Jump to JMP- the best statistical GUI software as per Google Search

This book just won an international award

producing graphs alongside results. In most cases, each page or two-page spread completes a JMP task, which maximizes the book’s utility as a reference.

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Interview Anne Milley JMP

Here is an interview with Anne Milley, a notable thought leader in the world of analytics. Anne is now Senior Director, Analytical Strategy in Product Marketing for JMP , the leading data visualization software from the SAS Institute.

Ajay-What do you think are the top 5 unique selling points of JMP compared to other statistical software in its category?


JMP combines incredible analytic depth and breadth with interactive data visualization, creating a unique environment optimized for discovery and data-driven innovation.

With an extensible framework using JSL (JMP Scripting Language), and integration with SAS, R, and Excel, JMP becomes your analytic hub.

JMP is accessible to all kinds of users. A novice analyst can dig into an interactive report delivered by a custom JMP application. An engineer looking at his own data can use built-in JMP capabilities to discover patterns, and a developer can write code to extend JMP for herself or others.

State-of-the-art DOE capabilities make it easy for anyone to design and analyze efficient experiments to determine which adjustments will yield the greatest gains in quality or process improvement – before costly changes are made.

Not to mention, JMP products are exceptionally well designed and easy to use. See for yourself and check out the free trial at www.jmp.com.

Download a free 30-day trial of JMP.

Ajay- What are the challenges and opportunities of expanding JMP’s market share? Do you see JMP expanding its conferences globally to engage global audiences?


We realized solid global growth in 2010. The release of JMP Pro and JMP Clinical last year along with continuing enhancements to the rest of the JMP family of products (JMP and JMP Genomics) should position us well for another good year.

With the growing interest in analytics as a means to sustained value creation, we have the opportunity to help people along their analytic journey – to get started, take the next step, or adopt new paradigms speeding their time to value. The challenge is doing that as fast as we would like.

We are hiring internationally to offer even more events, training and academic programs globally.

Ajay- What are the current and proposed educational and global academic initiatives of JMP? How can we see more JMP in universities across the world (say India- China etc)?


We view colleges and universities both as critical incubators of future JMP users and as places where attitudes about data analysis and statistics are formed. We believe that a positive experience in learning statistics makes a person more likely to eventually want and need a product like JMP.

For most students – and particularly for those in applied disciplines of business, engineering and the sciences – the ability to make a statistics course relevant to their primary area of study fosters a positive experience. Fortunately, there is a trend in statistical education toward a more applied, data-driven approach, and JMP provides a very natural environment for both students and researchers.

Its user-friendly navigation, emphasis on data visualization and easy access to the analytics behind the graphics make JMP a compelling alternative to some of our more traditional competitors.

We’ve seen strong growth in the education markets in the last few years, and JMP is now used in nearly half of the top 200 universities in the US.

Internationally, we are at an earlier stage of market development, but we are currently working with both JMP and SAS country offices and their local academic programs to promote JMP. For example, we are working with members of the JMP China office and faculty at several universities in China to support the use of JMP in the development of a master’s curriculum in Applied Statistics there, touched on in this AMSTAT News article.

Ajay- What future trends do you see for 2011 in this market (say top 5)?


Growing complexity of data (text, image, audio…) drives the need for more and better visualization and analysis capabilities to make sense of it all.

More “chief analytics officers” are making better use of analytic talent – people are the most important ingredient for success!

JMP has been on the vanguard of 64-bit development, and users are now catching up with us as 64-bit machines become more common.

Users should demand easy-to-use, exploratory and predictive modeling tools as well as robust tools to experiment and learn to help them make the best decisions on an ongoing basis.

All these factors and more fuel the need for the integration of flexible, extensible tools with popular analytic platforms.

Ajay-You enjoy organic gardening as a hobby. How do you think hobbies and unwind time help people be better professionals?


I am lucky to work with so many people who view their work as a hobby. They have other interests too, though, some of which are work-related (statistics is relevant everywhere!). Organic gardening helps me put things in perspective and be present in the moment. More than work defines who you are. You can be passionate about your work as well as passionate about other things. I think it’s important to spend some leisure time in ways that bring you joy and contribute to your overall wellbeing and outlook.

Btw, nice interviews over the past several months—I hadn’t kept up, but will check it out more often!

Biography–  Source- http://www.sas.com/knowledge-exchange/business-analytics/biographies.html

  • Anne Milley

    Anne Milley

    Anne Milley is Senior Director of Analytics Strategy at JMP Product Marketing at SAS. Her ties to SAS began with bank failure prediction at Federal Home Loan Bank Dallas and continued at 7-Eleven Inc. She has authored papers and served on committees for F2006, KDD, SIAM, A2010 and several years of SAS’ annual data mining conference. Milley is a contributing faculty member for the International Institute of Analytics. anne.milley@jmp.com

Interview with Anne Milley, SAS II

Anne Milley is director of product marketing, SAS Institute . In part 2 of the interview Anne talks of immigration in technology areas, open source networks ,how she misses coding and software as a service especially SAS Institutes offering . She also reveals some preview on SAS s involvement with R and mentions cloud computing.


Ajay – Labor arbitrage outsourcing versus virtual teams located globally. What is the SAS Inst position and your opinion on this. What do you feel about the recent debate on HB1 visas and job cuts. How many jobs if at all is SAS planning to cut in 2009-2010.

Anne – SAS is a global company, with customers in more than 100 countries around the world.  We hire employees in these countries to help us better serve our global customers.  Our workforce decisions are based on our business needs.  We also employ virtual teams–the feedback and insights from our global workforce help us improve and develop new products to meet the evolving needs of our customers.  (As someone who works from her home office in Connecticut, I am a fan of virtual teaming!)  We see these approaches as complementary.

The issue of the H-1B visa is a different discussion entirely.  H-1B visas, although capped, permit US employers to bring foreign employees in specialty occupations into this country.   The better question, though, is what is necessitating the need for H-1B visas.  We would submit that the reason the U.S. has to look outside its borders for highly qualified technical workers is because we are not producing a sufficient number of workers with the right skill sets to meet U.S. demand.  In turn, that means that our educational system is not producing students interested or qualified to pursue the STEM (science, technology, engineering or mathematics) professions (either at a K-12 or post-secondary level), or developing the workforce improvement programs that may allow workers to pursue these specialty occupations.  Further, any discussion about H-1B visas (or any other type of visa) should include a more comprehensive review of our nations immigration policiesare they working, are they not working, how or why are they, are we able to limit illegal immigration and if not, why not, etc.

I am not aware of any planned job cuts at SAS.  In fact, I am aware of a few groups which are actively hiring.

Ajay- What open source softwares have SAS Institute worked in the past and it continues to support financially as well as technologically.  Any exciting product releases in 2009-2010 that you can tell us about.

Anne- Open source software provides many options and benefits.  We see many (SAS included) embracing open source for different things.  Our software runs on Linux and we use some open-source tools in development. There are different aspects of open source software in developing SAS software:

-Development with open source tools such as Eclipse, Ant, NAnt, JUnit, etc. to build, test, and package our software

-Using open source software in our products; examples include Apache/Jakarta products such as the Apache Web Server.

-Developing open source software, making changes to an open source codebase, and optionally contributing that source back to the open source project, to adapt an open source project for use in a SAS product or for internal use. Example: Eclipse.

And we plan to do more with open source in the future.  The first step of SAS integrating with R will be shown at SAS Global Forum coming up in DC later this month.  Other announcements for new offerings are also planned at this event. 

Ajay- What do you feel about adopting Software as a service for any of  SAS Institute’s products. Any new initiatives from SAS on the cloud computing front especially in terms of helping customers cut down on hardware costs.

Anne- SAS Solutions OnDemand, the division which oversees the infrastructure and support of all our hosted offerings, is expanding in this rapidly growing market.  SAS Solutions OnDemand Drug Development was our first SaaS offering announced in January.  Additional news on new hosted offerings will be announced at SAS Global Forum later this month.  SAS doesnt currently offer any external cloud computing options, but were actively looking at this area.

AjayWhich software do you personally find best to write code into and why. Do you miss writing code, if so why ?

Anne- In my current role, I have limited opportunity to write code.  At times, I do miss the logical thought process coding forces you to adopt (to do the job as elegantly as possible).  I had the opportunity to do a long-term assignment at a major financial services company in the UK last year and did get to use some SAS and JMP, including a little JSL (JMP scripting language).  Theres nothing like real-world, noisy, messy data to make you thankful for the power of writing code!  Even though I dont write code on a regular basis, I am happy to see continued investment in the languages SAS providesamong the most recent, the addition of an algebraic optimization modeling language in our SAS/OR module contained within the SAS language as PROC OPTMODEL.

I have great respect for people who invest in learning (or even getting exposure to) more than one language and who appreciate the strengths of different languages for certain tasks and applications.

Ajay- It is great to see passionate people at work on both sides of the open source as well as packaged software teams- and even better for them to collaborate once in a while.Most of our work is based on scientists who came before us (especially in math theory).

Ultimately we are all just students of science anyway.

SAS Global Forum –http://support.sas.com/events/sasglobalforum/2009/

Annual event of SAS language practitioners.SAS language consists of data step and proc steps for input and output thus simplifying syntax for users.

SAS Institute The leader of analytics software since 1970s , it grew out of the North Carolina University, and provides jobs to thousands of people. The worlds largest privately held company, admired for its huge investments in Research and Development and criticized for its premium price  on packaged software solutions.A recent entrant in corporate users who are willing to support R language.

Interview – Anne Milley, SAS Part 1

Anne Milley has been a part of SAS Institutes core strategy team.

She was in the news recently with an article by the legendary Ashlee Vance in the Bits Blog of  New York Times http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/02/16/sas-warms-to-open-source-one-letter-at-a-time/

In the article,  Ms. Milley said, I think it addresses a niche market for high-end data analysts that want free, readily available code. We have customers who build engines for aircraft. I am happy they are not using freeware when I get on a jet.

To her credit, Ms. Milley addressed some of the critical comments head-on in a subsequent blog post.

This sparked my curiosity in knowing Anne ,and her perspective more than just a single line quote and here is an interview. This is part 1 of the interview . Anne_Milley

Ajay -Describe your career journey , both out of and in SAS Institute. What advice would you give to young high school students to pursue careers in science. Do you think careers in science are as rewarding as other careers.


Originally, I wanted to major in international business to leverage my German (which is now waning from lack of use!).  I found the marketing and management classes at the time provided little practical value and happily ended up switching to the college of social science in the economics department, where I was challenged with several quantitative courses and encouraged to always have an analytical perspective.  In school, I was exposed to BASIC, SPSS, SHAZAM, and SAS.  Once I began my thesis (bank failure prediction models and the term structure of interest rates) and started working, it was SAS that served as the best software investment, both in banking (Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas) and in retail (7-Eleven Corp.).  After 5+ years in Dallas, my husband wanted to move back to New England and SAS happened to be opening an office at the time.  From there, I enjoyed a few years as a pre-sales technical consultant, many years in analytical product management, and most recently in product marketing.  All the while, it has been a great motivating factor to work with so many talented people focused on solving problems, revealing opportunities and doing things betterboth within and outside of SAS.

For high school and college students, I urge them to invest in studying some math and science, no matter the career theyre pursuing.  Whether they are interested in banking/finance, medicine and the life sciences, engineering or other fields, courses that will help them explore and analyze data, and come up with new approaches, new solutions, new advances based on a more scientific approach will pay off.

Course work in statistics, operations research, computer science and others will help hone skills for todays data- and analytics-driven world.  One example of this idea in action:  North Carolina State Universitys (NCSU) Institute for Advanced Analytics is seeing a huge increase in interest.  Its first graduating class last year saw higher average salaries than other graduate programs and multiple job offers per graduate.  Why?  Because there is still a huge demand for graduates with the ability to manipulate and analyze data in order to make better, more informed decisions.  I personally think careers in math and science are especially rewarding, but we need many diverse skills to make the world go round :o)

Ajay- Big corporations versus Startups. Where do you think is the balance between being big in terms of stability and size and being swift and nimble in terms of speed of product roll outs. What are the advantages and disadvantages of being a big corporation in a fast changing technology field.


Ever a balancing act, with continuous learning along the way.  The advantage of being big (and privately held) is that you can be more long-term-oriented.  The challenge with fast-changing technology is to know where to best invest.  While others may go to market faster with new capabilities, we seek to provide superior implementations (we invest in R (Research) AND D (Development), making capabilities available on a number of platforms. 

In todays economy, I think the big vs. small comparison is becoming less and less relevant.  Big corporations need to be agile and innovative, like their smaller rivals.  And small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) need to use the same techniques and technologies as the big boys.

First, on the big side, Ill use an example of which Im very familiar:  At SAS, a company founded more than 30 years ago as an entrepreneurial venture, weve certainly changed over the decades.  SAS started out in a small office with a handful of people.  Its now a global company with hundreds of offices and thousands of employees around the world.  Yet one thing that has not changed for SAS in all this time:  a laser-like focus on the customer.  This has been the key to SAS success and uninterrupted growth .Not really a secret sauce. Just a simple yet profound approach: listen carefully to your customers and their changing needs, and innovate, develop and adapt based on these needs.

Of course, being large has its advantages:  we have more ideas from more people, and creativity and innovation knows no borders.  From Sydney to Warsaw, So Paulo to Singapore, Shanghai to Heidelberg, SAS employees work closely with customers to meet their business needs today and in the future.

SAS provides the stability and proven success that businesses look for, particularly in troubled economic times.  Being large and privately held enables SAS to grow when others are cutting back, and continue to invest in R&D at a high rate 22% of revenues in 2008.

Yet with our annual subscription licensing model, SAS cannot rest on its laurels.  Each year, customers vote with their checkbooks:  if SAS provided them with business benefits, results and a positive ROI, they renew; if not, they can walk away.  Happily for SAS, the overwhelming majority of customers keep coming back.  But the licensing model keeps SAS on its toes, customer-focused, and always listening and innovating based on customer feedback.

As for SMBs, they are rapidly adopting the technologies used by large companies such as business analytics to compete in the global economy.  Two examples of this:

BGF Industries is a manufacturer of high-tech fabrics used in jet fighters, bullet-proof vests, movie-theater screens and surfboards, based in Greensboro, NC. BGF turned to SAS business analytics to help it deal with foreign competition.  BGF created a cost-effective, easy-to-use early-warning system that helps it track quality and productivity.  Per BGF, data is now available in minutes instead of hours.  And in the business world, this speed can be the difference between success and failure.  Per Bobby Hull, a BGF systems analyst: The early-warning system we built with SAS allowed us to go from nothing to everything.  SAS allows us to focus away from clerical tasks to focus on the quality and process side of the job. Because of SAS, were never more than three clicks away from finding an answer.

For Los Angeles-based The Wine House, installing a SAS-powered
inventory-management system helped it discover nearly $400,000 in lost inventory sitting on warehouse shelves.  For an SMB with annual sales of $20 million, that was a major find.  Business analytics helps it to compete with major retail and grocery chains.  Per Bill Knight, owner of The Wine House: The first day the SAS application was live, we identified approximately 1,000 cases of wine that had not moved in over a year. Thats significant cash tied up in inventory.  We had a huge sale to blow it out, and just in time, because in todays economy, we would be choking on that inventory.

So regardless of size, businesses must remain agile, listen to their customers, and use technologies like business analytics to make sense of and derive value from their data whether on the quality of surfboard covers or the number of cases of Oregon Pinot Noir in stock.

3) SAS Institute has been the de-facto leader in both market volume share as well as market value share in the field of data analytics. What are some of the factors do you think have contributed to this enduring success. What have been the principal challengers over the years.(Any comments on the challenge from SAS language software WPS please ??)

At SAS, we seek to provide a complete environment for analyticsfrom data collection, data manipulation, data exploration, data analysis, deployment of results and the means to manage that whole process.  Competition comes in many forms and it pushes us to keep delivering value.  For me, one thing that sets SAS apart from other vendors is that we care so deeply about the quality of results.  Our Technical Support, Education and consulting services organizations really do partner with customers to help them achieve the best results.  That kind of commitment is deep in the DNA of SAS culture.

The good thing about competition is that it forces you to re-examine your value proposition and rethink your business strategy.  Customers value attributes of their analytics infrastructure in varying degrees speed, quality, support, flexibility, ease of migration, backward and forward compatibility, etc.  Often there are options to trump any one or a subset of these and when that aligns with the customers priorities of what they value, they will vote with their pocketbooks.  For some customers with tight batch-processing windows, speed trumps everything.  In tests conducted by Merrill Consultants, an MXG program running on WPS runs significantly longer, consumes more CPU time and requires more memory than the same MXG program hosted on its native SAS platform.

While its easy to get caught up in fast-changing technology, one has to also consider history.  Some programming languages come and go; others have stood the test of time.  Even the use of different flavors of analysis ebbs and flows.  For instance, when data mining was all the rage almost a decade ago, many asked the very good question, Why so much excitement about analyzing so much opportunistic data when design of experiments offers so much more?  Finally, experimental design is being more readily adopted in areas like marketing.

At the end of the day, innovation is the only sustainable competitive advantage.  As noted above in question 2, SAS has remained firmly committed to customer-driven innovation.  And SAS has stuck to its knitting with respect to analytics.  A while back, SAS used to stand for Statistical Analysis System. If not literally, then philosophically, Analytics remains our middle name.

(Ajay- to be continued)

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