Valentine’s Day Stats with Minitab Graphs (and a Special Valentine’s Trick to Impress Your Favorite Quality Engineer)

Minitab Blog Editor 14 February, 2012

How will you celebrate Valentine’s Day this year? Maybe it will involve buying a gift for your sweetie, or perhaps a special dinner out. According to the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) 2012 Valentine’s Day Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, the average person will spend $126.03 to celebrate this year's holiday!

In Minitab, I created a Time Series Plot (Graph > Time Series Plot > Simple) to display the NRF’s data for average Valentine’s Day spending (per person) since 2003.

Minitab Time Series Plot

You can see the average spending per person has steadily risen over the years—and this year's expected spending ($126.03) is higher than last year ($116.21) by 8.5%.

Here's how I set up the data in my Minitab worksheet:

Minitab Worksheet

The NRF survey also asked men and women what types of gifts they planned on giving this year. The clustered  Minitab Bar Chart (Graph > Bar Chart) below displays the percent of men and women who plan on giving the following gifts on February 14th: candy, flowers, jewelry, greeting cards, an evening out, clothing, and a gift card/certificate.

Minitab Bar Chart
And in terms of how much money the average person will spend on different groups of people this Valentine's Day, the following Minitab Pie Chart (Graph > Pie Chart) categorizes anticipated spending by the type of person being bought for, provided the buyer answered "yes" to purchasing for the category of person (significant other/spouse, other family members, friends, children’s classmates/teachers, co-workers, pets, and other).:

Minitab Pie Chart

How to Say "I Love You" to a Quality Engineer

Looking to impress that special quality engineer with a Valentine this year? Surprise him or her with a customized Minitab graph with a special Valentine’s Day theme:

Minitab Scatterplot

Minitab Time Series Plot

You can change the colors and font styles of your Minitab graphs by double-clicking on the graph attributes you'd like to edit. (By clicking Custom on the various tabs, you can customize fill pattern colors, borders and fill line colors, etc.)

You can also change the default colors and font styles of your graphs by accessing the Tools menu:

1. Go to Tools > Options. Then click Graphics and expand (using the + sign) to see more options:

2. Click Regions, and choose the elements of the graph that you’d like to customize. (I changed the colors of my plots to red or rose for ‘Graph’ and to pink for ‘Data.’)

3. Change the font style of your graph labels by choosing Frame Elements (also under Graphics).

Don’t wait for Valentine’s Day to modify the colors and font styles of your graphs. Remember you can customize your Minitab graphs to fit your needs anytime!

(And if you want to make your own Valentine's Day graph, feel free to use the data I created here.) 

Happy Valentine’s Day!