This week I'm at the American Society for Quality's World
Conference on Quality and Improvement in Nashville, TN. The ASQ
conference is a great opportunity to see how quality professionals
are tackling problems in every industry, from beverage distribution
to banking services.
Given my statistical bent, I like to see how companies apply
tools like ANOVA, regression, and especially... Continue Reading
It’s usually not a good idea to rely solely on a single
statistic to draw conclusions about your process. Do that, and you
could fall into the clutches of the “duck-rabbit” illusion shown
If you fix your eyes solely on the duck, you’ll miss the
If you're using
Statistical Software for capability analysis, the
capability indices Cp and Cpk are good examples of... Continue Reading
A while back, I offered an
overview of process capability analysis that emphasized
the importance of matching your analysis to the distribution of
If you're already familiar with different types of
distributions, Minitab makes it easy to identify what type of data
you're working with, or to transform your data to approximate the
But what if you're not so great with... Continue Reading
Cp and Cpk are well known capability indices commonly
used to ensure that a process spread is as small as possible
compared to the tolerance interval (Cp), or that it stays well
within specifications (Cpk).
Yet another type of capability index exists: the Cpm, which is
much less known and used less frequently. The main difference
between the Cpm and the other capability indices is that the... Continue Reading
To choose the
right statistical analysis, you need to know the distribution of
your data. Suppose you want to assess the capability of your
process. If you conduct an analysis that assumes the data follow a
normal distribution when, in fact, the data are nonnormal, your
results will be inaccurate. To avoid this costly error, you must
determine the distribution of your data.
So, how do you determine... Continue Reading
Suppose that you have designed a brand new product with many
improved features that well help create a much better customer
experience. Now you must ensure that it is manufactured
according to the best quality and reliability standards, so that it
gets the excellent long-term reputation it deserves from potential
customers. You need to move quickly and seamlessly from Research
and Development into... Continue Reading
I left off last with a
post outlining how the Six Sigma students at
Rose-Hulman were working on a project to reduce the amount of
recycling thrown in the normal trash cans in all of the academic
buildings at the institution.
Using the DMAIC methodology for completing improvement
projects, they had already defined the problem at hand: how could
the amount of recycling that’s thrown in the normal trash... Continue Reading
As someone who has
collected and analyzed real data for a living, the idea of
using simulated data for a Monte Carlo simulation sounds a bit odd.
How can you improve a real product with simulated data? In this
post, I’ll help you understand the methods behind Monte Carlo
simulation and walk you through a simulation example using
What is Devize, you ask? Devize is Minitab's
exciting new,... Continue Reading
Sure, Minitab Statistical Software is powerful and easy to use,
but did you know that it’s also magic? One of the illusions that
Minitab can perform is the world famous
disappearing-reappearing-analysis-settings act. Of course, as with
many illusions, it’s not so hard once you know the trick. In this
case, it’s downright easy once you know about Minitab project
If you’ve done any work in... Continue Reading
Suppose that you plan to source a substantial amount of parts or
subcomponents from a new supplier. To ensure that their quality
level is acceptable to you, you might want to assess the capability
and Cpk indices) of their manufacturing processes and check
whether their critical process parameters are fully under control
control charts). If you are not sure about the efficiency... Continue Reading
initiatives such as Six Sigma, practitioners often need to assess
the capability of a process to make sure it can meet
specifications, or to verify that it produces good
parts. While many Minitab users are
familiar with the capability analysis tools in the Stat menu and
Assistant includes a less-frequently used
What Is the... Continue Reading
There is more than just the p value in a probability plot—the
overall graphical pattern also provides a great deal of useful
information. Probability plots are a powerful tool to better
understand your data.
In this post, I intend to present the main principles of
probability plots and focus on their visual interpretation using
some real data.
In probability plots, the data density distribution... Continue Reading
In an earlier post, I shared some great
hidden helpers in Minitab Statistical Software that even many
veteran users don't know about. Here are a few more!
Everything In Its Right Place
Project Manager allows you to navigate, view, and manipulate
various parts of your project. Right-clicking either the folders or
their contents lets you access a variety of menus that allow you to
manage... Continue Reading
"The Little Engine That Could," the children's story about
self-confidence in the face of huge challenges? In it, a train
engine keeps telling itself "I think I can" while carrying a very
heavy load up a big mountain. Next thing you know, the little
engine has done it...but until that moment, the outcome
It's a wonderful story for teaching kids about self-confidence.
But... Continue Reading
It's all too easy to make mistakes involving statistics.
Powerful statistical software can remove a lot of the difficulty
surrounding statistical calculation, reducing the risk of
mathematical errors—but correctly interpreting the results of
an analysis can be even more challenging.
No one knows that better than Minitab's technical trainers. All of our trainers
are seasoned statisticians with... Continue Reading
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... Continue Reading
As a member of Minitab’s Consulting and Custom Development
Services team, I get to help companies across a variety of
industries create 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... Continue Reading
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... Continue Reading
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... Continue Reading
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.
It is a common misconception that software vendors can go
through a... 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,
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countries around the world.