The product allows less-sophisticated users to create a basic model from within an Excel interface. SAS has added Rapid Predictive Modeler as a task within the SAS Add-in for Microsoft Office. The SAS Office Add-In is one of the best on the market (see this blog and this report), with broad data access and a unique ability to interact with data on the server, rather than having to pull all the data into a spreadsheet.The Add-In also had a number of features that complement RPM, including the ability to create a sample data set, descriptive statistics, and score a model. With RPM, a user can choose to create a basic, intermediate, or advanced model. A statistician can further tweak the model in any of the other SAS interfaces such as Enterprise Guide or Enterprise Miner. The first release of SAS Rapid Predictive Modeler supports only classification and regression models.
Of course the risk with RPM, as with any attempt to simplify analytics for non statisticians, is that untrained users will misapply the tool or misinterpret the results. However, anything that facilitates the dialogue between business users (who know which variables are more likely to influence an outcome) with the statisticians (who know how to build the models) can only be a good thing.
Regards Cindi Howson, BI ScorecardIn another move reflecting the shift to "mainstream analytics" -- the predictive kind -- SAS just announced the release of SAS Rapid Predictive Modeler, which allows less-sophisticated users to create a basic model from within an Excel interface.