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Making Statistical Software Work for Multiple Users

The Stats CatMarlowe the Stats Cat here. Earlier, I showed you how easy it was to set up my statistical software with a personalized menu of statistical tools I use most often. 

The problem is that I share a computer with one of the humans who live in my house, and the statistical tools I use most may not be the ones he needs to use. And I don't want to clutter my interface with a "Human" menu. 
 
I'm trying to be kind, but I should just be direct about this: as a cat, I have abilities that far oustrip those of my human. That extends to the range of statistical tools I can use effectively.
 
What I need to do is set the software up so that I have access to the full range of statistical tools available in Minitab—since I know how to use them—while limiting my human's access to only those functions that he can understand. Or at least those he won't get himself into trouble with. 
 
You cats who live with humans know exactly what I'm talking about.
 
Similar situations exist in human companies where, for instance, a Six Sigma Black Belt might want to customize the array of tools available to less experienced colleagues. Similarly, a teacher might want to limit students in the classroom to  those functions pertinent to the course. 

Providing Different Statistical Toolsets for Different Skill Levels

To do this in Minitab you just create separate Profiles for different users. Profiles store all the settings you've selected in Tools > Options and Tools > Customize. They also store custom date/time formats, Autofill lists, and value order settings for text data.
 
It's easy to use Manage Profiles > Manage to make, save and manage multiple profiles of options and customization settings in Minitab. To make a new profile, just click the button circled in the picture below and start customizing! Once your custom profiles are set up, all you need to do is choose the profile you want to use—or that you want your human to use—and make it active or inactive. 
 
manage profiles
 
But what if you create a very limited custom profile, and then want to add something else to it later? Or you want to get back to how everything looked when you first installed the software? No problem. You also can use "Manage Profiles" to restore Minitab's default settings, so you never need to worry about "losing" something you've removed from a custom profile.
 
Now I can continue to use Minitab's full interface. But when my human uses Minitab, he'll access the customized profile I created for him. I'm hoping it doesn't give him too much trouble: 
 
Menu for my human
 
Depending on your situation, you could make profiles for students or colleagues that provide only the tools they need. You can even rename menus and menu items to reflect how you're using the tools. You could have custom profiles for individual team members, or for different projects. For instance, in a healthcare setting, the G chart tool for rare events could be put in a menu and relabelled "Accident Chart." 

That's a Mighty Nice Toolbar...Mind If I Use It? 

Let's say you made a profile for one project that has a toolbar that would be ideal for a new project. There's no need to recreate the toolbar, just use Manage Profiles > Toolbars to trade customized toolbars between your own active or inactive profiles or between profiles with other users without having to import or export profiles.

What If You Want to Use a Profile on More Than One Machine?

I only need to worry about creating a profile for my human on a single computer, but in a work or classroom setting, you'll probably want to create a profile then make it available on the computers of everyone who needs it. 
 
You also can import and export Minitab profiles, so that users of multiple machines can share the same group of settings and customizations, as one of my human's co-workers pointed out.
 
It's good to know that if my human gets another machine, I can easily put the custom Minitab profile I've created for him on that one, too.  You know, just to keep him safe. And keep my data safe from him. 
 
One way or the other, I can rest easy. And I plan to do just that, as soon as I finish this pouch full of kitty treats.  

 

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