Reliability analysis is the perfect tool for calculating the
proportion of items that you can expect to survive for a specified
period of time under identical operating conditions. Light bulbs—or
lamps—are a classic example. Want to calculate the number of light
bulbs expected to fail within 1000 hours? Reliability analysis can
help you answer this type of question.
But to conduct the analysis... Continue Reading
2 of this blog series, I wrote about how statistical
inference uses data from a sample of individuals to reach
conclusions about the whole population. That’s a very powerful
tool, but you must check your assumptions when you make statistical
inferences. Violating any of these assumptions can result in false
positives or false negatives, thus invalidating your
The common... Continue Reading
2016 comes to a close, it’s time to reflect on the passage of time
and changes. As I’m sure you’ve guessed, I love statistics and
analyzing data! I also love talking and writing about it. In fact,
I’ve been writing statistical blog posts for over five years, and
it’s been an absolute blast. John Tukey, the renowned statistician,
once said, “The best thing about being a statistician... Continue Reading
by Matt Barsalou, guest blogger
I know that Thanksgiving is always on the last Thursday in
November, but somehow I failed to notice it was fast approaching
until the Monday before Thanksgiving. This led to frantically
sending a last-minute invitation, and a hunt for a turkey.
I live in Germany and this greatly complicated the matter. Not
only is Thanksgiving not celebrated, but also actual turkeys... Continue Reading
LinkedIn group is a good place to ask questions and get
input from people with experience analyzing data and doing
statistics in a wide array of professions. For example, one member
asked this question:
I am trying to create a chart
that can monitor change by month. I have [last year's] data and
want to compare it to [this year's] data...what chart should I use,
and can I auto-update it?... Continue Reading
week we’re celebrating the annual Thanksgiving holiday in the
United States, which is not only a good time to reflect on the
things we’re grateful for, but it’s also a good time to stuff
yourself with turkey, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, and
the usual suspects that find their way to the Thanksgiving
While I’m of course very thankful for my family, friends, home,
etc., I’m also... Continue Reading
The season of change is upon us here at Minitab's World
Headquarters. The air is crisp and clear and the landscape is
ablaze in vibrant fall colors. As I drove to work one recent
morning, I couldn't help but soak in the beauty surrounding me and
think, "Too bad everything they taught me as a kid was a lie."
see, as a boy growing up in New Hampshire, I was told that the
sublime beauty of autumn... Continue Reading
In this day and age, it’s not uncommon that data entry errors
occur in data sets that are so large that looking for and
correcting the errors by hand is impractical. Fortunately, Minitab
includes tools that make it easy to get your data into shape, so
that you can proceed to getting the answers you need.
Let’s say, for example, that you were going to look at the
Density Database. It’s... Continue Reading
Pareto charts are a special type of bar chart you can use to
prioritize almost anything. This makes them very useful in making
sound decisions. For example, if you have several possible quality
improvement projects, but not enough time or people to do them all
now, you can use a Pareto chart to identify which projects have the
most potential for making meaningful improvement.
Pareto charts look... Continue Reading
At the inaugural Minitab Insights Conference in September,
presenters Benjamin Turcan and Jennifer Berner discussed
how to present data effectively. Among the considerations they
discussed was choosing the right graph.
Different graphs are good for different things. Of course,
opinions about which graph is best can, and do, differ. Dotplot
devotees might decide that they are demonstrably... Continue Reading
again, with the arrival of autumn, it's time for a flu shot.
I get a flu shot every year even though I know they’re not
perfect. I figure they’re a relatively easy and inexpensive way to
reduce the chance of having a miserable week.
I’ve heard on various news media that their effectiveness is
about 60%. But what does 60% effectiveness mean, exactly? How much
does this actually reduce the... Continue Reading
In Part 1 of this
blog series, I wrote about how statistical inference uses data
from a sample of individuals to reach conclusions about the whole
population. That’s a very powerful tool, but you must check your
assumptions when you make statistical inferences. Violating any of
these assumptions can result in false positives or false negatives,
thus invalidating your results.
The common data... Continue Reading
If you’re not a statistician, looking through statistical output
can sometimes make you feel a bit like Alice in
Wonderland. Suddenly, you step into a fantastical world
where strange and mysterious phantasms appear out of nowhere.
For example, consider the T and P in your t-test results.
“Curiouser and curiouser!” you might exclaim, like Alice, as you
gaze at your output.
What are these values,... Continue Reading
Regardless of who you support in the upcoming U.S. election, we
can all agree that it’s been a very bumpy ride! It’s been a
particularly chaotic election cycle. Wouldn’t it be nice if we
could peek into the future and see potential election results right
now? That’s what we'll do in this post!
In 2012, I used binary logistic regression to predict that President Obama would be reelected for
a second...Continue Reading
If your work involves quality improvement, you've at least
heard of Design of Experiments (DOE). You probably know
it's the most efficient way to optimize and improve your process.
But many of us find DOE intimidating, especially if it's not a tool
we use often. How do you select an appropriate design, and ensure
you've got the right number of factors and levels? And after you've
gathered your... Continue Reading
With another Halloween almost upon us, here's a look back at
some of the posts we've written about this holiday specifically,
and about various creepy things in general. I hope that you enjoy
this roundup of 13 scary statistics posts...and that they won't
keep you up at night!
1. How to Make Minitab Wear a Halloween Costume
As Halloween nears, you can customize your Minitab interface to
match the... Continue Reading
No matter how experienced you are at analyzing data,
communicating about your results can be a tremendous challenge. So
it's not surprising that "Effectively Reporting Your Data Analysis"
was one of the best-attended sessions at the inaugural Minitab
Insights Conference last month.
The presenters, Benjamin Turcan and Jennifer Berner of First
Niagara Bank, have a great deal of experience improving...Continue Reading
Statistical inference uses data from a sample of individuals to
reach conclusions about the whole population. It’s a very
powerful tool. But as the saying goes, “With great
power comes great responsibility!” When attempting to make
inferences from sample data, you must check your assumptions.
Violating any of these assumptions can result in false positives or
false negatives, thus invalidating... Continue Reading
Every day, thousands of people withdraw extra cash for daily
expenses. Each transaction may be small, but the total amount of
cash dispersed over hundreds or thousands of daily transactions can
be very high. But every bank branch has a fixed cash flow, which
must be set without knowing what each customer will need on a given
day. This creates a challenge for financial entities. Customers
expect... Continue Reading
Data mining can be helpful in the exploratory phase of an
analysis. If you're in the early stages and you're just figuring
out which predictors are potentially correlated with your response
variable, data mining can help you identify candidates. However,
there are problems associated with using data mining to select
In my previous post, we used data mining to settle on
the following... Continue Reading
Minitab is the leading provider of software and services for quality
improvement and statistics education. More than 90% of Fortune 100 companies
use Minitab Statistical Software, our flagship product, and more students
worldwide have used Minitab to learn statistics than any other package.
Minitab Inc. is a privately owned company headquartered in State College,
Pennsylvania, with subsidiaries in the United Kingdom, France, and
Australia. Our global network of representatives serves more than 40
countries around the world.