This week, SAS introduced SAS Rapid Predictive Modeler, a component of SAS Enterprise Miner that allows a business user to drive the modeling from Microsoft Excel (via the SAS Add-In for Microsoft Office) or SAS Enterprise Guide.
It was made possible thanks to the close collaboration of R&D staff on two very different teams. The SAS Enterprise Miner team has traditionally focused on data miners: people who build predictive models, neural networks, use decision trees, and so on. The SAS Enterprise Guide team (which creates tasks for SAS Enterprise Guide and SAS Add-In for Microsoft Office) has traditionally focused on business analysts and SAS programmers.
It's not the first such collaboration (and I know it won't be the last!). SAS Enterprise Guide and SAS Add-In for Microsoft Office already offer some integration points with SAS Enterprise Miner. For example, you can use the Model Scoring task within these products to score data using models that were created in SAS Enterprise Miner. And SAS Enterprise Miner users often employ SAS Enterprise Guide for data preparation on the front end, and then for post-modeling reporting.
The SAS Rapid Predictive Modeler represents even tighter integration, because it directly drives the powerful SAS Enterprise Miner application from an easy-to-use, familiar interface. I'm told that this will help bring predictive analytics to the masses.