"I could even predict that John Madden will be
the next president and make the Turducken our new national bird!"
Yes, but what do the data say?
Anybody can predict the future. It’s true. Whether it’s
predicting whether a coin will be heads or tails or a quality
improvement expert predicting ways to save money, anybody can do
it. I could even predict that John Madden will be the next
president and... Continue Reading
Have you ever thought that certain Lean Six Sigma
practices might be beneficial for your marriage? Although I’m
just a newlywed, I’ve had success with these Lean relationship tips
in my brief time as a wife.
WIP, JIT, and Poka Yoke’s Take the ‘Honey-Do’ List to a Whole
I’ve been told by my husband that long to-do lists stress him
out and overwhelm him so much that he loses his focus and... Continue Reading
Recently I've been thinking about common questions that
customers ask when running a Gage R&R analysis in Minitab.
For example, when you run a Gage R&R, the last result that
shows up in the session window is a value for the ‘Number of
Distinct Categories’. This one metric is something that
customers seem to overlook when they call to discuss their Gage
This value represents the... Continue Reading
In a previous post, I told you how omitting the
subject's weight led to a surprising result in a preliminary
regression analysis of the effects of physical activity on bone
density. It's a good example of why you need to be very careful
about the data you collect: factors you DO NOT include sometimes
have a big influence on the ones you DO include! Let's look at how this played out in my... Continue Reading
They were careless people, Tom and Daisy—they smashed up
things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or
their vast carelessness, or whatever it was that kept them
together, and let other people clean up the mess they had
— F. Scott FitzgeraldAs Nick learns in The Great Gatsby, you
can't be careless about your friends or you'll create a big mess.
You don't want to be riding... Continue Reading
If you’re a quality improvement
expert, you already know that statistics can be a powerful tool in
your quest to reduce the cost of poor quality and save money. But
statistics might be even more powerful than you think—it may
actually have helped someone win a lottery jackpot.
According to Business Insider, a former mathematics
professor with a Ph.D. in statistics has won the Texas lottery... Continue Reading
I’ve been using process analysis to develop a draft strategy for
Fantasy Football. I’ve already
shown that getting a top running back should be your first
priority. But what if the top running backs are gone by the time
you get your first pick? When should you switch to other positions?
I’ll use Minitab to find out.
Analyzing the Data
I’ll look at standard deviations, which measure the spread in
the... Continue Reading
Control charts are simple but very powerful tools that can help
you determine whether a process is in control (meaning it has only
random, normal variation) or out of control (meaning it shows
unusual variation, probably due to a "special cause").
In an earlier post, I wrote about the common elements that all
control charts share: upper and lower control limits, an
expected variation region, and... Continue Reading
Riddle: What two tools in Minitab can be used to perform the
same analysis on your data? Well, there are probably a few pairs
that can be mentioned, but I am going to focus on Discriminant
Analysis and Binary Logistic Regression.These tools can be used to predict group membership. If we
look at exh_mvar.mtw, located in Minitab’s sample data folder, we
have the perfect data set to use. Here is a... Continue Reading
When we collect data for quality improvement
projects, we try to identify and measure all the factors that
could influence our outcome. In scientific research studies,
we try to neatly organize, classify, and measure all relevant
aspects of the subject matter in order to quantify the relationship
between all significant variables.The problem is that reality can be messy and hard to measure,... Continue Reading
I’m relatively new to Lean Six Sigma terminologies
and when I first heard someone refer to a “poka yoke,” I thought,
“hmm… that must be a new dance move.”
I quickly learned that a poka yoke is not a new way to get funky on
the dance floor—but rather a term coined by Japanese industrial
process engineer Shigeo Shingo to refer to methods that can be used
to “mistake-proof” a process.Keeping your... Continue Reading
Most people are familiar with the concept of statistics based on
exposure to every-day information, such as people polls, election
results, weather or sports stats, commercial product comparisons,
etc. Someone collects a set of data, does some number-crunching,
and produces for us some interesting statistics. These sorts of
sample statistics are called
Descriptive... Continue Reading
Now that it looks like we’re going to have an NFL season, it’s
time for Minitab to start thinking about Fantasy Football! Many
businesses use process
analysis to improve performance, so why can’t we do the same
thing with the process of selecting a Fantasy Football team? The
answer is, we can! I’ll use process analysis to show how you can
improve the process of drafting your team.
In the Fantasy... Continue Reading
One of the best parts of my job is interacting with
Minitab customers and
learning how they’ve successfully used our software to improve quality and
save money at their companies.
I recently got the chance to talk to several quality practitioners
from Phoenix Contact, a leading manufacturer
of electrical connection and industrial automation technology.
Phoenix Contact produces more than 25,000... Continue Reading
Data analysis is easier when you use Minitab. But
before we can practice statistics in Minitab, the data has to be
there. So for this post, we’re going to try getting some data into
Minitab. Fortunately, data’s all around us and you can choose
something that appeals to you.One of my favorite things is literature. I think that one of the
great things about Bartleby.com, and other sites that collect... Continue Reading
Lately, I've been thinking a lot
about the "perfect" proportion. We’re adding a sunroom to
our house and debating the best dimensions for the rectangular
addition. Naturally, "the golden ratio" is an enticing option.
Also called the Divine Proportion, the golden ratio has gotten a
lot of buzz over the centuries. Its basis is simple yet
Take a line segment and divide it
into two segments... Continue Reading
They say "variety is the spice of life," but when it comes to
doing business, variation is not your friend. That's why we have
One of these things is not like the others...is
it common cause variation you can accept, or special variation that
needs to be addressed? Control charts could tell you.
We know that a little bit of variation is inevitable, but we
tolerate it within... Continue Reading
In the process of adding our new Nonlinear Regression analysis
to Minitab 16, I had the opportunity to learn a lot about
As you probably noticed, the field of statistics is a strange beast.
Need more evidence? Linear regression can produce curved lines and
nonlinear regression is not named for its curved lines.
So, when should you use Nonlinear Regressionover one of our linear methods, such... Continue Reading
Elections are fast approaching, and you might be wondering how
reliable can results
from exit polls really be? In other words, can you tell with
certain confidence which candidate will win prior to the actual
election? In particular, consider the state governor
elections.Let’s suppose for the sake of simplicity that only two candidates
are running – Candidate A and Candidate B. If we split... Continue Reading
Well, it is quite another superhero movie filled summer for
Hollywood. Marvel Comics, owner of popular superheroes such as
Spider-Man and Iron Man, is producing movies for each character
that will appear in the upcoming 2013 vehicle entitled ‘The
Avengers.’ DC Comics, most famous for their characters Batman and
Superman, is trying to get more of their relatively unknown
characters onto the big... Continue Reading
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