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Revista Colombiana de Estadística Volumen 30 No. 1. pp. 1 a 11. Junio 2007

Implementation of Statistics in Business and Industry
Implementación de la estadística en los negocios y la industria Bovas Abraham1,a
1 Department

of Statistics and Act. Sci., University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Abstract Statisticians have devised many tools for application and these are available to beutilized for general business improvement and industrial problem solving. However, there is a wide gap between the available tools and what are practiced in business and industrial organizations. Thus it is important for statisticians to direct serious attention to bridging this gap if statistics is to be relevant in business and industry and to the society at large. In this paper we look at someideas for implementation of statistical methods in business and industry. Key words: Statistics in Business, Industrial Statistics, Statistical Methods. Resumen Los estadísticos han desarrollado muchas herramientas para su aplicación en problemas prácticos. Estas herramientas están disponibles para ser utilizadas en el mejoramiento de los negocios en general y para solucionar problemas industriales.Sin embargo, existe una brecha entre las herramientas disponibles y las que utilizan las organizaciones industriales y de negocios. Por tanto, es importante que los estadísticos dirijan su atención a disminuir esta brecha si se quiere que la estadística sea relevante en los negocios, la industria y en general en la sociedad. En este artículo se presentan algunas ideas para la aplicación apropiadade métodos estadísticos en los negocios y la industria. Palabras clave: estadística en negocios, estadística industrial, métodos estadísticos.
a Professor.

E-mail: babraham@uwaterloo.ca

1

2

Bovas Abraham

1.

Introduction

Implementation means different things in different contexts and to different people. What do we mean by implementation? H.G. Wells once said ‘Statisticalthinking will one day be as necessary for efficient citizenship as the ability to read and write’. Recently Harry & Schroeder (2000) remarked ‘We believe that statistical knowledge is to the information and technical age what fossil fuel was to the industrial age. In fact, the future of industry depends on an understanding of Statistics’. These statements imply that Statistical Thinking and Methods shouldbecome part of the knowledge base of an organization and part of doing business. This is the kind of implementation we are discussing. In other words a business or industrial organization institutes Statistical Thinking in all its functions and the use of statistical tools and data based decisions becomes a part of the every day business. In this context we are not thinking just about astatistician consulting with a scientist or an engineer for a project. Although such activities are very important, our goal is much broader. Our vision is that statistical thinking and tools should be entrenched in the organization so that they play a prominent role in it’s daily activities. In such organizations the roles of statisticians are quite different from the traditional one of helping a clientwith some data analysis.

2.

Statistics in Business and Industry

In general a typical organization has three levels: Strategic, Managerial and Operational. This classification is somewhat general and arbitrary. However, this can help identify and emphasize different tools to be directed at the different levels. We envision Statistics to play important roles at all these levels.

2.1.Strategic Level (Top of an Organization)

At the strategic level the most emphasis should be on Statistical Thinking which has the following components: i) Notion of a Process, ii) Notion of measurement and data based decisions, iii) Understanding and dealing with variation, iv) Statistical tools, and v) Systematic approach. The notion of process thinking is fundamental to any organizational...
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