Factory Miner is my favorite project from my tenure at SAS. When you work at consultancies for many years, you grow accustomed to letting go of things. You do a lot of work, give it back to the customer, and move on to the next thing. While the variety is interesting, the sense of ownership is not there.
I saw Factory Miner from conception to launch. It was an early HTML5 product for SAS. I got to work on interaction patterns that applied across the portfolio.
When generating predictive models, it is common to segment your data first. Doing so produces different models for different segments of your population. Factory Miner allowed you to do this at scale.
Designing a solution to this complex problem took many iterations. Factory Miner is the project for which I started building HTML prototypes and iterating on ideas in the browser. Even if the prototypes were rough, they provided enough semblance of a user's flow to gather input from key stakeholders.
We did extensive usability testing. Factory Miner appeals to a specific user base (data scientists or business analysts with knowledge of statistics), so we recruited internal SAS users. Our usability test found significant discoverability issues around the construction of model templates. We followed up our formal usability test with an informal one to land on a better solution.
It was a thrill to see Factory Miner showcased during the keynote of SAS's user conference.