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
But Six Sigma relies heavily on statistics and data analysis,
and many... Continue Reading
Can you trust your data?
the very first question we need to ask when we perform a
statistical analysis. If the data's no good, it doesn't matter what
statistical methods we employ, nor how much expertise we have in
analyzing data. If we start with bad data, we'll end up with
unreliable results. Garbage in, garbage out, as they
So, can you trust your data? Are you positive?... Continue Reading
Last week I was fielding questions on social media about Minitab
18, the latest version of our statistical software. Almost as soon
as the new release was announced, we received a question that comes
up often from people in pharmaceutical and medical device
Minitab 18 FDA-validated?"
How Software Gets Validated
That's a great question. To satisfy U.S. Food and Drug
Administration (FDA)... Continue Reading
by Dan Wolfe, guest blogger
How would you measure a hole that was allowed to vary one tenth
the size of a human hair? What if the warmth from holding the part
in your hand could take the measurement from good to bad? These are
the types of problems that must be dealt with when measuring at the
As a Six Sigma professional, that was the challenge I was given
when Tenneco entered into... Continue Reading
you ever tried to install ventilated shelving in a closet?
You know: the heavy-duty, white- or gray-colored vinyl-coated wire
shelving? The one that allows you to get organized, more efficient
with space, and is strong and maintenance-free? Yep, that’s the
one. Did I mention this stuff is strong? As in,
really hard to cut?
It seems like a simple 4-step project. Measure the closet, go
the... Continue Reading
Reliability analysis is the perfect tool for calculating the
proportion of items that you can expect to survive for a specified
period of time under identical operating conditions. Light bulbs—or
lamps—are a classic example. Want to calculate the number of light
bulbs expected to fail within 1000 hours? Reliability analysis can
help you answer this type of question.
But to conduct the analysis... Continue Reading
Pareto charts are a special type of bar chart you can use to
prioritize almost anything. This makes them very useful in making
sound decisions. For example, if you have several possible quality
improvement projects, but not enough time or people to do them all
now, you can use a Pareto chart to identify which projects have the
most potential for making meaningful improvement.
Pareto charts look... Continue Reading
Every day, thousands of people withdraw extra cash for daily
expenses. Each transaction may be small, but the total amount of
cash dispersed over hundreds or thousands of daily transactions can
be very high. But every bank branch has a fixed cash flow, which
must be set without knowing what each customer will need on a given
day. This creates a challenge for financial entities. Customers
expect... Continue Reading
Since the release of Minitab
Express in 2014, we’ve often received questions in technical
support about the differences between Express and Minitab 17.
In this post, I’ll attempt to provide a comparison between these
two Minitab products.
What Is Minitab 17?
Minitab 17 is an all-in-one graphical and statistical analysis
package that includes basic analysis tools such as hypothesis
testing,... Continue Reading
The ultimate goal of most quality improvement projects is clear:
reducing the number of defects, improving a response, or making a
change that benefits your customers.
We often want to jump right in and start gathering and analyzing
data so we can solve the problems. Checking your measurement
systems first, with methods like attribute agreement analysis or
Gage R&R, may seem like a needless waste... Continue Reading
We hosted our first-ever Minitab Insights conference in
September, and if you were among the attendees, you already know
the caliber of the speakers and the value of the information they
shared. Experts from a wide range of industries offered a lot of
great lessons about how they use data analysis to improve business
practices and solve a variety of problems.
I blogged earlier about five key...Continue Reading
We’ve got a plethora of case studies showing how businesses from different
industries solve problems and implement solutions with data
analysis. Take a look for ideas about how you can use data analysis
to ensure excellence at your business!
Boston Scientific, one of the world’s leading developers of
medical devices, is just one organization who has shared their
story. A team at their Heredia,... Continue Reading
other day I was talking with a friend about control charts, and I
wanted to share an example one of my colleagues wrote on the
Minitab Blog. Looking back through the index for "control
charts" reminded me just how much material we've published on this
Whether you're just getting started with control charts, or
you're an old hand at statistical process control, you'll find some
valuable... Continue Reading
you perform a statistical analysis, you want to make sure you
collect enough data that your results are reliable. But you also
want to avoid wasting time and money collecting more data than you
need. So it's important to find an appropriate middle ground when
determining your sample size.
Now, technically, the Major League Baseball regular season isn't
a statistical analysis. But it does kind... Continue Reading
been called a "demographic watershed".
In the next 15 years alone, the worldwide population of
individuals aged 65 and older is projected to increase more
than 60%, from 617 million to about 1 billion.1
Increasingly, countries are asking themselves: How can we
ensure a high quality of care for our growing aging
population while keeping our healthcare costs under control?
The answer? More... 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
Most of us have heard a backwards way of completing a task, or
doing something in the conventionally wrong order, described as
“putting the cart before the horse.” That’s because a horse pulling
a cart is much more efficient than a horse pushing a cart.
saying may be especially true in the world of statistics. Focusing
on a statistical tool or analysis before checking out the condition
of your... Continue Reading
If you want to convince someone that at least a basic
understanding of statistics is an essential life skill, bring up
the case of Lucia de Berk. Hers is a story that's too awful to be
true—except that it is completely true.
flawed analysis irrevocably altered de Berk's life and kept her
behind bars for five years, and the fact that this analysis
targeted and harmed just one person makes it more... 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,
Pennsylvania, with subsidiaries in the United Kingdom, France, and
Australia. Our global network of representatives serves more than 40
countries around the world.