We did it! Brenda and I, sponsored and with the help of the SAS Press team, gave our first webinar today. The SAS Press team said we reached the 50% attendance rate which, according to webinar attendance rate statistics, is pretty good. I must confess that it took a little bit of getting used to. When I give talks or teach I'm always in front of a live audience, and I pay close attention to the participants and their body language for cues as to how my delivery is going, if they are understanding the material, or if they need a break. In a webinar you pretty much talk to your computer screen without any visual or audio feedback from the audience.
For the webinar we used a semiconductor industry example involving the qualification of a temperature-controlled vertical furnace used for thin film deposition on wafers. The goal of the qualification was to show that the average thickness of the silicon dioxide layer, a key fitness-for-use parameter, meets the target value of 90 Angstrom, and to predict how much product will be outside the 90 ± 3 Å specifications.
We walked the participants through a 7-Step Method that includes clearly stating the questions or uncertainties to be answered, translating those into statistical hypothesis that can be tested with data, and the different aspects of data collection, analysis, interpretations of results, and recommendations (more details in Chapter 4 of our book). We featured JMP's Distribution and Control Chart platforms, as well as the Formula Editor to predict the expected yield loss using a normal distribution. Several interesting questions were raised by the participants including what is the meaning of confidence level, what is a good Cpk value, how do we predict yield loss with respect to specifications, and the value of changing the specifications rather than centering the process. Great topics for future posts!
Today was a good day. We had the opportunity to deliver a well attended webinar and, to top it all off, the SAS Press team told us that our book, Analyzing and Interpreting Continuous Data Using JMP: A Step-by-Step Guide, just won the 2009-2010 Society for Technical Communications Distinguished award. For this, we are thankful to the judges, our readers, and the JMP and SAS Press teams. We are also very grateful to those of you who were in attendance today for giving us the chance to try this out.