Tips and Techniques for Statistics and Quality Improvement

Blog posts and articles about using Minitab software in quality improvement projects, research, and more.

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 (EU).

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In Parts 1 and 2 of Gauging Gage we looked at the numbers of parts, operators, and replicates used in a Gage R&R Study and how accurately we could estimate %Contribution based on the choice for each.  In doing so, I hoped to provide you with valuable and interesting information, but mostly I hoped to make you like me.  I mean like me so much that if I told you that you were doing something flat-out wrong and had been...

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In Part 1 of Gauging Gage, I looked at how adequate a sampling of 10 parts is for a Gage R&R Study and providing some advice based on the results.

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"You take 10 parts and have 3 operators measure each 2 times."

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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.

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There may be huge potential benefits waiting in the data in your servers. These data may be used for many different purposes. Better data allows better decisions, of course. Banks, insurance firms, and telecom companies already own a large amount of data about their customers. These resources are useful for building a more personal relationship with each customer.

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Businesses are getting more and more data from existing and potential customers: whenever we click on a web site, for example, it can be recorded in the vendor's database. And whenever we use electronic ID cards to access public transportation or other services, our movements across the city may be analyzed.

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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.

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If you're just getting started in the world of quality improvement, or if you find yourself in a position where you suddenly need to evaluate the quality of incoming or outgoing products from your company, you may have encountered the term "acceptance sampling." It's a statistical method for evaluating the quality of a large batch of materials from a small sample of items, which statistical software like Minitab can...

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Whatever industry you're in, you're going to need to buy supplies. If you're a printer, you'll need to purchase inks, various types of printing equipment, and paper. If you're in manufacturing, you'll need to obtain parts that you don't make yourself. 

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