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Creating a Custom Report using Minitab, part 2

Now that you’ve seen how to automatically import data and run analyses in my previous post, let’s create the Monthly Report!

I will be using a Microsoft Word Document (Office 2010) and adding bookmarks to act as placeholders for the Graphs, statistics, and boilerplate conclusions.

Let’s go through the steps to accomplish this:

  • Open up an existing report that you have previously created in Microsoft Word.
  • Highlight a section of the document where you would like to place the created Minitab graph or statistic.
  • Go to the Insert tab, click the Bookmark link, and type in the name of what you will be...

Creating a Custom Report using Minitab, part 1

As a member of Minitab’s Consulting and Custom Development Services team, I get to help companies across a variety of industries create a many different types of reports for management. These reports often need to be generated weekly or monthly. I prefer to automate tasks like this whenever possible, so that new or updated reports can be created without much effort. A little investment up front can save a lot of time by eliminating the need to recreate the wheel every time management wants a current report. 

I’m going to tell you how to use Minitab Statistical Softwareto automatically generate...

Using Statistics to Show Your Boss Process Improvements

Ughhh... your process is producing some parts that don't meet your customer's specifications! Fortunately, after a little hard work, you find a way to improve the process.

However, you want to perform the appropriate statistical analysis to back up your findings and make it easier to explain the process improvements to your boss. And it's important to remember that your boss is much like the boss in Eston's posts -- he's not too familiar with statistics, so you'll have to take it slow and show lots of "visual aids" in your explanation. How should you begin? 

Enter before-and-after process...

How to Handle Extreme Outliers in Capability Analysis

Transformations and non-normal distributions are typically the first approaches considered when the when the Normality test fails in a capability analysis. These approaches do not work when there are extreme outliers because they both assume the data come from a single common-cause variation distribution. But because extreme outliers typically represent special-cause variation, transformations and non-normal distributions are not good approaches for data that contain extreme outliers.

As an example, the four graphs below show distribution fits for a dataset with 99 values simulated from a...

Is Your Statistical Software FDA Validated for Medical Devices or Pharmaceuticals?

We're frequently asked whether Minitab has been validated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in the pharmaceutical and medical device industries.

Minitab does extensive testing to validate our software internally, but Minitab’s statistical software is not—and cannot be—FDA-validated out-of-the-box.

Nobody's can.

It is a common misconception that software vendors can go through a certification process to achieve FDA software validation. It's simply not true.

Software vendors who claim their products are FDA-validated should be scrutinized. It is up to the software purchaser to...

Applying Six Sigma to a Small Operation, Part 2

In my previous post, I shared a case study of how a small bicycle-chain manufacturing company in India used the DMAIC approach to Six Sigma to reverse declining productivity.

After completing the Define, Measure, and Analysis phases, the team had identified the important factors in the bushing creation process. Armed with this knowledge, they were now ready to make some improvements.

The Improve Phase

In the Improve phase, the team applied a statistical method called Design of Experiments (DOE) to optimize the important factors they'd identified in the initial phases.

Most of us learn in school...

Applying Six Sigma to a Small Operation

Using data analysis and statistics to improve business quality has a long history. But it often seems like most of that history involves huge operations. After all, Six Sigma originated with Motorola, and became adopted by thousands of other businesses after it was adopted by a little-known outfit called General Electric.

There are many case studies and examples of how big companies used Six Sigma methods to save millions of dollars, slash expenses, and improve quality...but when they read about the big dogs getting those kind of results, a lot of folks hear a little voice in their heads...

Process Capability Statistics: Cp and Cpk, Working Together

Capability statistics are wonderful things. These statistics tell you how well your process is meeting the specifications that you have. But there are so many capability statistics that it's worth taking some time to understand how they’re useful together.

Two capability statistics that are hard to keep straight are Cp and Cpk. Their names are different by only a single letter. A single letter that, by the way, doesn’t really explain anything about how these two statistics are different.

Definition of Cp

The equation for Cp is often written ET / NT. ET stands for Engineering Tolerance, which is...

Using Minitab Statistical Software to Analyze the Woeful Bengals

by Jeff Parks, guest blogger

Being a Cincinnati Bengals fan is tough. It's true that Bengals fans don't have it as bad as, say, long-suffering Chicago Cubs fans...nevertheless, the Bengals haven’t won a playoff game since January 1991. That's currently the longest streak in the NFL. In the 1990s they were voted the worst sports franchise by ESPN. Not the worst football team, mind you, but the worst franchise in all of sports.

Not the L.A. Clippers. Not the Cleveland Browns. Not the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The Cincinnati Bengals.

Why? Why must it be so? What separates the Bengals from the good teams in...

How Lean Six Sigma Students at Rose-Hulman Reduced Food Waste

To promote ethical and moral responsibility in shaping its graduates, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology created a sustainability initiative to reduce its own environmental footprint.

As part of that team's efforts, Six Sigma students at Rose-Hulman conducted a project to reduce food waste at the campus dining center. We got the opportunity to learn more about the project by talking with Dr. Diane Evans, a Six Sigma black belt and associate professor of mathematics at Rose-Hulman who led the students’ efforts, and Neel Iyer, a mechanical engineering student who was also on the project team.

Calc...

Quality Improvement in Healthcare: Completing Projects with DMAIC

The DMAIC methodology for completing quality improvement projects divides project work into five phases: define, measure, analyze, improve, and control. It’s also probably the most well-known and most used project methodology for projects that focus on improving an existing process. (Many other methodologies exist, such as DMADV, which focuses on using quality improvement techniques to create a new product of process design.)

Franciscan Hospital for Children, a hospital in Brighton, Mass., that specializes in the care of children with special health care needs, recently completed a project...

Studying Old Dogs with New Statistical Tricks: Bone-Cracking Hypercarnivores and 3D Surface Plots

A while back my colleague Jim Frost wrote about applying statistics to decisions typically left to expert judgment; I was reminded of his post this week when I came across a new research study that takes a statistical technique commonly used in one discipline, and applies it in a new way. 

The study, by paleontologist Zhijie Jack Tseng, looked at how the skulls of bone-cracking carnivores--modern-day hyenas--evolved. They may look like dogs, but hyenas in fact are more closely related to cats. However, some extinct dog species had skulls much like a hyena's. 

Tseng analyzed data from 3D...

Normal: The Kevin Bacon of Distributions

When you learned statistics, most of what you learned was centered around the Normal distribution.  Maybe you became close friends and you later found out his birth name was Gaussian, but either way you probably just call him Normal.

You might know Normal’s a pretty popular guy with plenty of relationships with other distributions.  There are some obvious connections, like how eNormal is Lognormal, but I thought I’d share some less obvious ones. 

You probably already know that by subtracting his mean and dividing by his standard deviation you get Standard Normal.

What if you squared Standard...

Get Your Way, Every Time: 7 Default Settings in Minitab You Didn’t Know You Could Change

Unless you’re 3 years old, you probably can’t have things just the way you want them all the time.  

You can’t always have peanut butter and ranch dressing on your toast. Or ketchup on your pineapple. Or sugar sprinkles on your peas.

But there is one small arena in life over which you can still exert your control. 

Tools > Options in Minitab's statistical software allows you to change selected default settings in the software, without having to throw a temper tantrum first.

This powerful, underutilized feature in Minitab may save you from the inconvenience of having to change a default setting...

Lightsaber Capability Analysis: The Results

Here at the lightsaber factory, we've completed several steps in doing a capability analysis:

We’re getting close to our deadline, and it’s finally time to carry out our Capability Analysis and see if we are manufacturing our lightsabers to the correct specifications as set forth by the Jedi Temple.

First, let’s go to Stat > Quality Tools > Capability Analysis > Normal.  (If you want to play along and you don't already have it, get the...

Streamlining Surveillance Processes with Lean Six Sigma

I had the privilege of talking with Sue Schlegel, Lean Six Sigma black belt and quality improvement mentor at White Sands Missile Range, which is located just outside of Las Cruces, New Mexico. Schlegel and an improvement team at White Sands recently conducted a Lean Six Sigma project to streamline surveillance processes and they used Minitab to analyze the data. We found Sue’s story an interesting case study for a LSS project, so I thought I would share it with you here on the blog, too.

Reducing Work Hours

When clients request classified video surveillance missions, the White Sands Missile...

Learning Process Capability with a Catapult, part 2

by Matthew Barsalou, guest blogger

Process capability analysis using Minitab Statistical Software’s Capability SixpackTM can be taught using a catapult. A process capability analysis is performed to determine if a process is statistically capable.

In my last blog post, I collected data from a first run of catapult results and found that the run not only had a large amount of variability, it also violated the assumption of normality. Now it's time to do a second run.  

The Second Run and Capability Analysis

A second run was performed using thicker and more robust wire to stretch the rubber band;...

Learning Process Capability Analysis with a Catapult, part 1

by Matthew Barsalou, guest blogger

We can use a simple catapult to teach process capability analysis using Minitab Statistical Software’s Capability SixpackTM. Here's how.

A process capability analysis is performed to determine if a process is statistically capable. Based on the results of the capability study, we can estimate the amount of defective components the process would produce.

However, a process must be in statistical control and have a normal distribution. A process that is not in statistical control must be brought in control before the capability analysis is performed. In addition,...

Lightsaber Capability Analysis: Is Our Process In Control?

In my last post, we talked about using statistical tools to identify the right distribution of our lightsaber manufacturing data. Now that we have our data in Minitab along with a specific distribution picked out, we can find out if we are dealing with an in-control process. If the process is not in control, the capability estimates will be incorrect. Thus, an extremely important (and often overlooked) aspect of Capability Analysis is to make sure our process in first in control. We can do this with a tool Minitab Statistical Software offers called the Capability Sixpack.TM

First, let’s go to S...

Lightsaber Capability Analysis: Picking the Right Distribution

In my previous post, you learned how to prepare your data for capability analysis in Minitab. Now let's see where we need to go in the statistical software to run the correct Capability Analysis.

When it comes to capability analysis, Minitab offers a few different choices. We offer Normal Capability Analysis for when your data follow a normal distribution. If your data follow a different distribution, such as the Weibull distribution, there's Non-normal Capability Analysis. We also offer Binomial Capability and Poisson Capability for when you are looking to produce a process capability report...