It’s hard to understand data just by looking at it in a tibble. Visualizations are one way to gain a better understanding of the relationships present in your data. Modeling is another approach.
You can think of a model as an approximation of your data. Often a model with relatively few parameters can capture much of the complexity of a dataset. By finding a model that is a good approximation, you can gain insights into your data.
We’re not going to rigorously cover the mathematical foundations of models. Instead, we’ll give you some intuition for how models approximate data and show you some useful tidyverse tools for fitting and working with models.