"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
Everyone who analyzes data regularly has the experience of
getting a worksheet that just isn't ready to use. Previously I
wrote about tools you can use to
clean up and eliminate clutter in your data and
reorganize your data.
In this post, I'm going to
highlight tools that help you get the most out of messy data by
altering its characteristics.
Know Your Options
Many problems with data don't become... Continue Reading
In my last post, I wrote about
making a cluttered data set easier to work with by removing
unneeded columns entirely, and by displaying just those columns you
want to work with now. But
too much unneeded data isn't always the problem.
What can you do when someone
gives you data that isn't organized the way you need it to be?
That happens for a variety of
reasons, but most often it's because the... Continue Reading
Isn't it great when you get a set of data and it's perfectly
organized and ready for you to analyze? I love it when the people
who collect the data take special care to make sure to format it
consistently, arrange it correctly, and eliminate the junk,
clutter, and useless information I don't need.
never received a data set in such perfect condition, you say?
Yeah, me neither. But I can... Continue Reading
Here's a shocking finding from the most recent ASQ
Global State of Quality report: The higher you rise in
your organization's leadership, the less often you receive reports
about quality metrics. Only 2% of senior executives get daily
quality reports, compared to 33% of front-line staff members.
A quarter of the senior executives reported getting quality
metrics on a monthly basis, at least. But... Continue Reading
Halloween's right around the corner, so here's a scary thought
for the statistically minded: That pattern in your time series
plot? Maybe it's just a ghost. It might not really be
there at all.
That's right. The trend that seems so evident might be a
phantom. Or, if you don't believe in that sort of thing, chalk it
up to the brain's desire to impose order on what we see, even when
it doesn't... Continue Reading
Keeping your vehicle fueled up is expensive. Maximizing the
miles you get per gallon of fuel saves money and helps the
But knowing if you're getting good mileage requires some data
analysis, which gives us a good opportunity to apply one of the
common tools used in Six Sigma -- the I-MR (individuals and moving
range) control chart to daily life.
Finding Trends or Unusual... Continue Reading
NOTE: This story will reveal how easy it can
be to optimize settings using the statistical method called Design
of Experiments, but it won't provide easy answers for making your
own office coffee any better.
her team’s ultimatum about the wretched office coffee, Jill used
the design-of-experiments (DOE) tool in Minitab 17’s Assistant to
design and analyze a screening study. Jill now knew... Continue Reading
NOTE: This story reveals how easy it can be
to identify important factors using the statistical method called
Design of Experiments. It won't provide easy answers for making
your own office's coffee any better, but it will show you how you
can begin identifying the critical factors that contribute to its
their weekly meeting, her team gave Jill an ultimatum: Make the
The... Continue Reading
We received the following question via social media
I am using Minitab 17 for ANOVA.
I calculated the mean and standard deviation for these 15 values,
but the standard deviation is very high. If I delete some values, I
can reduce the standard deviation. Is there an option in Minitab
that will automatically indicate values that are out of range and
delete them so that the standard... Continue Reading
In an earlier post, I shared some great
hidden helpers in Minitab Statistical Software that even many
veteran users don't know about. Here are a few more!
Everything In Its Right Place
Project Manager allows you to navigate, view, and manipulate
various parts of your project. Right-clicking either the folders or
their contents lets you access a variety of menus that allow you to
manage... Continue Reading
"The Little Engine That Could," the children's story about
self-confidence in the face of huge challenges? In it, a train
engine keeps telling itself "I think I can" while carrying a very
heavy load up a big mountain. Next thing you know, the little
engine has done it...but until that moment, the outcome
It's a wonderful story for teaching kids about self-confidence.
But... Continue Reading
Minitab Statistical Software
offers many features that can save you time and effort when you’re
learning statistics or analyzing data. However, when we demonstrate
many of these short cuts, tools, and capabilities at shows and
events, we find that even some longtime users aren’t aware of
I asked members of our sales team and technical support staff to
list some of Minitab’s most helpful, yet... 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
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
When we think about jobs with a romantic edge to them, most of
us probably think of professions that involve action or
danger. Spies, soldiers, cops, criminals -- these are types
of professions romantic leads have. Along with your occasional
musician, reporter, or artist, who don't have the action but at
least bring drama.
But you know who never shows up as a romantic lead?
Quality improvement... Continue Reading
my previous post, I shared a case study of how a small
bicycle-chain manufacturing company in India used the
DMAIC approach to Six Sigma to reverse declining
After completing the Define, Measure, and Analysis phases, the
team had identified the important factors in the bushing creation
process. Armed with this knowledge, they were now ready to make
The Improve... 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.