Our World Statistics Day conversations have been a great reminder of how much statistics can inform our lives. Do you have an example of how statistics has made a difference in your life? Share your story with the Community!
I discovered that I was an outlier until Saturday, when I bought a new car: I am the only salesperson in their forties that I have known to own a single car for their whole career. Over the course of owning it for the best part of eight years, I covered 136,245 miles in the UK. When I first joined JMP in 2009, I attended the Discovery Summit in Chicago – the most enjoyable conference I’ve ever attended – and had the pleasure of hearing Malcolm Gladwell talk about his book Outliers. One thing he explained was that anyone could become an expert by investing 10,000 hours into anything.
This got me thinking: Am I am expert driver?
The 136,245 miles mentioned are, within a reasonable confidence interval, a good measure of my driving experience. Assuming I drive an average of 35 miles per hour (I’ve tested it – it’s reasonably accurate given all those seemingly endless hours sitting around on motorways / highways), then I have 3,893 hours of driving experience. Blimey! All those hours on the road, and I’m way off being an expert!
And this got me further thinking. We expect our customers to install JMP and quickly and easily become comfortable using it. But how many actually reach that 10,000-hour mark, and how do we help users become experts? Browsing our website, I see many ways we help:
Next, there’s the Learning Library, complete with feature videos (short, for the YouTube generation!), that cover specific features in JMP.
JMP itself contains a wealth of resources to help new and existing users, which you can find under the Help menu, including tutorials, sample data sets and .pdf books. A great one for getting started is the short Discovering JMP book. There are many books available through good book retailers, including the most recent edition of JMP Start Statistics.
We also offer classroom-based and Web-based training, through SAS Training, with a path from “novice” to “expert” user. Two of these courses are now available as eLearning, so the user can go through the course at the pace they desire and as many times as they like.
Oh, and don't forget the Tip of the Day in the software itself! Robert Anderson, our UK Statistical Consultant, recommends going through these in one go as they are really useful. And if you need further help, then you can contact the experts on our Technical Support help desk either through our website or by emailing a description of your problem to firstname.lastname@example.org.
But can I accelerate my driving expertise? Maybe not. But I drive 20,000 miles per year (many of them with Robert!), so you will be pleased to know that in 11 years time' – my mid-fifties – I will finally become an expert driver. Now that’s something worth looking forward to!