All processes have variation, some of which is inherent in the
process, and isn't a reason for concern. But when processes show
unusual variation, it may indicate a change or a "special
cause" that requires your attention.
Control charts are the primary tool quality practitioners use to
detect special cause variation and distinguish it from natural,
inherent process variation. These charts graph... Continue Reading
If you have a process that isn’t meeting specifications, using
the Monte Carlo simulation and optimization tools in Companion by Minitab can help.
Here’s how you, as an engineer in the medical device industry,
could use Companion to improve a packaging process and help ensure
product line at AlphaGamma Medical Devices is shipped in
heat-sealed packages with a minimum seal... Continue Reading
If you have a process that isn’t meeting specifications, using
Monte Carlo simulation and optimization can help. Companion by Minitab offers a
powerful, easy-to-use tool for Monte Carlo simulation and
optimization, and in this blog we'll look at the case of product
engineers involved in steel production for automobile parts, and
how they could use Companion to improve a process.
tensile... Continue Reading
Last week I was fielding questions on social media about Minitab
18, the latest version of our statistical software. Almost as soon
as the new release was announced, we received a question that comes
up often from people in pharmaceutical and medical device
Minitab 18 FDA-validated?"
How Software Gets Validated
That's a great question. To satisfy U.S. Food and Drug
Administration (FDA)... Continue Reading
Easy access to the right tools makes any task easier. That
simple idea has made the Swiss Army knife essential for
adventurers: just one item in your pocket gives you instant access
to dozens of tools when you need them.
your current adventures include analyzing data, the multifaceted
Editor menu in Minitab Statistical
Software is just as essential.
Minitab’s Dynamic Editor Menu
Whether you’re... Continue Reading
It's a very exciting time at Minitab's offices around the world
because we've just announced the availability of
Minitab® 18 Statistical Software.
is everywhere today, but to use it to make sound, strategic
business decisions, you need to have tools that turn that data into
knowledge and insights. We've designed Minitab 18 to do
We've incorporated a lot of new
features, made some... Continue Reading
One of the most memorable presentations at the inaugural Minitab
Insights conference reminded me that data analysis and quality
improvement methods aren't only useful in our work and businesses:
they can make our home life better, too.
presenter, a continuous improvement training program manager at an
aviation company in the midwestern United States, told attendees
how he used Minitab... Continue Reading
One highlight of writing for and editing the Minitab Blog is the
opportunity to read your responses and answer your questions.
Sometimes, to my chagrin, you point out that we've made a mistake.
However, I'm particularly grateful for those comments, because it
permits us to correct inadvertent errors.
feared I had an opportunity to fix just such an error when I saw
this comment appear on one of... Continue Reading
"Data! Data! Data! I can't make bricks without clay."
— Sherlock Holmes, in Arthur Conan Doyle's The Adventure
of the Copper Beeches
Whether you're the world's greatest detective trying to crack a
case or a person trying to solve a problem at work, you're going to
need information. Facts. Data, as Sherlock Holmes
But not all data is created equal, especially if you plan to
analyze as part of... Continue Reading
If you have a process that isn’t
meeting specifications, using the Monte Carlo simulation and
optimization tool in Companion by Minitab can help. Here’s how you,
as a chemical technician for a paper products company, could
use Companion to optimize a
chemical process and ensure it consistently delivers a paper
product that meets brightness standards.
brightness of Perfect Papyrus Company’s new... Continue Reading
Do your executives see how your quality initiatives affect the
bottom line? Perhaps they would more often if they had accessible
insights on the performance, and ultimately the overall impact, of
For example, 60% of the organizations surveyed by the American
Society for Quality in their 2016 Global State of Quality study say
they don’t know or don’t measure the financial...Continue Reading
Earlier, I wrote about the
different types of data statisticians typically encounter. In
this post, we're going to look at why, when given a choice in the
matter, we prefer to analyze continuous data rather than
categorical/attribute or discrete data.
As a reminder, when we assign something to a group or give it a
name, we have created attribute or
categorical data. If we count something,
like... Continue Reading
Everyone who analyzes data regularly has the experience of
getting a worksheet that just isn't ready to use. Previously I
wrote about tools you can use to
clean up and eliminate clutter in your data and
reorganize your data.
In this post, I'm going to
highlight tools that help you get the most out of messy data by
altering its characteristics.
Know Your Options
Many problems with data don't become... Continue Reading
You've collected a bunch of
data. It wasn't easy, but you did it. Yep, there it is, right
there...just look at all those numbers, right there in neat columns
and rows. Congratulations.
I hate to ask...but what are you
going to do with your data?
If you're not sure precisely
what to do with the data you've got, graphing it is a
great way to get some valuable insight and direction. And a good
graph to... Continue Reading
In my last post, I wrote about
making a cluttered data set easier to work with by removing
unneeded columns entirely, and by displaying just those columns you
want to work with now. But
too much unneeded data isn't always the problem.
What can you do when someone
gives you data that isn't organized the way you need it to be?
That happens for a variety of
reasons, but most often it's because the... Continue Reading
Isn't it great when you get a set of data and it's perfectly
organized and ready for you to analyze? I love it when the people
who collect the data take special care to make sure to format it
consistently, arrange it correctly, and eliminate the junk,
clutter, and useless information I don't need.
never received a data set in such perfect condition, you say?
Yeah, me neither. But I can... Continue Reading
People can make mistakes when they test a hypothesis with
statistical analysis. Specifically, they can make either Type I or
Type II errors.
As you analyze your own data and test hypotheses, understanding
the difference between Type I and Type II errors is extremely
important, because there's a risk of making each type of error in
every analysis, and the amount of risk is in your
if... Continue Reading
A recent discussion on the Minitab
Network on LinkedIn pertained to the I-MR chart. In the
course of the conversation, a couple of people referred to it as
"The Swiss Army Knife of control charts," and that's a pretty great
description. You might be able to find more specific tools for
specific applications, but in many cases, the I-MR chart gets the
job done quite adequately.
When you're... Continue Reading
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