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Minitab or Statistica

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  • #30164

    Deshazer
    Member

    Good day… I am a BB on a company the is just beginning to implement SS. We are trying to choose an statistical package to be used by our GB and BB.
    Minitab, I think,  is the common choice but on try runs our people compalined about the lack of good graphical analysis.  Help file seems to fall below expectations too.
    Statistica on the other hand, had a good aceptance due to it’s broader capabilities, good help file and more atractive graphics.  However, learning curve seems to be slower than with Minitab.
    Could any one comment on experiencies with both packages? Pros and Cons are welcomed.
    Is there any other software you would recommend as a serious contender that must be evaluated?
    Thank you all

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    #78310

    Grosvenor
    Participant

    You may also take a look at SPC-XL 2000 and DOE Pro-XL, available through Air Academy Associates (http://www.airacad.com).  It’s very effective, provides great graphical analysis, is easy to use and attaches as a macro to Excel, giving you a lot of power at a great price!
     
    Chuck H.

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    #78311

    Martínez
    Participant

    My fairly large electronics manufacturing business looked at both MINITAB and STATISTICA a few years back.
    We looked at STATISTICA first and were very impressed, especially with the graphics – a nice graphic engine. As a matter of fact we almost decided to use STATISTICA . . . until we saw MINITAB.
    While we evaluated STATISTICA the ease-of-use issue grew into a substantial concern. Our seasoned statistians found it difficult to access some routine tools.
    When we started to evaluate MINITAB, its simple interface and ease-of-use immediately left no doubt that it was the package of choice. Yes, the graphics were not as slick or colorful as STATISTICA, but creating pretty pictures was not a key criteria. MINITAB’s grahics don’t contain rainbows of color, but they look professiona.l and are certainly of sufficient quality for presentation to management and customers.
    If all the users of the software are “experts”, then the learning curve for STATISTICA might be a good choice. In my business though, the majority of the users are Green Belts and non-belts. These are people who have training in using statistics, use the methods effectively, but don’t use them enough to become proficient with a complicated package like STATISTICA.
    We’ve used StatGraphics, JMP, and now MINITAB. MINITAB is the first statistical software that actually seemed to get our engineers excited. They like the straight forward GR&R, process capability 6-pack, graphical summary page, and other similar outputs. The environment is familiar (the data sheets look very much like Excel sheets) and fairly natural to use.
    Yes, MINITAB’s graphics environment is a little odd, but most users never have to play with advanced graphing options. MINITAB defaults to what 95% of the users need. By the way, I hear that the next version will provide substantially improved graphics.
    Another thing to take into account is the statistical package your suppliers or, especially your customers are using. We found most of our major customers use MINITAB. They arevery familiar with MINITAB’s output, which makes presentations much easier.
    I’m kind of bewildered as to why you didn’t like MINITAB’s help tools. I think it is the best help system I’ve ever seen. The pre-anlaysis guidance of Help combined with the post-analysis guidance of the StatGuide makes a powerful combination. I especially like that they show an example of each analysis tool and provide the related data set.
    Suffice it to say, I really like MINITAB. I even gave up my PC-SAS license since MINITAB will do most everything I need.

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    #78312

    Ron
    Member

    I really like the features of Minitab and although I haven’t used Statistica as a power user (as I have with Minitab), I found it to be a little too large for me to handle. I mainly deal with transactional six sigma projects and while stats are necessary, Minitab does everything I need and more.
    There was also a great thread on stat programs a while back. I searched and found it so I thought I’d paste it here: https://www.isixsigma.com/forum/showmessage.asp?messageID=12003
    Ron

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    #78322

    Deshazer
    Member

    Thanks a lot MBB…. you present a very strong case for Minitab.  A very good point is to align with suppliers and customers.  Minitab will have an edge in that area and that may be more than enough to sell it to our team. 
    Thank you!

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    #78323

    Deshazer
    Member

    Thank for the info and the previous thread.  Very useful.  After reading the posts I am leaning towards Minitab.  I will put some more testing time and probably expand my pilot trial to include a broader level of users. Thanks again

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    #78325

    DrSeuss
    Participant

    Roy,
    I understand your delimma.  I am a Minitab proponent, but have used 5 or 6 other packages, so I think I can add of food for thought.  First, you must consider your user base (audience).  Is your audience computer literate?  (Power users vs new users)  Are there more laptop vs desktops?  What about your support organization?  How many software experts do you have available to help.  The Minitab help desk is absolutely excellent!  You can call them up and they will provide you with a workable answer.  If not, you can email them a data set and usually within 24hrs they will send you a solution.  Both software packages are powerful.  Minitab is the default statistical software on most college campuses, hence your new college recruits will already know how to use the product.  Yes, your observations about graphics is correct.  Statistica has better graphing capability, but are you really trying to make pretty graphs or solve problems?  Your goal should be to find something easy to use without a steep learning curve and supportable.  Most of the other companies using Six Sigma use Minitab, so adopting best practices would be much easier.  Think Support and Ease-of-Use.
    Have you looked at SigmaPlot & SigmaStat?  They are cheap twin software packages from Jandel and are simple to use and excellent.  SigmaPlot is a very powerful graphics package and the ability to customize plots.
    Finally, there are other alternatives, such as, Excel.  Most people know how to use it.  The statistical macros are already developed.  All your I/T org has do is develop a user’s toolkit of the tools most frequently used.  A visual basic graphical interfaces could make the Excel macros more user friendly to all.  Most of the macros have already been written and are in the public domain.  There are tons of books written about how to use Excel for statistical purposes.  Yes, there is a cost associated with this, but the take is not a difficult one. 

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    #78327

    Deshazer
    Member

    Dr Seuss.  thanks for your answer…. I got your message clear and loud.  I am leaning towards Minitab mainly due to the ease of use.  To know that they also have good support is a major plus.
    I will discuss all the feedback this forum has given me with my colleagues and perhaps expand the base of users for the trials.
    Thanks again,

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    #78344

    Martínez
    Participant

    Be very careful with Excel. Make sure the software supplier uses their own proven algorithms rather than Excels, since there are well documented (published) problems with Excels native statistical algorithms. I know Crystal Ball by Decisioneering does this.
    I tend to be VERY suspicious of Excel add-ons.
    Read an interesting article about problems with using Excel for statistics by Dr. Jonathan D. Cryer at his web site http://www.stat.uiowa.edu/~jcryer/ . The link is near the bottom of the page. 

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    #78349

    Robert Butler
    Participant

    While I agree that Minitab is probably the best choice for general use I do think that it is a mistake to downplay the poor Minitab graphics.  We have found the Minitab graphics to be a real problem not from the “pretty picture” standpoint but from the standpoint that the inflexibility of the graphs do not permit us to do what we need do.  For example, the simple matter of not being able to adjust the settings of the X and Y values on the plots or make them uniform from one graph to the next can be a real problem particularly when you are doing things like sequential boxplots and you need to illustrate the process over multiple graphs scaled in the same manner.
      I use SAS for my analytical work and Statistica for my graphing.  The engineers I work for use Minitab for their analysis and Statistica for graphing. I’d recommend that you get Minitab and get at least one copy of the Statistica Base product for those situations where the Minitab graphics don’t do what you want them to do.
     

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    #78377

    Ozarski
    Participant

    Robert,Please send me an e-mail and I can get you information on how to adjust settings of X and Y values on plots as well as make them uniform from one graph to the next.  We can get your users in touch with tech support with the steps to do this.  [email protected]

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    #78381

    Deshazer
    Member

    That sounds like a good solution… Export data from Minitab and importing them into Statistica is fairly easy to do.  Good suggestion.  Thanks!

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