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Statistical Software…..HELP!!

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  • #33687

    lopez
    Participant

    I’m looking into purchasing some statistical software package at the plant so I can start implementing Six Sigma, but there’s so many of them out on the market, I just don’t know which one to choose. I’m looking for something more advanced than Excel can offer, but definitely not anything too complicated and very easy to learn and use for my co-workers. I’m finding that some of the programs that I’ve downloaded the free trials for are not intuitive on how to use at all.
    Any advice on good software packages?

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    #91543

    Sam Serotsky
    Member

    I recommend you take a look at http://www.liveoaktechnologies.com.  They have a great new package out that combines Action Request, SPC, and Document Control into a very simple easy to use application.  We have been using them for a while and we are very pleased ith the quality of service they have provided us.  Pricing is also very reasonable.     -Sam

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    #91545

    lopez
    Participant

    thanx……
    Is this software also capable of doing statistical analysis? (histograms, etc)

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    #91550

    DaveG
    Participant

    I recommend you figure out what analyses your entire organization does, how they inter-relate, which ones add value, who does them (statisticians, engineers, technicians, operators), the users’ statistical and problem solving skills, and what analysis tools are required.  Then compare your options to your needs.

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    #91553

    Sam Serotsky
    Member

    They do Statistical Analyis at a high level.  ex.  Control Charts, Histograms, P Charts,  etc..  If you are looking for more indepth Statistical Analysis than this I would recommend Minitab. 
     
     

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    #91555

    MVC
    Participant

    SAS and SPSS are really good programs. SYSTAT is also a good program (SPSS bought them out). Personally, I don’t care for minitab, that is just my opinion..

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    #91558

    lopez
    Participant

    I basically need the software to create some charts and histograms on how our product is running and if, when, and why it runs out-of-spec. As well, calculations of standard deviation, averages, etc. Nothing too complicated for starters, but with more advanced options than Excel has to offer. I also want to perform some studies by random sampling to see what (material mix, production line, shift, temperature, etc) affects our product the most and be able to come up with some graphs, charts, and correlation between the data, so we can improve process control and quality at the plant.
    As far as who will be using the software, it will be a few of the Quality Assurance managers. I know that there are top-of-the-line packages out there, but I feel that for our applications and skill level, this will be a waste of money and time learning to use such advanced software.

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    #91561

    John J. McDonough
    Participant

    It sounds to me that Excel can do practically everything that you are asking.  Beware of junping into yet another tool,  because it can be pretty easy to make the tool the objective, rather than the process improvement.
    However, if you really need a tool, I would suggest Minitab or JMP simply because so many Six Sigma practitioners use them, so help should be easier to find than a more obscure package.
    –McD
     

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    #91563

    MVC
    Participant

    Also, as the saying goes: a tool is only as good as its user.

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    #91569

    Doc
    Participant

    SAS, SPSS, and SYSTAT . . . . interesting recommendations for Six Sigma statistical software.
    SAS is a very large and expensive package that requires command language skills. It is wayyyy beyond the scope of most Six Sigma users.
    SPSS is usually considered to be a social/life science and survey analysis program. They make no mention of Six Sigma in their web site and don’t appear to have tools dedicated to process improvement (GR&R, process capability, control charts, . . . ).
    SYSTAT is a general statistics package that also doesn’t have dedicated Six Sigma tools (GR&R, process capability, control charts)
    Honoring the iSixSigma request to not recommend specific products, here are my recommendations:
    1. Make sure you have sufficient training and experience to “make the call”. None of the software packages will be “intuitive” if you don’t know the methodologies. If you are not familiar with Six Sigma methods, then find someone you trust who is.
    2. Focus on Minitab, JMP, Statistica, and StatGraphics. To my knowledge they are the only full-featured packages dedicated to Six Sigma methodologies. Yes, many use Excel-based add-ins, but I am not a proponent of using Excel for statistical analyses. There are also some excellent packages dedicated to specific aspects of Six Sigma (DOE, SPC, etc…).
    3. Consider both features (capabilities), ease-of-use (many users will be very new at using these tools), and licensing options (including whether users need to be tracked, costs of upgrades, and, of course, cost).
    4. Download the demos for the software that you are interested in (or all of them) and “test drive” them. It would be best to have several knowledgable people “drive” them. That is the only way to know which is best for you.
    Think about buying a car. There are a zillion different kinds of cars out there. Everyone out there has their own reasons for buying the particular car that they bought. They will tell usually tell you that their car would also be good for you too. But, only YOU can identify the car that best suits your needs, and you hopefully wouldn’t buy a car without test driving it first.

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    #91570

    MVC
    Participant

    Doc:
    SPSS is more than a social/life science program: use drop boxes to read about different areas
    http://www.spss.com/success/
    SYSTAT has a lot to offer. I see people in different areas that can benefit from this program:
    http://www.systat.com/
    Just because the company’s website doesn’t specifically say six sigma, it does not mean you can’t use the program for that purpose.
     

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    #91607

    Doc
    Participant

    I’m not saying they are not good statistical packages. SPSS has received much praise as a general stat package.
    I will agree that just about any decent statistical software can provide ANOVAs, graphs, tests, and basic statistics that can help the user create analyses for measurement system analysis, process capability, and control charts, BUT this will be a LOT more work than using package with dedicated tools.
    Does SPSS or SYSTAT calculate Ppk or Cpk? Do these packages calculate control chart limits, let alone test observations against those limits?They likely do variance component anlaysis for GR&R, but the user will have to hand calculate the appropriate metrics.Do they provide Multi-Vari charts? Cause-and-effect charts?Do they provide Pareto charts – not just sorted bar-charts?
    The software packages I mentioned have pre-written utilities specifically for MSA, process capability assessment, control charts, and some basic quality tools. These are critical statistical activities in most Six Sigma DMAIC projects, and, at least in my mind, the goal of software is to make these tasks as easy as possible for the user.

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    #91614

    MVC
    Participant

    Does SPSS or SYSTAT calculate Ppk or Cpk? Do these packages calculate control chart limits, let alone test observations against those limits? They likely do variance component anlaysis for GR&R, but the user will have to hand calculate the appropriate metrics. Do they provide Multi-Vari charts? Cause-and-effect charts? Do they provide Pareto charts – not just sorted bar-charts?
    SYSTAT:
    Quality Control Charts
    ·         X bar, X, variance, sigma, range, X bar and sigma, X bar and range, NP, P, C, U, OC, ARL, multivariate T2, Pareto, MA, EWMA, CUSUM
    Graphs/Charts:
    http://systat.com/products/Systat/productinfo/?sec=1004
    Stats:
    http://systat.com/products/Systat/productinfo/?sec=1006
     
    SPSS:
    Page 3
    http://spss.com/pdfs/s12spclr.pdf

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    #91619

    SS
    Member

    we’ve found the QA/S s/w suite at this site to be very well rounded for the things ur talking about, and then some, including ways to automate the data collection so as to avoid additional data entry costs and importability thru a partership with minitab. we’ve used it for 15 yrs now and its been a key component to much of our improvement success. good luck
    http://www.hertzler.com/

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    #91647

    Rick Pastor
    Member

    I use JMP, and I have used it for years. JMP will do everything you are asking for and more.  I have used other programs to a limited extent; so I will comment on JMP only.  I have trained others on using JMP, and this is what I have found.  
    I find the program easy to use.  The people that I have trained have found the package easy to use once they have become familiar with how to use it.  Depending upon the data, I use excel to re-arrange the data into a format that makes it easier to do multiple analysis in JMP.  As an example, I have had a many as 10 output variables to examine.  
    The nice thing about JMP is the graphics.  The graphs make it easy to compare results. Even though you will find the program easy to use, after some effort to train yourself, here is what you may find to be your biggest problem — Understanding the statistics.  
    For example, if you did an experiment at four different temperatures, the graphical output helps to show the differences in the results.  Let suppose that the ANOVA analysis gives a p-value less than 0.05.  Now, you want to do a pair-wise comparison of the data to see which pairs of temperatures are statistically different from each other.  Do you use a student-t, Tukey Kramer etc?  Understanding the statistics is the biggest problem that you will run into on every program that you use.
    The package contains more tools than you will use for the tasks that you outlined.  Nevertheless, they are there if you need them.  I have also found the technical support to be very helpful. 
    Hope this helps if you have not already purchased a package.

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    #91653

    John J. McDonough
    Participant

    I feel like I need to jump in here and comment on JMP.
    As Rick says, JMP will do everything you ask.  It really is a capable package, and includes the vast majority of the statistical tools you need when doing a DMAIC project.
    However, JMP appears to have been ported from the Mac, and as a result, it’s user interface is a bit strange.  A lot of folks have trouble getting used to it.  The thing really does take training, although on the flip side, there are some good books available.
    I don’t think any package with this sort of capability is going to be the kind of thing you can just jump in and start using without a fair bit of study/training.  Don’t be disappointed that you need to put in some effort to make this sort of thing work for you.
    –McD
     

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    #91761

    Rick Pastor
    Member

    John makes an interesting comment.  I never realized that JMP original platform was on the MAC.  I only used a MAC for a short period of time and that is where I first started using JMP, probably version 2.0 or even 1.0.  I used 3.0 on a PC and I am now using 4.0 on a PC.  I have used PCs since the XT, DOS, was around and I do not feel that the user interface is strange at all.  I would be interested in knowing what you find strange about the interface. 
     You are right when you say any package will need time to train yourself or to get training to use effectively.

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