When I blogged about
automation back in March, I made my husband out to be an
automation guru. Well, he certainly is. But what you don’t know
about my husband is that while he loves to automate everything in
his life, sometimes he drops the ball. He’s human; even I have to
cut him a break every now and then.
On the other hand, instances of hypocrisy in his behavior tend
to make for a good story.... Continue Reading
Here is a scenario involving process capability that we’ve seen
from time to time in Minitab's technical support department. I’m
sharing the details in this post so that you’ll know where to look
if you encounter a similar situation.
You need to run a capability analysis. You generate the output
Statistical Software. When you look at the results, the Cpk is
huge and the histogram in... Continue Reading
Earlier this month, PLOS.org
published an article titled "Ten Simple Rules for Effective Statistical
10 rules are good reading for anyone who draws conclusions and makes decisions
based on data, whether
you're trying to extend the boundaries of scientific knowledge or
make good decisions for your business.
Carnegie Mellon University's
Robert E. Kass and several co-authors devised... Continue Reading
You often hear the data being
blamed when an analysis is not delivering the answers you wanted or
expected. I was recently reminded that the data chosen or collected
for a specific analysis is determined by the analyst, so there is
no such thing as bad data—only bad
This made me think about the
steps an analyst can take to minimise the risk of producing
analysis that fails to answer... Continue Reading
last thing you want to do when you purchase a new piece of software
is spend an excessive amount of time getting up and running. You’ve
probably been ready to the use the software since, well,
yesterday. Minitab has always focused on making our
software easy to use, but many professional software packages do
have a steep learning curve.
Whatever package you’re using, here are three things you... Continue Reading
What does the eyesight of a homeless person have in common with
complications from dental anesthesia? Or with reducing
side-effects from cancer? Or monitoring artificial hip
These are all subjects of recently published studies that
analyses in Minitab to improve healthcare
outcomes. And they're a good reminder that when we
improve the quality of healthcare for others, we... Continue Reading
We often receive questions about moving ranges because they're
used in various tools in our statistical software,
including control charts and capability analysis when data is not
collected in subgroups. In this post, I'll explain what a moving
range is, and how a moving range and average moving range are
A moving range measures how variation changes over time when
data are collected as... Continue Reading
After my husband’s most recent visit to the dentist, he returned
home cavity-free...and with a $150 electric toothbrush in
I wanted details.
It began innocently. His dreaded trip to the dentist ended in
high praise for no cavities and only a warning to floss more. That
prompted my programming-and-automation-obsessed husband, still in
the chair, to exclaim, "I wish there was a way to automate... Continue Reading
the roots of Lean Six Sigma and other quality improvement
methodologies are in manufacturing, it’s interesting to see how
other organizational functions and industries apply LSS tools
successfully. Quality improvement certainly has moved far beyond
the walls of manufacturing plants!
For example, I recently had the opportunity to talk to Drew
Mohler, a Lean Six Sigma black belt and senior... Continue Reading
If you need to assess process
performance relative to some specification limit(s),
capability is the tool to use. You collect some accurate
data from a stable process, enter those measurements in Minitab,
and then choose Stat > Quality Tools >
Capability Analysis/Sixpack or Assistant
> Capability Analysis.
Now, what about sorting the data?
I’ve been asked “why does Cpk change when I... Continue Reading
How deeply has statistical content from Minitab blog posts (or
other sources) seeped into your brain tissue? Rather than submit a
biopsy specimen from your temporal lobe for analysis, take this
short quiz to find out. Each question may have more than one
correct answer. Good luck!
of the following are famous figure skating pairs, and which are
methods for testing whether your data follow a... Continue Reading
Having delivered training courses on
capability analyses with Minitab, several times, I have noticed
that one question you can be absolutely sure will be asked, during
the course, is: What is the difference between the Cpk
and the Ppk indices?
Ppk vs. Cpk indices
The terms Cpk and Ppk are often confused,
so that when quality or process engineers refer to the
Cpk index, they often actually intend to... Continue Reading
Control charts are a fantastic tool. These charts plot your
process data to identify common cause and special cause variation.
By identifying the different causes of variation, you can take
action on your process without over-controlling it.
Assessing the stability of a process can help you determine
whether there is a problem and identify the source of the problem.
Is the mean too high, too low,... Continue Reading
Don't be a grumpy cat when something on your capability report
doesn't smell right. After
pressing that OK button to run your analysis, allow your inner cat to
understand how and why certain statistics are being used. To help
you along, here are some capability issues that customers have
brought up recently.
Cp is missing
You’ve generated a capability analysis report with the Johnson
transformation... Continue Reading
By Matthew Barsalou, guest
A problem must be understood before it can be properly
addressed. A thorough understanding of the problem is critical when
root cause analysis (RCA) and an RCA is necessary if an
organization wants to implement corrective actions that truly
address the root cause of the problem. An RCA may also be necessary
for process improvement projects; it is... Continue Reading
you know that November is World Quality Month? The American Society
for Quality is once again heading up this year’s festivities.
Throughout the month of November, ASQ will be promoting the use
of quality tools in businesses, communities, and institutions all
over the world. You can check it out at http://asq.org/world-quality-month/.
Here at Minitab, we’re also pretty excited about World... Continue Reading
By Matthew Barsalou, guest
Teaching process performance and capability studies is easier
when actual process data is available for the student or trainee to
practice with. As I have previously
discussed at the Minitab Blog, a catapult can be used to
generate data for a capability study. My last blog on using a
catapult for this purspose was several years ago, so I would like
to revisit... Continue Reading
I read trade publications that cover everything from banking to
biotech, looking for interesting perspectives on data analysis and
statistics, especially where it pertains to quality
Recently I read a great blog post from Tony Taylor, an analytical
chemist with a background in pharmaceuticals. In it, he discusses
the implications of the FDA's updated guidance for industry analytical...Continue Reading
You run a capability analysis
and your Cpk is bad. Now what?
First, let’s start by defining
what “bad” is. In simple terms, the smaller the Cpk, the more
defects you have. So the larger your Cpk is, the
practitioners use a Cpk of 1.33 as the gold standard, so we’ll
treat that as the gold standard here, too.
Suppose we collect some data and run a capability analysis using
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