Communicating statistical concepts quickly and clearly is just as critical as being able to calculate them, so I focus on quick, practical insights about statistics to help you make data-driven decisions. Continue Reading »
In my last blog, we compared fatality rates on
Himalayan peaks to determine which mountain provides the biggest
challenge for would-be mountaineers in search of death
Of course, if you’re an adventure/trekking company, you have
another goal: to guide thrill-seeking mountaineers to the peak
safely. You want to protect your customers from experiencing the
ultimate defect: death.So you need... Continue Reading
Earlier this month, thousands of trekkers were
stranded by bad weather near Mount Everest and had to be
evacuated. The news made me wonder: Just how many people are
chillin' on Chololungma ( “Holy Mother”—the Tibetan name for
Everest) these days?
So I decided to do some exploring of the statistical variety, using
Minitab as my trusty Sherpa.Exploratory analyses are a great way to reveal... Continue Reading
Are you someone who
never imagined you’d be using statistics in your work? Do you feel,
at times, like an undercover interloper in the land of p-values, as
you step gingerly to avoid statistical land mines with long,
For example, do you feel a slight chill run down your spine when
you read:“For your analysis results to be valid, you should ascertain
whether your data satisfy... Continue Reading
countdown on my favorite Minitab tips and tricks continues. If you
missed tips #6-#10, check out my previous blog.
Coming in at #5, the answer to last blog's trivia quiz: Export a Minitab graph to PowerPoint
You won't believe how easy this is. Right-click any graph you've
created in Minitab and choose Send Graph to Microsoft
PowerPoint. You don't even need to open PowerPoint.
Minitab does it... Continue Reading
Are you old enough to remember the
glory days of Casey Kasem and the American Top 40 Countdown?
Unfortunately, I am.
In honor of all the teenyboppers of
the past, and all the Minitab users of the present, here’s a
countdown of my personal “Top 10 Tips and Tricks” in Minitab
Statistical Software, paired with miscellaneous hits from Billboard’s 100 All-Time
Top Songs List.Disclaimer: The author is... Continue Reading
You know that using statistical
quality analysis to ensure that your product meets requirements is
a great way to keep your customers happy. But as you analyze
your data, there’s another person you want to keep happy—a
As we saw in a previous blog, performing a hypothesis
test repeatedly without controlling the family error
rate increases the likelihood that any... Continue Reading
I’d like to give you a chance to
win some money. Tell me which of these games you’d rather play:
Game 1: We flip a coin once. If it
lands on tails, I’ll give you 100 bucks.Game 2: We flip a coin 10 times. If it lands on
tails at least one time, I’ll give you 100 bucks.
If you said “Doh” and picked Game
2, either you’re Homer Simpson or you already have a good intuitive
understanding of an important... Continue Reading
Most Lean Six Sigma projects use
data analysis to examine and reduce the prevalence of defects in a
product or service. Experienced quality practitioners know that
defects can sometimes feel abstract when you analyze them,
until you’re the customer who experiences them firsthand.
On my first trip to Rome, my luggage never showed up in the
terminal.So instead of gazing in awe at the Sistine... Continue Reading
If you’re a quality improvement
expert, you already know that statistics can be a powerful tool in
your quest to reduce the cost of poor quality and save money. But
statistics might be even more powerful than you think—it may
actually have helped someone win a lottery jackpot.
According to Business Insider, a former mathematics
professor with a Ph.D. in statistics has won the Texas lottery... Continue Reading
Lately, I've been thinking a lot
about the "perfect" proportion. We’re adding a sunroom to
our house and debating the best dimensions for the rectangular
addition. Naturally, "the golden ratio" is an enticing option.
Also called the Divine Proportion, the golden ratio has gotten a
lot of buzz over the centuries. Its basis is simple yet
Take a line segment and divide it
into two segments... Continue Reading
We humans do have a tendency to succumb to
gold rush fever.
And this can happen even in the left-brained, rational field of
After we collect our data, it’s difficult to resist the urge to
desperately dash for
p-values, as if they were 70% off at Macy’s the day after
Thanksgiving.But no matter how well-versed you are in statistics, it’s good
practice to get into the habit of intuitively... Continue Reading
series plots help us see variations over time by displaying
observations on the y-axis against equally spaced time intervals on
the x-axis. In Lean Six Sigma, they can show you the
before-and-after effects of a process change.
I recently used a time series plot to see how the price of gold
has changed over time. After reaching record highs recently, gold
prices have dipped, although some... Continue Reading
Ever feel frustrated with the flip-floppy results reported in
the medical news? Today a cup of coffee will lead you to an early
grave. Tomorrow it will ensure that you’ll be dancing a jig on
your 99th birthday. Every day, it seems there’s a new
study that contradicts a previous finding.
In response, some people throw up their hands in helplessness.
Others shrug—then chug another double-shot of... Continue Reading
Sometimes, statistical terms can seem like they were zapped down
from outer space by sadistic, mealy-mouthed aliens: R-squared
adjusted, heteroeskadasticity, 3-parameter Weibull
But not all statistics terminology
should leave you feeling woozy and glassy-eyed. Some terms
actually make intuitive sense. Knowing those terms can help
you get a handle on output that may seem fuzzy at... Continue Reading
Let’s face it. You’re busy. I’m busy. We’re all busy with our
In a world that spins at about 1,000 miles per hour, and seems
to pick up speed every day , we’re lucky if we have enough time,
energy, and focus to put on matching socks in the
morning. (Notice that my socks have been cropped from this
So trying to quickly get a handle on the statistics you need for
a quality... 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.