Tips and Techniques for Statistics and Quality Improvement

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

Marilyn Wheatley

Marilyn Wheatley is a technical support specialist at Minitab Inc.

While many Six Sigma practitioners and other quality improvement professionals like to use the Fishbone diagram in Companion for brainstorming because of its ease of use and integration with other Companion by Minitab tools, some Minitab users find an infrequent need for a Fishbone diagram. For the more casual user of the Fishbone diagram, Minitab has the right tool to get the job done.

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We often receive questions about moving ranges because they're used in various tools in our statistical software, including control charts and capability analysis when data is not collected in subgroups. In this post, I'll explain what a moving range is, and how a moving range and average moving range are calculated.

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Since opening a new office in Phoenix to support our customers on the West Coast, some evenings in Minitab technical support feel busier than others. (By evenings, I mean after 5:30 p.m. Eastern time, when the members of our tech support team in Pennsylvania go home for the day, and I become an office of one.)

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In this post, I’ll address some common questions we’ve received in technical support about the difference between fitted and data means, where to find each option within Minitab, and how Minitab calculates each.

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In my last post, I walked through the steps to install Minitab 17 on a Mac using Apple Boot Camp.  Minitab 17 can also be installed on a Mac using desktop virtualization software.

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While Minitab 17 is currently a Windows-only application, there are people who only have a Mac available for the installation who also find they need to use Minitab 17. 

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When data are collected in subgroups, it’s easy to understand how the variation can be calculated within each of the subgroups based the subgroup range or the subgroup standard deviation.

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In technical support, we often receive questions about Gage R&R and how Minitab calculates the amount of variation that is attributable to the various sources in a measurement system.

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Minitab's capability analysis output gives you estimates of the capability indices Ppk and Cpk, and we receive many questions about the difference between them. Some of my colleagues have taken other approaches to explain the difference between Ppk and Cpk, so I wanted to show you how they differ by detailing precisely how each one is calculated. 

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In technical support, we frequently receive calls from Minitab users who have questions about the differences between Cpk and Ppk. 

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