Data in everyday life: Holiday closings

The holidays are approaching, and many of us will receive well-deserved paid time off to celebrate. The Federal government recognizes ten holidays annually in which all non-essential government offices are closed. Private businesses and individual states aren’t required to observe Federal holidays, and many remain open in order to meet customer demands. Which holidays are most popular for businesses to observe? And what happens when a holiday falls on the weekend, as New Year’s Day did in 2017? This SQCpack charts shows us the most popular days for January 1, 2017 through January 1, 2018. How does your organization compare?

Continue reading

Data in everyday life: For the love of candy and costumes

Derek BensonAs Americans, we love a good scare. We love dressing our children up as their favorite super heroes, villains, and princesses and parading them around the neighborhood during trick-or-treat. We’ve developed quite a figurative sweet-tooth for everything that has to do with Halloween. The corn mazes, haunted houses, elaborate decorations and undeniable joy we get from torturing our dogs and cats with their own costumes add to the magic of 21st century Halloween celebrations… but at what cost?

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading