can be a tricky thing. Consider trying to predict the number rolled
by 2 six-sided dice. We know that 7 is the most likely outcome. We
know the exact probability each number has of being rolled. If we
rolled the dice 100 times, we could calculate the expected value
for the number of times each value would be rolled. However, even
with all that information, we can't definitively predict... Continue Reading
September 16, is World Ozone Day. You don't hear much about the
ozone layer any more.
In fact, if you’re under 30, you might think this is just
another trivial, obscure observance, along the lines of International Dot Day (yesterday) or National Apple Dumpling Day (tomorrow).
But there’s a good reason that, almost 30 years ago, the United
Nations designated today to as a day to raise... Continue Reading
P-values are frequently misinterpreted, which causes many
problems. I won't rehash those
problems here here since my colleague Jim Frost has
detailed the issues involved at some length, but the fact remains
that the p-value will continue to be one of the most frequently
used tools for deciding if a result is statistically
You know the old saw about "Lies, damned lies, and... Continue Reading
I read trade publications that cover everything from banking to
biotech, looking for interesting perspectives on data analysis and
statistics, especially where it pertains to quality
Recently I read a great blog post from Tony Taylor, an analytical
chemist with a background in pharmaceuticals. In it, he discusses
the implications of the FDA's updated guidance for industry analytical...Continue Reading
statistical techniques to optimize manufacturing processes is
quite common now, but using the same approach on social topics is
still an innovative approach. For example, if our objective is to
improve student academic performances, should we increase teachers
wages or would it be better to reduce the number of students
in a class?
topics (the effect of increasing the minimum... Continue Reading
You might not have known, but September is Attendance Awareness
Month. Specifically, attendance of children at American public
schools. The organization Attendance Works recently came out with a
report that highlights the learning gap between students with
strong attendance and students with poor attendance.
software helps us quickly and easily create graphs that make it
easier to... Continue Reading
The other day I received a request from a friend to look into a
new study in a peer reviewed journal that found a link between MMR
vaccinations and an increased risk of autism in African Americans
boys. To draw this conclusion, the new study reanalyzed data that
was discarded a decade ago by a previous study.
friend wanted to know, from a statistical perspective, was it
unethical for the... Continue Reading
by The Discrete Sharer, guest blogger
As Minitab users, many of us have found
staged control charts to be an effective tool to
quantify and demonstrate the “before and after” state of our
process improvement activities.
However, have you ever considered using them to demonstrate the
effects of changes to compensation/incentive plans for your
Here's an example of how a mid-sized... Continue Reading
Did you know that this year the American Statistical Association
(ASA) is celebrating its 175th anniversary? That’s a
pretty significant birthday!
On the ASA’s 175th anniversary webpage, they publish
blog posts periodically that cover ASA happenings, such as
anniversary events and celebrations, as well as interesting tidbits
about the organization. Recently, they published a post covering
the... 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
Minitab Statistical Software was born out of a desire to make
statistics easier to learn: by making the calculations faster and
easier with computers, the trio of educators who created the first
version of Minitab sought to free students from intensive
computations to focus on learning key statistical concepts. That
approach resonated with statistics instructors, and today Minitab
is the standard... Continue Reading
Adam Ozimek had
an interesting post April 15th on the Modeled
Behavior blog at Forbes.com. He observed that one of the advantages
of big data is how easy it is to get test data to validate a model
that you built from sample data.
Ozimek notes that he is “for the most part a p-value checking,
residual examining, data modeling culture economist,” but he’s
correct to observe that if you can test your... Continue Reading
Why should you care about Minitab 17 Statistical
Software, the newest version of the leading software used for
quality improvement and statistics education?
important people in your life -- your co-workers, your students,
your kids, your boss, maybe even you -- are afraid to
There's no shame in that. In fact, there are pretty good
reasons for people to feel some trepidation... Continue Reading
colleague of mine at Minitab, Cheryl Pammer, was recently featured
in "A Statistician's Journey," a monthly feature
that appears in the print and online versions of the American
Statistical Association's AMSTAT News magazine.
Each month, the magazine asks ASA members to talk about the
paths they took to get to where they are today. Cheryl is a "user
experience designer" at Minitab. In other... Continue Reading
by Arun Kumar, guest blogger
One of the most commonly used statistical methods is ANOVA,
short for “Analysis of Variance.” Whether you’re analysing data for
Six-Sigma styled quality improvement projects, or perhaps just
taking your first statistics course, a good understanding of how
this technique works is important.
A lot of concepts are involved in any analysis using ANOVA and
its subsequent... Continue Reading
In this post I'll show how we can use a multivariate statistical
analysis (in this case, a factorial analysis) to better understand
data on social progress and economic development. This is a very
simple and practical example of a factorial analysis performed
using Minitab Statistical Software.
Factorial analysis is often considered to be a complex and
advanced statistical technique, but I hope... Continue Reading
by Matthew Barsalou, guest blogger
The field of statistics has a long history and many people have made contributions over
the years. Many contributors to the field were educated as
statisticians, such as Karl Pearson and his son Egon Pearson. Others were people with problems that needed
solving, and they developed statistical methods to solve these
The Standard Normal Distribution
One... Continue Reading
received my B.S. in applied statistics in 1992 from Rochester
Institute of Technology (R.I.T) and my master's in applied
statistics from R.I.T's Center for Quality and Applied Statistics
in 1993. I also completed Ph.D. coursework at The University of
Washington and The Ohio State University.
While working towards my Statistics degrees, I further developed
my industrial skills working at Xerox,... 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.