MFR MFR - 8 months ago 47
R Question

Issue in converting date format to numeric format in R

I had a dataset that looked like this:


id date
1 2016-08-30 10:46:46.810

I tried to remove the hour part and only keep the date. This function worked:

df$date <- format(as.POSIXct(strptime(df$date,"%Y-%m-%d %H:%M:%S")) ,format = "%Y-%m-%d")

and the date now look likes this

id date
1 2016-08-30

Which is something that I was looking for. But the problem is I wish to do some calculation on this data and have to convert it to integer:

temp <- as.numeric(df$date )

It gives me the following warning:

Warning message:
NAs introduced by coercion

and results in


Does anyone know where the issue is?


It's pretty easy as you have a standard format (see ISO 8601) which inter alia the anytime package supports (and it supports other, somewhat regular formats):

R> library(anytime)
R> at <- anytime("2016-08-30 10:46:46.810")
R> at
[1] "2016-08-30 10:46:46.80 CDT"
R> ad <- anydate("2016-08-30 10:46:46.810")
R> ad
[1] "2016-08-30"

The key, though, is to understand the relationship between the underlying date formats. You will have to read and try a bit more on that. Here, in essence we just have

R> as.Date(anytime("2016-08-30 10:46:46.810"))
[1] "2016-08-30"

The anytime package has a few other tricks such as automagic conversion from integer, character, factor, ordered, ...

As for the second part of your question, your were so close and then you spoiled it again with format() creating a character representation.

You almost always want Date representation instead:

R> ad <- as.Date(anytime("2016-08-30 10:46:46.810"))
R> as.integer(ad)
[1] 17043
R> as.numeric(ad)
[1] 17043
R> ad + 1:3
[1] "2016-08-31" "2016-09-01" "2016-09-02"