Bill Gates’ solution to the world’s biggest problems: Measure them!

Steve DaumLast weekend’s edition (Jan. 26-27) of The Wall Street Journal featured an article by Bill Gates (“My Solution to the World’s Biggest Problems: Measure them!”), in which he pointed out the importance of measurement systems. “From the fight against polio to fixing education, what’s missing is often good measurement and a commitment to follow the data. We can do better. We have the tools at hand,” he says.

Mr. Gates’ emphasis on measurement and data analysis is a nod to the quality movement – where many of the tools for tracking improvement were developed. SPC charting, SPC software, and other tools for continuous improvement share many of the aims of the Gates Foundation albeit in differing venues. Charting software, that can take the drudgery out of looking at vast amounts of data, makes it more likely that trends and problems are immediately apparent.

PQ Systems has been thinking about ways to make data easy to understand. If you find yourself “drowning in data but starved for information,”  SPC software solutions, such as CHARTrunner Lean and SQCpack, provide just the ticket to respond to the challenge.