Tips and Techniques for Statistics and Quality Improvement

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

Cody Steele

My love for statistics isn’t very common. Even in my own family, the idea of statistics brought frowns to people’s faces. But you don’t have to live in fear of statistics!

This Saturday is Leap Day, so some lucky 39-year-olds on the verge of 40 get to say they're only 10! What's the easiest way to determine the probability of being born on a certain day, like February 29? It's to assume every day of the year has an equal probability of being a birthday. But ... no surprise here ... the numbers actually disagree!

Histograms are great for summarizing several statistics. But whether you have enabled the Data Analysis Toolpak or you’re forging a path of formulas (COUNTIFs, AVERAGEs and STDEVs oh my!), creating a histogram in Excel isn’t always that great. We have developed Minitab Statistical Software to be your go-to histogram maker.

Let’s look at three ways you can do more with histograms in Minitab.

In this day and age, it’s not uncommon that data entry errors occur in data sets that are so large that looking for and correcting the errors by hand is impractical. Fortunately, Minitab includes tools that make it easy to get your data into shape, so that you can proceed to getting the answers you need.

On the Minitab Blog, we’ve often discussed getting data into Minitab from Excel. Here's a small sampling, in case you currently have data in Excel:

Are you going to be a witch today? Batman? Jedi? You're not alone according to National Retail Federation statistics on top costumes and Halloween spending trends. Last-minute candy shopping? Check out kidzworld.com’s list of the top 10 candies for Halloween.

Control 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 different because of an...

Face it, you love regression analysis as much as I do. Regression is one of the most satisfying analyses in Minitab: get some predictors that should have a relationship to a response, go through a model selection process, interpret fit statistics like adjusted R2 and predicted R2, and make predictions. Yes, regression really is quite wonderful.