Statistical Thinking for Industrial Problem Solving

A free online statistics course

Statistical Thinking and Problem Solving

Statistical thinking is vital for solving real-world problems. At the heart of statistical thinking is making decisions based on data. This requires disciplined approaches to identifying problems and the ability to quantify and interpret the variation that you observe in your data.

In this module, you will learn how to clearly define your problem and gain an understanding of the underlying processes that you will improve. You will learn techniques for identifying potential root causes of the problem. Finally, you will learn about different types of data and different approaches to data collection.

Estimated time to complete this module: 2 to 3 hours

Specific topics covered in this module include:

Statistical Thinking

  • What is Statistical Thinking

Problem Solving

  • Overview of Problem Solving
  • Statistical Problem Solving
  • Types of Problems

Defining the Problem

  • Defining the Problem
  • Goals and Key Performance Indicators
  • The White Polymer Case Study

Defining the Process

  • What is a Process?
  • Developing a SIPOC Map
  • Developing an Input/Output Process Map
  • Top-Down and Deployment Flowcharts

Identifying Potential Root Causes

  • Tools for Identifying Potential Causes
  • Brainstorming
  • Multi-voting
  • Using Affinity Diagrams
  • Cause-and-Effect Diagrams
  • The Five Whys
  • Cause-and-Effect Matrices

Compiling and Collecting Data

  • Data Collection for Problem Solving
  • Types of Data
  • Operational Definitions
  • Data Collection Strategies
  • Importing Data for Analysis