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Minitab LLC

Quality Insider

The ‘Assistant’—a Powerful Weapon in the Statistics Battle

Provides the tools to present your data that even novices can understand

Published: Wednesday, June 22, 2011 - 13:26

(Minitab: State College, PA) -- Because improving quality and boosting efficiency can literally save lives, all of the U.S. Armed Forces have adopted lean Six Sigma to improve processes and reduce waste.

Lean Six Sigma relies on the ability to analyze data, but most people tasked with quality improvement—whether in the military or not—are not trained statisticians. For those who feel that a dataset is like a battlefield, a new feature in Minitab 16 Statistical Software makes exploring and analyzing data easier than ever.

Minitab’s latest release includes the Assistant, a menu-based tool designed to guide even novice users through their analyses and help them interpret their results with confidence. The Assistant menu (see figure 1) makes hypothesis tests, control charts, capability analysis, measurement systems analysis, and regression accessible to everyone.


Figure 1: The Assistant menu

Minitab is offering a free webinar, “The Assistant: Your Guide to Data Analysis,” on July 12, 2011 at 2 p.m. EDT. Participants will see how the Assistant menu in Minitab 16 Statistical Software makes hypothesis tests, control charts, process capability, and regression accessible to everyone. Space is limited. Registration is free at www.minitab.com/training/web-events/.

“With the Assistant, no one needs to be intimidated by statistics,” says Michelle Paret, product marketing manager for Minitab. “If you don’t have a statistical background, or if you’re just a little rusty, Minitab 16 removes that barrier. You can be sure you’re analyzing your data appropriately with the Assistant.”

The Assistant contains interactive decision trees that help you choose the right tool and walk you through your analysis step by step. It has a simplified interface that is easy to understand and includes guidelines to ensure your analysis is successful. It even provides interpretation of your output and comprehensive reports you can use to easily and effectively present your results.

The Assistant is rooted in a principle that has guided Minitab since its earliest days: make data analysis more accessible by creating tools that are easy to use.

“With Minitab 16 Statistical Software, we wanted to take that idea even further,” says Paret. “We wanted to open the door so everyone can make more effective use of data to make the best decisions. We wanted to create a tool that would make analyzing data easy for anyone—even if you don’t know much about statistics.”

“The Assistant is a godsend to Six Sigma practitioners,” says Michael Mercer, president of Mercer Quality Consulting and an industry veteran with more than 30 years of quality improvement experience at companies including 3M.

“Green Belts may get very brief training on 40 or more possible approaches to analyzing data,” Mercer notes. “When they’re working on their first project weeks or months later, they can get lost very easily. The Assistant changes that. It let’s anyone access the power of analyzing data without needing to remember all of the details for these statistical methods.”

Minitab 16 is the latest example of the company’s efforts to provide the best tools for quality improvement. “Minitab let’s you focus on improving your business because it’s so easy to use,” says Paret. “That’s why it’s also the most popular choice for teaching statistics in universities and even high schools.”

Thousands of companies worldwide use Minitab to analyze data for quality improvement programs. More than 4,000 colleges and universities use Minitab for teaching and research.
Because it has been adopted by companies around the globe, Minitab 16 is available in English, French, German, Spanish, Simplified Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. Documentation is available in several other languages.

A free, fully functional, 30-day trial version of Minitab 16 is available at www.minitab16.com
The company also offers Quality Trainer by Minitab, an e-learning course that teaches statistics and serves as an ongoing resource for professionals who use statistics to implement quality improvement. The company also offers Quality Companion by Minitab, process improvement software designed specifically to help professionals manage and execute quality improvement projects.

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Minitab LLC

Minitab Inc. develops statistical analysis and process improvement software for academic and commercial users. Minitab Statistical Software, a data analysis tool for businesses, has been used to implement virtually every major Six Sigma quality improvement initiative, and to teach statistics in more than 4,000 colleges and universities worldwide. Quality Companion is used to plan and execute Six Sigma projects. Use the subscription-based online learning course, Quality Trainer, to learn or refresh your knowledge and to access quality statistics expertise anytime. Interactive lessons based on real problems make concepts easy to retain.