Latest "Excel" Posts

8/14/18 QI Macros Webinar

Another great webinar where Jay Arthur shows some of the capabilities of QI Macros to a group of folks who signed up and attended. Some were familiar with the software and already use it, and some had not yet begun to use it; all were interested in learning new ways that QI Macros can help them with their Quality Improvement efforts. (You can hear him answering questions typed in by webinar attendees.)


If you saw a feature demonstrated in the webinar that might have been added to QI Macros after the version you’re using (for instance, the automated Value Stream Map), you may need to purchase an upgrade to bring your QI Macros to the current version.

Posted by Jay Arthur in Excel, QI Macros, Six Sigma, Webinar.

Excel Column Charts Hide The Signal in Noise

The July/August 2017 HealthLeaders magazine had a series of charts about the impact of Adverse Events. In general, the magazine used column charts:

But wouldn’t a Pareto chart illuminate the important adverse events more clearly? The first three accounted for over 57% of 2013 deaths.

Posted by Jay Arthur in Excel, QI Macros, Six Sigma.

Bad at Math?

At the IHI 28th Forum in Orlando, one visitor to our exhibit booth said: “I’m bad at math.” She was worried about needing to learn formulas. I hear this same concern from most people thrust into quality improvement.

I told her: “You don’t need to know formulas. You just need to know how to select data with a mouse and click a button in the QIMacros.” She looked at me incredulously. Then I showed her how easy it is to do it.

This is one way that Six Sigma has failed America, by trying to turn people into statisticians. Most people are afraid of math and statistics.

Posted by Jay Arthur in Excel, QI Macros, Six Sigma.

Data Visualization and Exploration In Excel

You can use Excel’s data formatting, commenting and filtering tools to help visualize and clarify your data.

Highlighting: Select cells and click on Home-Fill Color to highlight cells:

highlighted cells

Commenting: To add comments to any cell, click on Data-Insert Comment:

insert comment

Subset: To select a subset of your data, click on Data-Filter and select the desired content:

data subset

Excel will simplify and streamline your data for ease of analysis:

select subset

Excel has many powerful data exploration and visualization tools. Play with them!


Posted by Jay Arthur in Excel, Six Sigma.

What’s Wrong with the New Excel 2016’s Box and Whisker Plot?

Microsoft added a box and whisker plot to Excel 2016, but it’s not everything you might hope for. Here’s an Excel 2016 box and whisker plot:

You might notice that the whiskers have a crossbar on the end. It seems to have a spare “x” in the middle of each box and it’s a little hard to see where the median is. And there are unnecessary gridlines that are considered chartjunk. It does, however, show the outlier below the first box.

Here’s what the QI Macros Box and Whisker Plot looks like:

The whiskers are whiskers. The median is easily visible.

Posted by Jay Arthur in Excel, QI Macros, Six Sigma, Statistics.