The World-Famous Disappearing-Reappearing-Analysis-Settings Act

Cody Steele 10 December, 2014

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 files.

The statue of liberty

If you’ve done any work in Minitab you may very well have saved a project file and been grateful that your data, graphs, and statistical tables could all be saved together in a single file. But, it’s just as amazing that Minitab can remember exactly how you did your analysis the last time.

Imagine that you routinely run a capability analysis on the same process. The first time you did the analysis, you changed several of the options to get the output that you wanted. When you open Minitab the next time, you want to perform the same analysis on a new data set. Having a saved project makes it easy. Try it for yourself if you want, following the steps below. Begin by downloading our free trial if you don't already have our statistical software, then download worksheets Basil.MTW and Basil2.MTW.

Introduce your Assistant

  1. Open the Basil.MTW worksheet.
  2. Choose Stat > Quality Tools > Capability Analysis > Multiple Variables (Normal).
  3. In Variables, enter T1H1 T1H2.
  4. In Subgroup sizes, enter 4.
  5. In Lower spec, enter 2.
  6. In Upper spec, enter 8.
  7. Click Graphs.
  8. Uncheck Normal probability plot. Click OK.
  9. Click Options.
  10. Under Display, select Benchmark Z’s (σ level) and check Include confidence intervals.
  11. Click OK twice.

The capability analysis is in your project file.

Statue not visiblePresto, they’re gone!

  1. Close Minitab. When asked if you want to save changes to the project, click Yes.
  2. Name the file and click Save.

Minitab Statistical Software is closed. The settings for your analysis are nowhere to be found.

Abracadabra—they’re back!

  1. Reopen the project file that you saved.
  2. Open the Basil2.MTW worksheet.
  3. Choose Stat > Quality Tools > Capability Analysis > Multiple Variables (Normal).

The settings from your previous analysis have reappeared! All you have to do to complete the capability analysis, with all of your customizations, is click OK.

Bask in the applause from the audience

Keeping all of the parts of your analysis in one place is a great feature of Minitab’s project files. For people who routinely repeat the same analysis, the fact that the project file also remembers the settings that you used for your analysis is a fantastic time saver.

Whether you repeat an analysis weekly, quarterly, or even annually, Minitab’s ready to pick up right where you left off. This might not be quite as astounding as David Copperfield making the Statue of Liberty disappear and reappear, but if you want to get your statistical results fast and easy, it’s the best kind of magic.

Ready for more? Projects files and many other fundamental features of Minitab, are explained in the online Getting Started Guide.