Tips and Techniques for Statistics and Quality Improvement

Blog posts and articles about using Minitab software in quality improvement projects, research, and more.

Control charts take data about your process and plot it so you can distinguish between common-cause and special-cause variation. Knowing the difference is important because it permits you to address potential problems without over-controlling your process.  

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In statistics, as in life, absolute certainty is rare. That's why statisticians often can't provide a result that is as specific as we might like; instead, they provide the results of an analysis as a range, within which the data suggest the true answer lies.

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by Matthew Barsalou, guest blogger

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by Matthew Barsalou, guest blogger

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The Six Sigma quality improvement methodology has lasted for decades because it gets results. Companies in every country around the world, and in every industry, have used this logical, step-by-step method to improve the quality of their processes, products, and services. And they've saved billions of dollars along the way.

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Six Sigma is a quality improvement method that businesses have used for decades—because it gets results. A Six Sigma project follows a clearly defined series of steps, and companies in every industry in every country around the world have used this method to resolve problems. Along the way, they've saved billions of dollars.

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In April 2017, overbooking of flight seats hit the headlines when a United Airlines customer was dragged off a flight. A TED talk by Nina Klietsch gives a good, but simplistic explanation of why overbooking is so attractive to airlines.

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Can you trust your data? 

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We had solar panels fitted on our property in 2011. Last year, we had a few problems with the equipment. It was shutting down at various times throughout the day, typically when it was very sunny, resulting in no electricity being generated.

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All processes have variation, some of which is inherent in the process, and isn't a reason for concern. But when processes show unusual variation, it may indicate a change or a "special cause" that requires your attention. 

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