# Statistical vs Practical Significance:

Statistical significance is an arbitrary limit whereby an observed difference could reasonably be assumed to be due to some factor other than pure chance. Practical significance is an arbitrary limit whereby an observed difference is of some practical use in the real world.

Content Related to Statistical vs Practical Significance

< Back to Glossary

Content Related to Statistical vs Practical Significance

•  Statistical Process Control for Right-Brain Thinkers “Stand firm in your refusal to remain conscious during algebra. In real life, I assure you, there is no such thing as algebra.” — Fran LebowitzKnown for her sardonic wit, perhaps the social commentator, Fran Lebowitz, did not intend for this bit of advice to teens to be taken literally. Nevertheless, I submit that it elicits a grin from many who are well beyond their teens because it rings....Read more Contributor:  Lon Roberts Tags: SPC system | statistical process control system | statistical process control 02/17/2009  5:07:00 PM EST

•  Pocket Stats: Quick Significance Tests You Can Remember The ability to make the right decision quickly is essential in business. When decisions involve interpreting data, it is tempting to go with “gut feel” rather than wait for a statistician or a computer analysis. But what if you could quickly decide whether your data represents a significant effect, and state your confidence level, with no computer and almost no math? What if you could apply thes....Read more Contributor:  Andy Sleeper Tags: Andy Sleeper | pocket stats tools | pocket stats 03/23/2009  5:51:00 PM EDT

•  A Painless Look at Using Statistical Techniques to Find the Root Cause of a Problem Special note: We are responding to reader requests concerning the development of a solid foundation for understanding, in very practical terms, statistical analysis.  Many people suffer from acute statistical trauma. We are introducing a continuing series of articles that, we hope, provides readers with the basics required for proper usage of statistical tools and methods.&....Read more Contributor:  Process Excellence Network Tags: quality improvement efforts | Lean Six Sigma | homogeneity 04/26/2011  12:00:00 AM EDT

•  Ratios: Abuses and Misuses! Special note: We are responding to reader requests concerning the development of a solid foundation for understanding, in very practical terms, statistical analysis.  Many people suffer from acute statistical trauma. We are introducing a continuing series of articles that, we hope, provides readers with the basics required for proper usage of statistical tools and methods.&....Read more Contributor:  Process Excellence Network Tags: ratios | methodologies statistical analysis and tools | statistical analysis 06/20/2009  12:00:00 AM EDT

•  Preface To Performance Measurement: Understanding Ratios Special note: We are responding to reader requests concerning the development of a solid foundation for understanding, in very practical terms, statistical analysis.  Many people suffer from acute statistical trauma. We are introducing a continuing series of articles that, we hope, provides readers with the basics required for prope....Read more Contributor:  Process Excellence Network Tags: six sigma | ratios | methodologies statistical analysis and tools 06/20/2009  12:00:00 AM EDT

•  Statistical Process Control, The Alpha and Omega of Six Sigma—Part 1: The Origin Story This is the first in a four-part series on Statistical Process Control (SPC), which is the foundation for Six Sigma, providing the best known method for capturing the Voice of the Process and using data to manage a process. Organizations that practice Statistical Process Control as part of a comprehensive quality management system will identify required Six Sigma Projects and Kaizen events more read....Read more Contributor:  Rip Stauffer Tags: Statistical Process Control | Voice of the Process | control chart 10/12/2009  12:00:00 AM EDT

•  Averaging Ratios And The Perils Of Aggregation Special note: We are responding to reader requests concerning the development of a solid foundation for understanding, in very practical terms, statistical analysis.  Many people suffer from acute statistical trauma. We are introducing a continuing series of articles that, we hope, provides readers with the basics required for proper usage of statistical tools and methods.&....Read more Contributor:  Process Excellence Network Tags: ratios | methodologies statistical analysis and tools | statistics 07/16/2009  12:00:00 AM EDT

•  Statistical Process Control—The Alpha and Omega of Six Sigma, Part 2: Tracking Process Behavior Using Control Charts Commonly-Used Control Charts This is the second in a four-part series on Statistical Process Control (SPC). In our first article, we discussed the origins of Statistical Process Control and its impact on the history of the Quality movement, including Six Sigma. In this article, we examine the use and interpretation of a few of the most commonly-used control charts in the Statistical Process Control ....Read more Contributor:  Rip Stauffer Tags: control limit | run chart | Six Sigma 10/16/2009  12:00:00 AM EDT

•  Statistical Process Control—The Alpha and Omega of Six Sigma, Part 3: Process Capability and Six Sigma Process Capability This is the third in a four-part series on Statistical Process Control. In the first segment, we looked into the history behind Statistical Process Control; in the second, we examined a few of the basic tools. In this segment, we will look at concepts associated with an aspect of process performance whose measurement Statistical Process Control makes possible: capability. Process ....Read more Contributor:  Rip Stauffer Tags: Taguchi Loss Function | VOP | Statistical Process Control 10/23/2009  12:00:00 AM EDT

•  Statistical Process Control: the Alpha and Omega of Six Sigma, Part 4: Statistical Process Control and Six Sigma Projects This is the last in a four-part series on Statistical Process Control. In the first segment, we looked into the history behind Statistical Process Control; in the second, we examined a few of the basic tools. The third segment covered capability concepts. In this final segment, we will examine how all these concepts and tools play into our Six Sigma DMAIC projects. Where Does Statistical Process ....Read more Contributor:  Rip Stauffer Tags: Statistical Process Control | DPMO | DMAIC 11/04/2009  12:00:00 AM EST

•  The Right Tool Matters! Keep things as simple as possible, but not simpler. – Albert Einstein (paraphrased) When I was a kid, my big sister drove a red 1967 VW Bug. In its day, this was an innovative car. It had 54 horsepower, a two-speed windshield wiper and zero computers. The heat was inadequate and it broke down a lot, but it got 100 miles per gallon—of oil. The Bug was simple, and VW rightly marketed ....Read more Contributor:  Andy Sleeper Tags: control chart | David Wheeler | statistical process control 09/29/2009  4:04:00 PM EDT

•  How Lean Can Bring Real Benefits to Innovation in Pharmaceutical Research Lean is Compatible with the Innovative Nature of Research in R&D When I provide training in Lean Process and Six Sigma, and facilitate Kaizen workshops in Pharmaceutical R&D, the issue people regularly raise is whether the application of Lean is compatible with the intrinsically innovative nature of research, or drug discovery in R&D. While they can see the value for manufacturing, su....Read more Contributor:  Elisabeth Goodman Tags: Six Sigma | innovation | process management 01/08/2010  12:00:00 AM EST

•  Dealing with Business Process Complexity—The “No Frills” Lean Six Sigma Way These days it is hard to miss articles on the merits of Lean Six Sigma, but not many offer how to apply these in a complex business process management setting. Most articles propound beautifully the various aspects of Lean but often leave you high and dry from an applicability standpoint. The goal of this article is to give you a high level idea about how to quickly build a value stream view of complex b....Read more Contributor:  Avijit Paul and Dr. Prasad Chitimalla Tags: Six Sigma | process management | methodologies statistical analysis and tools 01/04/2010  12:00:00 AM EST

•  Driving Focus and Alignment with the Balanced Scorecard Over 150 years ago William Thompson said, “When you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot measure it, when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meager and unsatisfactory kind.” A subject that has been with us as long as time has been recorded (perhaps the first measurement?), the idea of tracking r....Read more Contributor:  Paul Niven Tags: Balanced Scorecard | performance measurement | strategy 03/08/2010  8:13:00 PM EST

•  Predict and Prevent Process Failure Using an Autocorrelation Plot Over the years we have seen numerous applications of Statistical Process Control which have resulted in a great deal of benefits to organizations looking to improve their processes. These benefits range from being able to detect potential failures in a current process to being able to predict and prevent such failures in similar processes in the future.  It’s always desirable that the data f....Read more Contributor:  Bopdeb Mondal Tags: autocorrelation | autocorrelation plot | Statistical Process Control 04/22/2010  8:53:00 AM EDT

•  Minitab 16 Review: A Compelling Software Upgrade for the Six Sigma Community (Editor's note: Six Sigma & Process Excellence IQ searched its contacts on LinkedIn for someone who would be able to offer insight into Minitab 16 and selected Michael Mercer to review the software. Mercer is in no way associated with Minitab.) Minitab 16 Statistical Software is a compelling upgrade for the Six Sigma community. I am a Six Sigma practitioner, not a statistician, and I f....Read more Contributor:  Michael Mercer Tags: Minitab 16 | Design of Experiments | Design of Experiments DOE 08/09/2010  12:00:00 AM EDT

•  Bayes Theorem of Conditional Probability and the Ambiguity of Data If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, is it possible it's not a duck? In this article, guest contributor Phil Mercy, a Six Sigma Master Black Belt working for Motorola Solutions in the UK, examines this oft-quoted maxim and describes how Bayes’ theorem of conditional probability makes raw data useful for making business decisions. The Six Sigma practitioner fac....Read more Contributor:  Phil Mercy Tags: bayes theorem | statistical analysis | Phil Mercy 12/08/2010  12:00:00 AM EST

•  The Insider's Guide to Using Histograms Want to understand variation within a process at a glance? Look no further than a histogram. Contributor Steve Bonacorsi explains everything you ever wanted to know about this statistical tool but probably didn't know to ask. An important aspect of total quality is the identification and control of all the sources of variation so that processes produce essentially the same result again and again.....Read more Contributor:  Steven Bonacorsi Tags: Steve Bonacorsi | statistics | process varatiations 12/02/2011  12:00:00 AM EST

•  How to Create and Interpret Box Plots Box-and-whisker diagrams are useful when you've got a relatively small amount of quantitative data, especially if you need compare the output of two processes creating the same characteristic or to track improvement in a single process. Steve Bonacorsi explains how to use and interpret them. Box-and-whisker diagrams, or Box Plots, use the concept of breaking a data set into fourths....Read more Contributor:  Steven Bonacorsi Tags: Steve Bonacorsi | Box and whisker diagrams | Box Plots 01/13/2012  12:00:00 AM EST

•  Seven quality tools you shouldn't live without Even highly qualified personnel balk at the idea of using sophisticated quality tools such as Design of experiment; hypothesis testing or multivariate analysis, says Sudeshna Banerjee. The good news is that  most quality related issues can be resolved with these Seven Basic Tools of Quality. The Seven Basic Tools of Quality is a name given to a set of very simple graphical techniques which have ....Read more Contributor:  Sudeshna Banerjee Tags: Sudeshna Banerjee | Pareto chart | Seven Basic Tools of Quality 10/24/2012  12:00:00 AM EDT

A glossary of keywords, acronyms and general terminology used in day-to-day professional work, Process Excellence Network. If you would like to add to, edit or comment on this page, please drop us a line at info@processexcellencenetwork.com

Please note: That all fields marked with an asterisk (*) are required.

First Name *
Last Name *
Job Title *
Company Name *
Telephone *
Country *
Where did you hear about us? *

Yes, sign me up for the FREE Customer Management IQ e-newsletter, including information on FREE Podcasts, Webinars, event discounts and online learning opportunities.