Making Up Data for Analysis

Improvement Insights Blog

Making Up Data

Recently at a conference, I saw a noted Six Sigma practitioner use Minitab to generate data for analysis.

In that moment it struck me: colleges have been training students to manufacture “real-looking” data for class assignments. All you have to do is enter some parameters and out pops data that varies with whatever distribution you assign it.

Isn’t this what got us into trouble in this economy: creating data that justified our behavior and inflated results?

I’d like you to consider that seemingly innocuous behaviors like this can lead to catastrophic results: market crashes, inflated bonuses and general stupidity.

If teachers want to generate data for students, that’s probably a good idea. To teach students how to create their own data can be a problem.

The QI Macros come with test data in c:qimacros testdata. Use it.

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