Inspired By John Sall

As users of JMP Software we all develop our own opinions of what we like, what we don’t like, and how we think it should evolve.

So it’s very insightful to hear the perspective of the man behind the software – John Sall.  He is hard to ignore, both physically (he is tall!) and intellectually (he is a giant!).  But above all, he knows how we ought to be using the software whereas we just think we know.  

Of course we are free to use the software anyway we like, but to maximize the utility of the software we need to embrace it’s philosophy.  JMP is not Excel.  Unless we use it like Excel.

When I am giving training courses I always ask students not to maximize their windows.  They still do.  I have close friends and colleagues (JMP is like that, it blurs the boundaries) and I tell them not to maximize their windows.  They still do.  I start to give up, thinking maybe this is my own little idiosyncrasy.  But then I hear  John Sall say (via jmp.com/live) that you loose the benefit of dynamic links if you maximize your windows, and I feel  re-inspired that JMP is not just about software.  It’s about how we interact with data, how we develop insights.  And I feel re-energised about this, which is a good thing because I make a living helping organisations get the most out of their investment in JMP software.

As an educator, I like to think that I add value around how to use the software and how to apply statistical thinking.  But it’s important that this isn’t done in a vacuum.  To get the most out of JMP we need to understand the rationale behind JMP.  For example, JMP has a design principle that for each statistical result there is also a graphical representation.   For each step in an analytical workflow, JMP provides contextual menu options, provided in discrete hotspots that don’t interfere with the visual desktop.

One of the challenges of JMP is that it is leading-edge in many areas, particularly DOE.  I run two training courses for DOE, one based on classical designs, and one on custom designs.  I typically let my customers choose their preference, which is invariably classical designs.  Why?  Because it’s in their comfort zone, and in text books.  But JMP isn’t designed to maintain the status quo.  It’s  a pioneer for change, for empowering scientists and engineers to visually explore their data and apply statistical methods.  It’s not afraid of  making the most modern techniques available, even if they are so new that they haven’t been written about in text books.

We always have the option to ignore what is new and stick with the old.  I feel re-inspired to help my clients get the most out of JMP, using the very latest of methods available.

Thank you John Sall, for the talk,  for the software, for the inspiration.

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