It’s usually not a good idea to rely solely on a single
statistic to draw conclusions about your process. Do that, and you
could fall into the clutches of the “duck-rabbit” illusion shown
If you fix your eyes solely on the duck, you’ll miss the
If you're using
Statistical Software for capability analysis, the
capability indices Cp and Cpk are good examples of... Continue Reading
One of the biggest pieces of international news last year was
the so-called "Brexit" referendum, in which a majority of voters in
the United Kingdom cast their ballots to leave the European Union
outcome shocked the world. Follow-up media coverage has asserted
that the younger generation prefers to remain in the EU since that
means more opportunities on the continent. The older... 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
Easy access to the right tools makes any task easier. That
simple idea has made the Swiss Army knife essential for
adventurers: just one item in your pocket gives you instant access
to dozens of tools when you need them.
your current adventures include analyzing data, the multifaceted
Editor menu in Minitab Statistical
Software is just as essential.
Minitab’s Dynamic Editor Menu
Whether you’re... Continue Reading
It's a very exciting time at Minitab's offices around the world
because we've just announced the availability of
Minitab® 18 Statistical Software.
is everywhere today, but to use it to make sound, strategic
business decisions, you need to have tools that turn that data into
knowledge and insights. We've designed Minitab 18 to do
We've incorporated a lot of new
features, made some... 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
charts are excellent tools for looking at data points that seem
unusual and for deciding whether they're worthy of investigation.
If you use control charts frequently, then you're used to the idea
that if certain subgroups reflect temporary abnormalities, you can
leave them out when you calculate your center line and control
limits. If you include points that you already know are... Continue Reading
Before cutting an expensive piece of granite for a countertop, a
good carpenter will first confirm he has measured correctly. Acting
on faulty measurements could be costly.
no measurement system is perfect, we rely on such systems to
quantify data that help us control quality and monitor changes in
critical processes. So, how do you know whether the changes you see
are valid and not just the... Continue Reading
The 1949 film A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's
Court includes the song “Busy Doing Nothing,” and this
could be written about the
Null Hypothesis as it is used in statistical
The words to the song go:
We're busy doin' nothin'Workin' the whole day through
Tryin' to find lots of things not to do
And that summarises the role of
the Null Hypothesis perfectly. Let me explain why.
What's... Continue Reading
Rare events inherently occur in all kinds of
processes. In hospitals, there are medication errors, infections,
patient falls, ventilator-associated pneumonias, and other rare,
adverse events that cause prolonged hospital stays and increase
But rare events happen in many
other contexts, too. Software developers may need to track errors
in lines of programming code, or a quality... Continue Reading
For the majority of my career, I've
had the opportunity to speak at conferences and other events
somewhat regularly. I thought some of my talks were pretty good,
and some were not so good (based on ratings, my audiences didn't
always agree with either—but that's a topic for another post). But
I would guess that well over 90% of the time, my proposals were
accepted to be presented at the... Continue Reading
Users often contact Minitab technical support to ask how the
software calculates the control limits on control charts.
A frequently asked question is how the control limits are
calculated on an
I-MR Chart or Individuals Chart. If Minitab plots the upper and
lower control limits (UCL and LCL) three standard deviations above
and below the mean, why are the limits plotted at values other than
3 times... Continue Reading
As a member of Minitab's
Technical Support team, I get the opportunity to work with many
people creating control charts. They know the importance of
monitoring their processes with control charts, but many don’t
realize that they themselves could play a vital role in improving
the effectiveness of the control charts.
In this post I will show you how
to take control of your charts by using Minitab...Continue Reading
One of the most memorable presentations at the inaugural Minitab
Insights conference reminded me that data analysis and quality
improvement methods aren't only useful in our work and businesses:
they can make our home life better, too.
presenter, a continuous improvement training program manager at an
aviation company in the midwestern United States, told attendees
how he used Minitab... Continue Reading
One highlight of writing for and editing the Minitab Blog is the
opportunity to read your responses and answer your questions.
Sometimes, to my chagrin, you point out that we've made a mistake.
However, I'm particularly grateful for those comments, because it
permits us to correct inadvertent errors.
feared I had an opportunity to fix just such an error when I saw
this comment appear on one of... Continue Reading
"Data! Data! Data! I can't make bricks without clay."
— Sherlock Holmes, in Arthur Conan Doyle's The Adventure
of the Copper Beeches
Whether you're the world's greatest detective trying to crack a
case or a person trying to solve a problem at work, you're going to
need information. Facts. Data, as Sherlock Holmes
But not all data is created equal, especially if you plan to
analyze as part of... Continue Reading
As someone who has collected and analyzed real data for a
living, the idea of using simulated data for a Monte Carlo
simulation sounds a bit odd. How can you improve a real product
with simulated data? In this post, I’ll help you understand the
methods behind Monte Carlo simulation and walk you through a
simulation example using Companion by Minitab.
Companion by Minitab is a software platform that... Continue Reading
Choosing the right type of subgroup in a control chart is
crucial. In a rational subgroup, the variability within a subgroup
should encompass common causes, random, short-term variability and
represent “normal,” “typical,” natural process variations, whereas
differences between subgroups are useful to detect drifts in
variability over time (due to “special” or “assignable” causes).
Variation within... 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
shopping. For some, it's the most dreaded household activity. For
others, it's fun, or perhaps just a “necessary evil.”
Personally, I enjoy it! My co-worker, Ginger, a content manager
here at Minitab, opened my eyes to something that made me love
grocery shopping even more: she shared the data behind her family’s
shopping trips. Being something of a data nerd, I really geeked out
over the... 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.