I’m not sure how I missed this package, but I am sure glad I’ve found it. The
data.table package for R provides something of a reconceptualization of the standard
data.frame object. Though it remains (mostly) compatible with
data.frame. The advantage of
data.table is how it treats tables as if they were tables in a database. This allows extremely fast and intuitive merging of tables. Subsetting and summarizing tables are likewise much quicker. So, if you often find yourself dealing with large
data.frames that need merged, subsetted, and and summarized, I encourage you to take a look at
data.table. The R CRAN page and R-Forge development site are linked below.