Is There Bias In Your Random Sample?

By definition, a sample of size n is random if the probability of selecting the sample is the same as the probability of selecting every other sample of size n. If the sample is not random, a bias in introduced which causes a statistical sampling or testing error by systematically favoring some outcomes over others….


Eliminating the Fear About Using Confidence Intervals

One of the pleasures of teaching Green Belts is helping to eliminate the fear of statistical analysis. One technique is to place an emphasis on not only when and why a tool or methodology is used but also what the data says in “plain English.” Memorizing complex formulas may be the goal of many Master…

How to Determine Sample Size, Determining Sample Size

In order to prove that a process has been improved, you must measure the process capability before and after improvements are implemented. This allows you to quantify the process improvement (e.g., defect reduction or productivity increase) and translate the effects into an estimated financial result – something business leaders can understand and appreciate. If data…


Basic Sampling Strategies: Sample vs. Population Data

Information is not readily found at a bargain price. Gathering it is costly in terms of salaries, expenses and time. Taking samples of information can help ease these costs because it is often impractical to collect all the data. Sound conclusions can often be drawn from a relatively small amount of data; therefore, sampling is…

Sample Correctly to Measure True Improvement Levels

Many companies spend considerable amounts of money on customer surveys every year. They then use those survey results to amend strategies, design new products and services, focus improvement activities and to celebrate success. But can practitioners always rely on the results they see? Here is a fictional example: MyInsurance, a life insurance company with worldwide…

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Stratification Leads to Specialized Improvements

Many times Six Sigma practitioners start projects or analysis at a broad level. These projects may include processing a patient through a clinical procedure, transferring medical records, registering a patient, or analyzing lab or equipment usage. In healthcare, the number of processes and their complexity can be very high; there may be thousands of processes…