Data in everyday life: Grilled or broiled, fried or boiled–hot dogs are a July phenomenon

Barb Cleary“A hot dog at the ball park is better than steak at the Ritz.”

At least that’s what Humphrey Bogart is said to have commented. With the summer season underway and ball parks in full swing, hot dogs at the ball park, on the grill, and in the lunchbox will help to celebrate National Hot Dog Month in July. And many agree that there’s nothing like a hot dog with mustard. Or relish or ketchup or smeared with chili.

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Data in everyday life: Riding statistical ups and downs for your favorite amusement parks

Matt WellmanNothing says summer quite like amusement parks. The roller coasters, water rides, food, and shows: there is really nothing better. I have my personal favorite parks, but I have always wondered how they rank against other amusement parks in the United States in terms of attendance. I am excluding parks run by Disney and Universal–who can really compete with them?–and they are more theme parks than they are amusement parks.

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Data in everyday life: Baby steps with quality improvement

Derek BensonHow early is too early to introduce quality into your everyday life? Have we missed out on improvement opportunities in our personal lives along our paths to achieving our career goals as quality professionals? These questions have me pondering about how life could have been different for me growing up with a little more emphasis on data analysis for improvement.

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Data in everyday life: Tie-breaker–March Method or Madness?

Beth SavageI just completed my NCAA tournament bracket. In the unlikely event that I would tie another entrant for the win (I’m usually out of the running by the Sweet 16 round), I need to pick a number for the total points scored by both teams in the final game.

Scores start swimming in my head. Will this year’s final be a high-scoring game like the 1990 finals when UNLV shot 61% in their 103-73 win over Duke? That game netted 17 more points than the previous year’s overtime championship. Or will defense prevail as it did in the 2011 battle between Connecticut and Butler? Three teams in the history of the tournament have scored more points on their own than the 94 total points scored by both teams in that matchup.

What is an average tournament point total? To answer that question, I plotted the score totals on the following SQCpack individuals and moving range chart.

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Data in everyday life: More about telecommuting

Drew Leisen

Last month I wrote about a rising trend in companies across the country: telecommuting, or working from home rather than from an office, plant, shop, etc. The benefits of telecommunication are pretty clear: a more comfortable work environment, less pollution and traffic, and less overhead for company offices. However, just like everything else, nothing is perfect! Today we will be taking a look at some of the less positive consequences of telecommuting.

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Data in everyday life: Telecommuting

Drew LeisenWhen many of us are rushing to get ready for work, a small but growing number of workers are still in bed, sleeping soundly. While most of us are trekking through the morning commute, these well-rested few are still donning pajamas in the comfort of their own homes. Both of these groups of people are going through typical morning routines. However, the latter is taking advantage of the growing trend of telecommuting.

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Data in everyday life: Online sales – Black Friday vs. Cyber Monday

Drew LeisenFollowing a day of family, football, and food, many Americans shrug off their turkey-induced comas to prepare for America’s second favorite pastime – Christmas shopping! Some shoppers avoid the long lines and late nights often found at brick-and-mortar stores on Black Friday and choose to shop online or participate in a mega-event the following week, coined Cyber Monday. Online Christmas shopping has more than tripled over the past six years as this means of shopping is more accessible and convenient and comes with a far reduced risk of being trampled by the stampede of shoppers racing to get their hands on the latest craze!

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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?