Minitab is simple to use for the beginning or occasional user, but also contains the depth and breadth of tools and guidance to satisfy even the most rigorous quality improvement projects.
Eager to reap the benefits of quality statistics in your organisation, but wary of learning new software? Minitab is so easy to use it's the popular choice among professionals and students alike whose focus is on solving problems, not learning to navigate another piece of software.
All Minitab commands are organised in a logical way that compliments textbooks and training manuals to match the way you learn and work. Straight forward dialogs produce clear, uncluttered results.
With detailed Help on every dialog box, a quick clarification or even an in-depth explanation is always a click away. And once you've performed your analysis, use StatGuide to explain the statistical terms, tables, and graphs in a practical, easy-to-understand manner.
Have a question about using Minitab? Users have unlimited access to Minitab's team of experienced statistical specialists. The online Minitab Customer Center makes it easy to log a technical support issue, register a product or update your contact information.
Minitab makes it easy to use data from outside sources and manages your work automatically so you can spend more time analysing your data – not struggling with it. Data sets in Excel, HTML spreadsheet, or even Notepad? It's easy to import (or copy and paste) data from any number of sources for quick analysis by Minitab.
Minitab's immense collection of dynamic graphs and graphics tools are second to none in the industry. Choose the graph you want to create through illustrated galleries. Adding this month's figures or correcting that data entry error? You can choose to update your graphs automatically as data changes or manually on a case-by-case basis.
Double-click the graph item you'd like to edit and you'll prompt item-specific editing dialogs—there's no wading through choices for the right item. Want to change the font size of a graph title? Just double-click it. Care to rescale a graph axis? Just double-click it. You can edit virtually everything on a Minitab graph, from the color of your data points to the fit on your scatterplot.
Create as many graphs, worksheets, or analyses as you like – Minitab's Project Manager will automatically organise them for you into a single, convenient project file. You can even use password protection to keep sensitive projects under wraps.
The Minitab data window offers many advanced features you already know how to use, like associating formulas with columns. Sophisticated yet simple data manipulation allows you to organise your data any way you like.
Minitab includes the full range of basic statistical procedures used for simple estimation and hypothesis testing with one or two samples. These often form the foundation for more advanced investigation. Among them are descriptive statistics and graphics, hypothesis tests and confidence intervals, variance and association. Tools like the graphical summary give volumes of vivid, critical information with just a few clicks.
Does an increase in advertising dollars correspond with an increase in sales? Can a machine's malfunction rate be predicted by a combination of speed and humidity? Regression analysis allows you to investigate and model the relationship between a response variable and one or more predictors. Minitab offers a broad range of regression commands including least squares, partial least squares, and logistic regression procedures.
Analysis of Variance
Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) is a means of evaluating the effect of factors on a process. For example, you can use ANOVA to find the optimal settings for manufacturing equipment, the factor or combination of factors accounting for production errors, and more.
Minitab's collection of ANOVA capabilities include procedures for choosing ANOVA models, for fitting MANOVA models (multiple response), and ANOM models (analysis of means). It also includes graphs for testing equal variances, confidence interval plots, and graphs of main effects and interactions.
Statistical Process Control
Minitab offers many tools to help you map out and detect problems in your processes, regardless of your requirements. SPC tools like control charts allow you to keep track of process statistics over time and identify the special causes that might threaten your procedure.
Control charts for measurement and attribute data, individuals and subgroups, give you the power to monitor any process.
Minitab offers a number of hard and soft tools to help you detect and eliminate quality problems. Minitab's quality tools can help with a wide variety of tasks, from capability analysis to Pareto charts.
Measurement Systems Analysis
You spend a great deal of time and money taking careful measurements to ensure the highest levels of quality. But how accurate are the tools you use to make those measurements? You need to identify sources of variation, and ensure that the variation you observe isn't due to a lack of precision and accuracy in your measurement system.
Minitab offers a full suite of Measurement Systems Analysis commands to help you determine if your measurement system makes the grade, as well as how to go about correcting it if it doesn't.
Design of Experiments
Systematic experimentation is crucial to investigating the factors that influence product quality. After identifying these factors, you can make adjustments to processes or formulations that immediately enhance a product's manufacturability, reliability, quality, and field performance.
Well-designed experiments can produce significantly more information in less time and for much less money than haphazard or unplanned experiments. Minitab's DOE gives you the tools to create experimental designs and analyse and plot the results to help you improve your processes quickly and efficiently.
Sophisticated graphics assist important decisions; a 3-D surface plot can be easily rotated and manipulated for a vivid understanding of the design space.
One of the most fundamental marks of quality is how long a product lasts before it must be replaced or repaired. Understanding your product's reliability can turn a potential liability into a business advantage.
Minitab's Reliability and Survival Analysis tools help you to understand the lifetime characteristics of a product or part. You can use growth curves to analyse life data from a repairable system (where parts are replaced in order to repair an entire system), or regression with life data commands to predict failure time due to one or more predictors. Warranty analysis can help you keep your promises to your customers while protecting your bottom line. And accelerated life testing lets you investigate the relationship between failure time and predicting factors in a fraction of the time (and cost) associated with life data.
Power and Sample Size
More data often means a better, more powerful analysis. But how far do you need to go to achieve the results you demand? Minitab's Power and Sample Size capabilities allow you to calculate the sample size needed to achieve a given power value, and vice versa. And now with power curves you can visualise the dynamic relationship between power and sample size.
Multivariate analysis procedures are used to better understand your data when you have made multiple measurements on items or subjects. Minitab gives you the tools to:
Identify the factors most responsible for the data's underlying structure
Group observations in "clusters" to discover the simple structures in complex data, or to investigate how the predictors contribute to the groupings
Examine how the categories of different variables are related to one another
Time Series and Forecasting
Forecasting is based on the idea that reliable predictions can be achieved by modeling patterns in a time series plot, and then extrapolating those patterns to the future. Because these patterns may not be immediately apparent, Minitab fits to an appropriate model according to seasonality and trend.
Many statistical procedures gain a degree of power by assuming that data follow a given distribution—usually the normal distribution. A nonparametric test makes no such assumption, and so results are more robust against violations of distribution. If assumptions are violated for a test based upon a parametric model, you might choose to perform a nonparametric test.
Minitab offers the following nonparametric procedures:
1-sample median test (sign test and Wilcoxon test)
2-sample median test (Mann-Whitney test)
Analysis of variance (Kruskal-Wallis, Mood's median, and Friedman test)
Test for randomness (runs test)
Pairwise statistics (pairwise averages, pairwise differences, and pairwise slopes)
Minitab's Tables summarise data into tables and perform analyses on the tabled data. You can:
Display a table of counts, cumulative counts, percents, and cumulative percents for each specified variable.
Display one-way, two-way, and multi-way tables containing descriptive statistical summaries of data for categorical variables and associated variables.
Display one-way, two-way, and multi-way tables containing count data to test if the probabilities of items or subjects being classified for one variable depend upon the classification of the other variable.
Test for dependence (with Fisher's Exact Test) among characteristics in a two-way classification.
Compute a variety of measures of association.
Simulations and Distributions
Minitab lets you obtain random samples, generate random data, and calculate probabilities for an enormous variety of distributions. Useful for:
Randomly sampling rows from one or more columns in your worksheet
Generating random data from 24 different distributions
Calculating a critical value for a hypothesis test, rather than looking it up in a table
Calculating a p-value for a hypothesis test
Macros and Customisability
For the ultimate in flexibility, there are numerous ways to personalise and automate Minitab.
Adjust Minitab menus and toolbars, or create your own that feature only the tools you use regularly.
You can customise your own User Profile—from the color and font of graph titles to stepwise regression parameters— by changing and saving settings in Minitab. What's more, you can share your profile with individual coworkers or the entire company to maintain consistency.
Write your own macros to simplify the tasks you perform regularly.
Integrate Minitab as a behind the scenes engine in your custom application.
Allows programmers to customise Minitab. Use it to add specialised functionality to the Minitab menu, including customised interfaces to corporate databases, company-created macros, and specialised reports.