We build cool stuff with R and Shiny






Andy Merlino


I am the founder and lead developer at Tychobra. I started Tychobra to help organizations leverage R and Shiny. R is the world class tool for data science, and Shiny allows us to build web apps to communicate our R analyses.

At Tychobra we are focused on delivering results quickly. On a typical Shiny project, we deploy a prototype app within a week. We then iterate to a final production application. If you want a hands-on, results-based approach to application development, please consider Tychobra for your next Shiny app.


Data Analysis Principles



Data quality it the biggest bottle neck to a productive analysis. We work to first organize the data, and then we tweak and improve the models.
Start simple and get things working. Having a tangible base to iterate from is invaluable for development and communication.
Spreadsheets are extremely powerful tools for exploratory data analysis, but they are abused by many industries. Write code for non trivial data analysis.
We only build things with the tech that we use in house
The web is the greatest communication platform ever created and the speed of innovation is extremely exciting. Nothing else comes close.
The only way to make something is to actually make it. We build stuff for business, sport, and fun.

What's With the Name


Tycho Brahe was a 16th century astronomer who cared about his data. He had a gold nose (though not in his potrait) and an epic mustache (shown in portrait). Tycho kept meticulous data records of planetary orbits. These records led to world changing discoveries.

Tycho was able to use his records to make break throughs on the nature of supernovae and comets, but his life's goal was to decipher an accurate model of our solar system (they thought the Sun and planets ordited around the Earth in Tycho's time).

Tycho unsuccessfully struggled to find the solar system model for most of his life. While Tycho was struggling with his problem, Johannes Kepler came to apprentice for Tycho. Kepler was eventually able to use Tycho's data to decode the model of our solar system.* Before meeting Tycho, Kepler unsuccessfully searched for the laws governing the solar system for many years. Only after getting access to Tycho's data, was he able to come up with his 3 laws of planetary motion. Kepler gets all the glory for the discovery, but it was Tycho's data that gave Kepler the context to construct the laws and the evidence to support his findings.

Unfortunately for Tycho, his solar system model was wrong, but his methods for gathering data and testing hypotheses against the empirical data were the most advanced the world had seen. The lesson we take from Tycho Brahe is that data is the key. Track your data and you can throw ideas at it in the future. You can create models and test them against the data. As the data continues to flow in you can continuously test and improve your models.

There is a whole lot more to Tycho's story. He was a facinating person in general; he was exciled from Denmark and his nose was chopped off in a sword duel. If you are interested, I highly recommend Tycho's Wikipedia page and the episode on him and Kepler from the original Cosmos series.

* Abbreviated for the sake of this short narative.