Topics: Minitab Workspace

Madison Bair is a current Marketing Intern at Minitab World Headquarters in State College, PA. She is pursuing a degree from Mount Aloysius College in Pennsylvania.

## Background

I am currently a business major. This year, I needed to take either statistical research or a sports analytics course to satisfy my general education requirement. I thought this could be a fantastic opportunity to learn more about statistics since I work at a company that sells statistical software. I also know next to nothing about sports.

In this glorified thought process, I neglected to think about the immense gap in my statistical knowledge and the sleepless nights it would take to acquire it.

After a few questionable quiz grades, I really began to evaluate the processes and tools I was using to study. Studying for an upper-level math or statistics course is much different than studying for a business or psychology course. I knew that with the right tools and determination, I could finish the class on solid footing.

Our next exam was on confidence interval and hypothesis testing. These are both commonly used methods in statistics to infer a population parameter from a random sample of data drawn from that population. One of the hardest parts about performing these types of tests is making the right decisions when stating the null and alternative hypothesis.

Performing this step correctly is crucial because later steps are based on the correctness of this step. After evaluating our classes low average grade and the complexity of testing, the professor graciously allowed us to use a “decision chart” or “note sheet” on the next exam.

## The Minitab Solution

As soon as the professor used the term decision chart, I immediately thought about the process map template in Minitab Workspace. Workspace is Minitab’s ultimate toolkit that enables individuals and organizations with powerful tools, brainstorming diagrams, forms, and process maps.

A process map is a visual way to find all the steps and activities as they flow through a process. I remembered that process maps are highly effective visual tools that ensure process excellence in an easy-to-use interface. I knew process maps had practical use in business, so why not academics?

I excitedly made my way to the library, set all my notes from class and the PowerPoints in front of me, and began to assemble my holy grail (figure 1). Minitab Workspace offers an abundance of helpful visualizations like different shapes for decisions with arrows showing if “Yes” and if “No” that lead to different outcomes.

Figure 1, my completed process map.

For example, in figure 2, a decision is noted by a diamond shape which means you must check if N 10*n. If that holds true, you proceed to test for the confidence interval. If not, you must add two to estimated successes and 4 to the sample size before testing for the confidence interval.

Figure 2.

This process map made it easy for me to stay organized because I knew what assumptions to check and what to do in each “Yes” or “No” case. This step can be the most difficult when performing calculations without the chart. I was also able to add assorted colors to perfect the chart for optimal organization.

## The outcome

I walked in on exam day with my process map in hand and was ready to take the exam. Others in the class just used a piece of paper as their note sheet and did not mark the decision process.

I was the first one to complete the exam, which is always disconcerting. When I received my score of 105%, I could not believe it. The average for the class was 80%.

The only difference between my peers and I was that I used a process map to create my note sheet.

After using Minitab Software, understanding and digesting difficult information from my hardest level courses has become much easier. Whether you are making a note sheet in college or identifying key decision points at a Fortunate 500 company, process mapping is a valuable tool that can help keep you organized and on track in both academia and the business world.