Statistical Analysis Simplified - The Easy-to-Understand Guide to Statistical Process Control (SPC) and Data Analysis
One of my favorite subject in college was Statistic & Probability. It gave me the break from electronic diagrams, drawings, and drills; and walking down the campus towards the other end in the early winter morning around those national preserved trees while observing others passing by with thier JanSport backpack, NorthFace sweater, hot black coffee, with bagel or the Del Monte banana they bought from the cafeteria; are memorable.
The class was huge; and Jennifer, my lab partner was there too. Wonder what is up with Jenn now. A pretty Californian girl, she's a great working partner. I could still remember working with her in the lab where everywhere I touched, I got static, especially during fall. It's like OUCH! when I open the door knob, and OUCH when I try to remove the chair. For one, it has got to do with dried bare hands together with the cold dry air, and this what I found, some of the PC casings in the lab were bare, thus expose some capacitance into the surroundings.
Back from Thanksgiving break, we both spent days and nights catching up on our VLSI project, where all we could care of was the tiny lines drawn from one end to another in our effort to build the best encryption chip on campus!
And in the very first Statistics class, the lecturer who was the author of the text book that we were using for the class, posted this very intriguing question, and I can still remember it until today
"What is the odd that the air you breath in now contain the last breath of Alexander The Great when he died?"
Whoa! It was the best start to any class I ever sat in my life. Sadly, I'd forgotten the details calculation, but he sure know all the odds of the exhaled breath staying in the air and lots of other numbers! And at the end it was like somewhere in the probability of 10E-30. After that, I wonder whose breath that I inhale!
Since then, I hardly read up statistics until my Operations Management module. Though, Dr. Lee didn't emphasize on calculation, the thoughts of revisiting bell curves, only this time with deeper understanding in understanding patterns, relationships, characterization, judgement, and sefulness in reducing or eliminating variabilities in processes and production; really turned me on. And what other book provide you simplistic statistical analysis than James Harrington's et. al (Harrington, Hoffherr, & Reid).
According to Harrington et. al, we can view all the the things we do from these three points of view:
a. Direction Setting b. Planning c. Doing
And subsequently, you can use this MAD rule, Measure, Analyze, Do! that was developed by creative mind of Robert Reid while working in a chemical plant. Reid says, "there should be no process without meaningful measurement and recording, no recording without analysis, and no analysis without corrective action". These rules build up the rest of the book content.
True to its title: Statistical Analysis Simplified, this books provide to an easy reference to:
a. differences and ways to measure variable and attribute
b. some important quotes of the likes of Deming
c. simple English explaination of statistical terms like the differences among spread, precision, accuracy
d. source of variation, its measures
e. looking patterns and understand what they mean, i.e.
i. Normal with Defects
ii. Ansolute Limits
iii. Bimodal with Defects
iv. Cut off at Limit
v. Centered within Limits
vii. Centered with Defects
viii. Bimodal with Limits
ix. Off Center out of Limits
x. Dual Distribution
xii. Heart Cut
f. understanding the characterization of means, std. dev., variation, accuracy, precision
g. looking at trends, e.g. Run Chart 7-7-1 Rule
h. making judgment and decisionusing the Control Chart that is ubiqutiously used in manufacturing plants
i. making use of the data and analysis towards meeting customer needs
j. getting new insights through experimentation process through explanation on the methodologies
k. stratificating data by either combining them or seperating them
l. understanding relationships by identifying cause and effect through interpretation of scatter diagram
m. implementing analysis, particularly by using them in organization, such as for executive overview, mgt. awareness seminar, needs assessment meeting, assignment meeting, statistical process improvement program, pilot program, and associate training sessions, and
n. some fun games at the end of chapter that will test your understanding!
To me, this book has given me the insights into the use of statistical process and analysis for the use of organization. There much to be reaped and leveraged from these analysis. Successful firms put a heavy emphasis on it particularly for the goal of becoming a quality organization. Most importantly, this reading provides me with a solid background to understanding Six Sigma.
Kudos to Harrington who has taught me that getting MAD is OK ;-)