In today’s world, data is everywhere. Many people think data is easy to collect and easy to understand. It is often a challenge to do it right! In my blog posts, my mission is to impart information that will make your data collection and analysis task easier. Continue Reading >>
I started my data analysis career in the Space Shuttle Program,
as part of the Trend Analysis and Corrective Action Department at
Kennedy Space Center.
My group searched for trends and recurring problems in the vast
amounts of data generated at each shuttle launch. Our motto was
“turning data into useful information.”
Hanging over the entrance to the Johnson Space Center Mission
Evaluation Room... Continue Reading
Part 1 of my A New Spin on the "Stand in a Circle"
Exercise blog, I described how Taiichi Ohno, the creator
of the Toyota Production System, used the “Stand in a Circle”
exercise to help managers identify waste in their
this exercise Ohno would take a manager or student to the shop
floor, draw a chalk circle on the floor, then have them stand
inside the circle and observe an... Continue Reading
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In the mid 1940s, Taiichi Ohno established the Toyota Production
System, which is primarily based on eliminating non-value-added
waste. He discovered that by reducing waste and inventory levels,
problems get exposed and that forces employees to address these
problems. To engage the workers and therefore improve processes,
Ohno developed many exercises.
One of his most popular exercises, “Stand in a... Continue Reading
ancient times dragons were believed to be set by the gods to guard
golden treasures. This is because dragons were the most fearsome
creatures and would deter would-be thieves. Dragons typically
lived in an underground lair or castle and would sleep on top of
their gold and treasures. They were terrifying and often
depicted as large fire-breathing, scaly creatures with wings and a
huge deadly... Continue Reading
you ever tried to install ventilated shelving in a closet?
You know: the heavy-duty, white- or gray-colored vinyl-coated wire
shelving? The one that allows you to get organized, more efficient
with space, and is strong and maintenance-free? Yep, that’s the
one. Did I mention this stuff is strong? As in,
really hard to cut?
It seems like a simple 4-step project. Measure the closet, go
the... Continue Reading
In Part 1 of this blog series, I
compared Six Sigma to a diamond because both are valuable, have
many facets and have withstood the test of time. I also explained
how the term “Six Sigma” can be used to summarize a variety of
concepts, including philosophy, tools, methodology, or metrics. In
this post, I’ll explain short/long-term variation and
between/within-subgroup variation and how they help... Continue Reading
you know the most popular diamond cut is probably the Round
Brilliant Cut? The first early version of what would become the
modern Round Brilliant Diamond Cut was introduced by an Italian
named Vincent Peruzzi, sometime in the late 17th century. In
the early 1900s, the angles for an "ideal" diamond cut were
designed by Marcel Tolkowsky. Minor changes have been made
since then, but the angles... Continue Reading
Ahoy, matey! Ye’ve come to the right place to learn about Value
Stream Maps (VSM). Just as a treasure map can lead a band o’
pirates to buried treasures, so too can the VSM lead a process
improvement bilge rat to the loot buried deep inside a process!
Minitab has an easy-to-use VSM tool to guide yer way.
value stream map to illustrate the flow of materials and
information as a... Continue Reading
For all you creative and fun-loving folks out there, in this
blog post I'm going to share a puzzle instead of a story or lesson.
The holiday season is getting into full swing here in the United
States, and that gives us an opportunity to pause and reflect, and
even have a little fun while still thinking about how we can
improve our processes and products.
Perhaps you're wondering what a puzzle... Continue Reading
2 of this blog series, I wrote about how statistical
inference uses data from a sample of individuals to reach
conclusions about the whole population. That’s a very powerful
tool, but you must check your assumptions when you make statistical
inferences. Violating any of these assumptions can result in false
positives or false negatives, thus invalidating your
The common... Continue Reading
In Part 1 of this
blog series, I wrote about how statistical inference uses data
from a sample of individuals to reach conclusions about the whole
population. That’s a very powerful tool, but you must check your
assumptions when you make statistical inferences. Violating any of
these assumptions can result in false positives or false negatives,
thus invalidating your results.
The common data... Continue Reading
Statistical inference uses data from a sample of individuals to
reach conclusions about the whole population. It’s a very
powerful tool. But as the saying goes, “With great
power comes great responsibility!” When attempting to make
inferences from sample data, you must check your assumptions.
Violating any of these assumptions can result in false positives or
false negatives, thus invalidating... Continue Reading
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