Challenges With Data 1

Challenges With Data
A recent article in Harvard Business Review calls to attention some of the challenges inherent in analyzing Human Resources data.  The writer, Peter Cappelli, points out that analysis of HR data is hampered by a variety of factors including legal issues encountered when crossing international borders, lack of abundant data, and a sense that not ...

A Case In Multiple Data Representations (or: How to Beat a Dead Horse)

A Case In Multiple Data Representations (or: How to Beat a Dead Horse)
The primary purpose of using data in decision-making is to ensure that the best outcome (driven by data, without interference from personal bias) is achieved.  However, this is a very utilitarian perspective that doesn’t take into account the human factors involved in process change.  Because of these human factors (biases, fear of change, need to ...

Punching Data Analysis Right in the Face

Punching Data Analysis Right in the Face
I’m not always the smartest Continuous Improvement practitioner in the room (unless I’m all by myself…  at least until the cat walks by).  Sometimes I get to pretend I’m smart, and other times I’m smart enough to not even try. One person who I’ll never try to outsmart is Zach Weinersmith.  Zach is a fantastic ...

Staying Afloat in a Sea of Data 1

Staying Afloat in a Sea of Data
During the Six Sigma Measure phase of your project you will probably be collecting a great deal of data. If you aren’t careful, you’ll end up collecting a lot more than you need (either by chasing too much data initially, or by having to go back during the Analyze phase to capture the data you ...

Accounting, O-rings, and the Dangers of Extrapolation

Accounting, O-rings, and the Dangers of Extrapolation
I’m currently “knees-deep” (“elbows-deep”?) in a Managerial Accounting course that is part of University of Nevada’s outstanding Executive MBA program, and my cohort is studying Cost Behavior.  Part of the discussion focuses on what is called “Relevant Range”, which is defined as “the range of activity over which we expect our assumptions about cost behavior ...