Bytes and pieces: News you can use

World quality focus: November is World Quality Month. Celebrate by entering to win a collection of PQ Systems tools and gear.

Customers as “small data:” Making connections with customers may represent a growing trend.

Food recall: Tyson has recalled 5-pound bags of chicken nuggets sold at Costco.

UK quality experts recognized: Automotive and aerospace industry quality management specialist G&P has been named as one of Britain’s fastest growing companies achieved through international sales growth.

In final months of the year, celebrating world quality

Barb ClearySetting aside time to celebrate quality offers an opportunity not only to reflect on our own quality improvement efforts, but also to recall other years and other celebrations, and to consider the history of the designation as well as of our own quality improvement efforts.

National Quality Month (October) started in 1988 in the U.S. and Canada, while Japan has been celebrating Quality Month (November) since 1960. World Quality Month was instituted in 2010, acknowledging the global impact that quality improvement has had on organizations, and recognizing that quality in products and services is important for organizations throughout the world.

The role of W. Edwards Deming and others is not to be forgotten as we reflect on the meaning of this month and recall its history.

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Quality quiz (October 2016)—and September’s quiz winners!

Winners of last month’s quiz and a copy of Practical Tools for Continuous Improvement: Volume 2 are Ray Last (Essential Turbines, Quebec); Sharon Kelly (Toyota Compressor Parts, GA); and Michael Hinojosa (TRW, MI). Congratulations! For this month’s quiz, and a chance to win a copy of Practical Tools for Continuous Improvement: Volume 1, submit your response by October 31.

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Data in everyday life: Presidential voter turnout

Beth SavageLast month we looked at a control chart of voter turnout percentages since 1960, the first year that all 50 states voted in a US presidential election.

Last month’s chart demonstrated that the percentage of those eligible to vote in the US who actually vote in presidential elections has averaged less than 60%. According to Pew Research Center, that is lower than most established democracies. What were voter turnout percentages the first half of the century? Would you expect that they were higher or lower than recent elections? Or, do you think voter turnout has been a stable process for a century? Here’s a control chart based on data from the last 25 presidential elections.

What is your prediction for the voter turnout rate of the 2016 election?