Tips and Techniques for Statistics and Quality Improvement

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

Kevin Rudy

I write about how statistics can be used to help understand sports, but these techniques and tools have applications in quality improvement and any other endeavor that involves the analysis of data.
Kevin Rudy

The college football season is here, and this raises a very important question:

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The Olympic games are about to begin in Rio de Janeiro. Over the next 16 days, more than 11,000 athletes from 206 countries will be competing in 306 different events. That's the most events ever in any Olympic games. It's almost twice as many events as there were 50 years ago, and exactly three times as many as there were 100 years ago.

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For hundreds of years, people having been improving their situation by pulling themselves up by their bootstraps. Well, now you can improve your statistical knowledge by pulling yourself up by your bootstraps. Minitab Express has 7 different bootstrapping analyses that can help you better understand the sampling distribution of your data. 

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The College Football Playoff technically doesn't start until December 31st, but in reality it started Saturday night in Indianapolis. The winner of the Big Ten Championship Game was in the playoff, while the loser was out. The stakes couldn't have been higher. So the competitors need to make sure they gain every advantage they can. And that's where 4th down decisions come in. With a lot of coaches making sub-optimal...

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If you want to use data to predict the impact of different variables, whether it's for business or some personal interest, you need to create a model based on the best information you have at your disposal. In this post and subsequent posts throughout the football season, I'm going to share how I've been developing and applying a model for predicting the outcomes of 4th down decisions in Big 10 games. I hope sharing...

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I previously started looking into which method of gambling was your best bet: a NFL bet, a number on a roulette wheel, or a scratch-off lottery ticket. After calculating the expect value for each one, I found out that the NFL bet and roulette bet were similar, as each had an expected value close to -$0.50 on a $10 bet. The scratch-off ticket was much worse, having an expected value of -$2.78.

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New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is currently in a battle with sports leagues over the issue of allowing sports betting at casinos in Atlantic City and horse racing tracks across the state. If he wins and sports betting becomes legal in New Jersey, it will open the door for other states to follow suit. It appears there is a long way to go before this form of gambling spreads across the country.

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Life is full of choices. Some are simple, such as what shirt to put on in the morning (although if you’re like me, it’s not so much of a “choice” as it is throwing on the first thing you grab out of the closet). And some choices are more complex. In the quality world, you might have to determine which distribution to choose for your capability analysis or which factor levels to use to bake the best cookie in a design...

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This past week, the History Channel premiered a new show called the "United Stats of America." No, that's not a typo. It's a show hosted by twin brothers who are both standup comedians and obsessed with statistics. Since I'm also obsessed with statistics (I'm still working on the standup comedy part), I thought I'd check it out to see if I could relate any of their stats to common applications of Minitab Statistical...

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It’s finally March, which means it’s almost time for the NCAA basketball tournament. I’ve spent my last two posts finding a regression model that predicts the probability that a college basketball team has of beating another team. But our data analysis shouldn't stop once we have our model. Just like in any quality improvement situation, we should test our model to ensure that it actually works!

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