“How are you doing?” I asked.
“Super!” he said, and he genuinely seemed to mean it. And then he spilled hot coffee on his hand, and his attitude changed a little. But only briefly.
When you ask folks here at Minitab how they are doing, you frequently do get answers like "Super," "Never better," and "Great." Sure, some of them are lying, but the truth is that Minitab really is a great place to work. (Don't take my word for it; it’s documented.)
Like any job, there are some trials and tribulations. (For example, there never seem to be enough forks in the kitchenette. Not sure why.) But there is an ever-present undercurrent of community, pride, and purpose that keeps us motivated and eager to do our best work.
So, why should you care?
Because motivated employees make great products. It’s the great, motivated folks who work here that have made Minitab “the real deal.” I’ll give you some examples:
When we added the Laney P’ and U’ charts to Minitab 16.2, we worked closely with David Laney himself. David reviewed and tested the charts for us and even reviewed the content I wrote for Minitab’s Help and StatGuide. (If you don’t know what a “StatGuide” is, choose Help > StatGuide from the Minitab menu and prepare to be amazed.) We went straight to the source to make sure we got it right.
More recently, I’ve been working with a team to improve a statistical analysis. Bob (not his real name), one of our dedicated Statistical Research and Design specialists, ran a bunch of simulations and discovered that the published formulas did not perform as well under certain conditions as he had hoped. This prompted Bob (still not his real name) to contact the folks who published the method. Long story short, they are now excited because this has led them to improve their methodology and they will likely submit the improvements as a new research article. We didn’t just adopt their methods, we helped improve them.
Finally, I’m currently working on some white papers for our Web site to explain the nuts and bolts of some new features in Minitab. (We have lots of such white papers if you are interested.) I found this one interesting because it shows simulation data and explains why we believe that Minitab’s implementation of this feature is better and more accurate than what you will find in other software packages. Just another reason why the world trusts Minitab with its valuable data and time.
In our recent interview, Dr. Laney said with some pride that now that his charts are in Minitab, he can point to them and say, "See, they're the real deal." He left no doubt that Minitab is the quality analysis software that he trusts most to deliver his charts to an eager and grateful world. I think he hit the nail on the head when he closed the interview by saying, “With Minitab taking over the reins of this stagecoach, I know that the strongbox is going to be delivered.”
Stagecoach photo by Jeffrey Beall.