same on every operating system. All the R packages were tested on CRAN to ensure that those will work on every operating system.

On the other hand, MATLAB is also a platform-independent programming language that can be run on Linux, Mac, and Windows. But you can’t run the same licensed version of MATLAB on more than the specified number of computers. Because it uses the MAC address of the computer to identify the license of MATLAB. 


Now we have seen the comparison between R vs Matlab based on some key points. We have seen that R is quite useful in education and government organization. On the other hand, MATLAB is quite useful in the industry. R is one of the best statistical programming languages. You can perform almost every statistics calculation with R easily. 

Nowadays, it offers the best IDE for the programmer to do coding with R programming. At the same time, Matlab is widely used for mathematical computation. It is also quite easy to learn as compared with R programming. But if you have some basic programming knowledge and good command of statistics and mathematics. Then it would be best if you went with R programming. Otherwise, Matlab is the best option for you.

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