I am new in KNIME and I have only very basic programming knowledge. I try to evaluate whether KNIME might be useful as a complementary tool to R and Excel.

I have to calculate values by arithmetic operations from large data sets that are hierarchally structured by different categories (being factors in R) and I need to do some statistics afterwards.

From top to bottom

Level1 categories (e.g. 3) each split into 100 categories (level2) each of which has 10 subcategories (level3) each of which has 2 subcategories (level4). The numerical values have very precise coordinates by this structuring. Unfortunately, I need not only statistical evaluation which is rather simple but I have to do arithmetric calculations with some of the numbers (different ways of normalization, addition of fived numbers etc) in this conditional framework.

I can subset the whole dataset according to the factor levels into many pieces and finally transform the column into several columns (long to wide table) which the easily enables arithmetric operations. However, I need to do this splitting and reforming of the tables by using loops. I am not very good in loop construction and I noticed that the whole procedure is rather slow and error prone.

Does anybody know a better way to fulfil this kind of task in KNIME. I tried to do this in R and found it very demanding as I am not an expert in R syntax and functions. Moreover, one can loose control whether all subset are dealt with in the required way.