In my last article about converting a wide table into a long table using reshape’s melt function (recommend reading it first), I promised to soon cover the 4-dimensional case – here you go. Originally I was faced with this problem when checking out the official statistics on death causes in Germany. The problem is that you cannot apply the pivoting tools of spreadsheet programs like Excel or Calc to a (wide) cross table. Also other tools like reshape’s cast function expect a long structured data table.
Why do we want to transform a table from wide to long?
In the article published yesterday I explained how to fetch statistics from GENESIS using the statistics on death causes as an example. After downloading all the data and glueing the tables together you are finally left with one huge monster table.