This interview is part of a series of Q&As with the JMP Genomics software development team, who recently released JMP Genomics 5. Earlier this week, we heard from statistical developer Wendy Czika.
Today, we meet Shannon Conners, life sciences product manager. You may have seen her byline here at the JMP Blog. Shannon shares the management of the two JMP life sciences products, JMP Genomics and JMP Clinical, with product manager Geoff Mann. She has been with JMP and SAS since June 2006, working as primary product manager for JMP Genomics.
In her bioinformatics PhD work, she used SAS and JMP to analyze microarray data from extremophilic bacteria and archaea, she explains. And that experience helped her in her current work: "During my graduate studies and post-doc, I spent a lot of time as an interpreter sitting between statisticians and biologists, helping them to understand each other. It turns out that is a very valuable skill to have when working with a statistical software development team that is building software used by biologists."
Arati: What do you like most about JMP and JMP Genomics?
Shannon: I love the ability in both products to quickly generate dynamic graphical reports and then drill down to view more details. Sometimes this can really help you make sense of a large data set without becoming overwhelmed!
Arati: Do you use JMP in your job or for personal projects? If so, how?
Shannon: Of course, I use JMP all the time, as I generate JMP Genomics screenshots for marketing materials, such as our product brief brochure, white papers and the website. I also use JMP for creating graphics and summaries of product revenue. The JMP group always appreciates seeing a graphic that summarizes key results, especially for internal presentations.
Arati: What are your favorite JMP Genomics features that you wish more people knew about and used?
Shannon: I especially like our JMP Genomics Browser, where we have added the ability to put statistical results in context by overlaying them on an overall genome view or adding tracks to highlight the locations of important genomic features. Also, I think that the drill-down buttons from ANOVA and other processes may be underused. They are very useful for quickly selecting a subset of data points to generate a new data set or rerunning an analysis interactively to see alternative interactive views that include the original data.
Arati: What’s new in JMP Genomics 5 in your area of focus?
Shannon: I have primary responsibility for working with the development team to prioritize and implement JMP Genomics requirements, so my area of focus is pretty big! I’ve just spent quite a lot of time with Anne Bullard, on the JMP marketing communications team, rewriting our product brief and website materials -- so all I can say is that there are many new features to love. Check out our newly designed website to get information on them all.
Arati: What’s most exciting to you as a product manager?
Shannon: I’m thrilled to be part of a JMP team that is making such great strides in data visualization. There are so many amazing capabilities in JMP that we get to take advantage of to build domain-specific visuals for JMP Genomics and JMP Clinical. With access to all these functions and platforms, we can move so much more quickly to implement our user requirements than if we were building everything from scratch.
Arati: What do you like to do in your free time?
Shannon: When I’m not thinking about life sciences product management, you’re most likely to find me at home enjoying life with my husband, daughter and two dogs. We just finished up our family’s first fall soccer season!
I love walking on the SAS campus during lunch, especially in the spring and fall, which are my favorite North Carolina seasons. My life sciences colleagues at JMP know I’m a big fan of short, intense weight training and interval training workouts, too. You don’t need JMP graphs to tell you that in order to maximize family time and work productivity, you have to get fitness results in as little time as possible.