It is a forward-pipe operator.

You can use it to pass the left-hand side input through the right-hand side operator. In mathematical terms, it is the following operation:

x%>%f which translates to f(x)

Here is a simple example, where I create a vector of values, take the root square of every number and then compute the sum:

c(1,2,3,4) %>% Map(sqrt, .) %>% Reduce(sum, .)

# The output: [1] 6.146264

It is very useful when you need to apply many different transformations to your data and don’t want to save the intermediate results or have many opening and closing function parentheses.

Consider writing the following:

x %>% impute %>% shuffle %>% pivot

versus the alternative:

pivot(shuffle(impute(x)))

I hope you get the point by now.

Moreover, this technique is very handy when cleaning data.

You can use it in your R session by loading the magrittr package: library(magrittr)