Tips and Techniques for Statistics and Quality Improvement

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

“We are not makers of history. We are made by history.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

Like this quote, Time Series analyses place emphasis on history, or in our case, emphasis on data. For better time series analyses, a full practical history of the data needs to be accounted for with a strong understanding of the context of those data.

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When facing a problem, you've most likely heard the saying "take the bull by the horns." It's often also easier said than done.

COVID-19's economic repercussions have forced businesses worldwide to deal with the phenomenon that occurs in multi-level supply chains where orders at the end of the supply chain, close to the customer, are amplified with each additional supply chain actor. This is called the bullwhip effect.

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What's the last thing you ever want to be in your food? Pathogens. These tiny bacteria, viruses and microorganisms can cause disease and infection for anyone who comes in contact with them. It's especially vital for manufacturers in the food and beverage industry to ensure food safety in their products, so their consumers don't get sick. 

Nothing in life is perfect though; 100% prevention is nearly impossible. If and...

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Length of stay, defined as the time between hospital admission and discharge measured in days, is an aspect of care that can be costly for most healthcare systems if not approached properly. Optimizing patient flow, on the other hand, facilitates beneficial treatment, minimal waiting, minimal exposure to risks associated with hospitalization, and efficient use of resources such as hospital beds, medical equipment and...

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Here, there, everywhere — it's nearly impossible to escape hearing or seeing news on COVID-19. Not all news is bad though; the human spirit is resilient and efforts are underway all around the globe to find a vaccine. Healthcare systems are being tested like never before. However, in the face of this adversity, many like Adventist HealthCare, are rising to the occasion. 

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As we collect more and more observational data from our processes, we might need new tools to provide meaningful insights. You can add modern-day machine learning techniques alongside traditional statistical tools to analyze, improve and control your processes. Let's take a look at an example that starts with binary logistic regression and ends with Classification and Regression Trees (CART®).

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Content is available and accessible everywhere these days! A study from Nielsen found that adult Americans spend over 11 hours a day reading, listening, watching and interacting with media, which may even be higher now with so many individuals stuck at home. With the influx of content available, it might make you wonder: Is there a quantitative way to take a closer look at the text available to us?

Text mining, also...

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Trying to understand customer or patient behavior can be challenging. Oftentimes, researchers’ use survey data and frequently analyze it using regression in Minitab Statistical Software. But when the outcome variable is categorical rather than quantitative, interpreting the results of a logistic regression is not very straightforward or intuitive.

Another option for analyzing survey data in Minitab? Tap into the...

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Odds are you’re working from home if you’re reading this right now. While I don’t miss my commute, I certainly do miss popping into my coworkers’ offices. It’s especially useful to take care of last-minute changes. I’m putting an emphasis there on last minute. The harsh truth is, we were already in trouble if we weren’t aligned on project statuses and expectations to begin with.

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Monte Carlo simulations have come a long way since they were initially applied in the 1940s when scientists working on the atomic bomb calculated the probabilities of one fissioning uranium atom causing a fission reaction in another. Today we’re going over how to create a Monte Carlo simulation for a known engineering formula and a DOE equation from Minitab.

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