Day 13 – little helper read_files

Jakob Gepp Blog

We at STATWORX work a lot with R and we often use the same little helper functions within our projects. These functions ease our daily work life by reducing repetitive code parts or by creating overviews of our projects. At first, there was no plan to make a package, but soon I realised, that it will be much easier to share and improve those functions, if they are within a package. Up till the 24th December I will present one function each day from helfRlein. So, on the 13th day of Christmas my true love gave to me…


What can it do?

This little helper reads in multiple files of the same type and combines them into a data.table. What kind of „file reading function“ should be used can be choosen by the FUN argument.

How to use it?

If you have a list of files, that all needs to be loaded in with the same function (e.g. read.csv), instead of using lapply and rbindlist now you can use this:

read_files(files, FUN = readRDS)
read_files(files, FUN = readLines)
read_files(files, FUN = read.csv, sep = ";")

Internally, it just uses lapply and rbindlist but you dont have to type it all the time. The read_files combines the single files by their column names and returns one data.table. Why data.table? Because I like it. But, let's not go down the rabbit hole of data.table vs dplyr (to the rabbit hole …).


To see all the other functions you can either check out our GitHub or you can read about them here.

Have a merry advent season!

Über den Autor
Jakob Gepp

Jakob Gepp

Numbers were always my passion and as a data scientist and statistician at STATWORX I can fullfill my nerdy needs. Also I am responsable for our blog. So if you have any questions or suggestions, just send me an email!


is a consulting company for data science, statistics, machine learning and artificial intelligence located in Frankfurt, Zurich and Vienna. Sign up for our NEWSLETTER and receive reads and treats from the world of data science and AI.