Quality eLine Newsletter
April 2004
Vol. 6, No. 4

Quality Quiz

Ben Lofen has been playing golf practically his entire life. He made his high school golf team, although when teammates observed his shots, they wondered how his scores were always so low. Now he plays at a local course, keeping his own stroke count and not announcing his score until the end of each round, thereby leaving his playing partners scratching their heads at the miracles he is able to pull from the slices, lost balls, and Mulligans they have observed throughout each match.

When his boss purchases an SQCpack for data analysis at the plant where Ben works, he decides that he can make himself look busy by using the software program to chart his golf scores. First, however, he creates a chart showing the winning scores of the Masters tournament from the time of its creation by Bobby Jones in 1943 to Canadian Mike Weir’s victory last year. The chart will be useful as he trains new quality technicians, he says.

After he demonstrates the software and shows the golf chart, one of the technicians asks if the scores for the two most recent years (2002 and 2003) represent a run-up. Ben Lofen answers confidently: “Of course it does. Things are definitely moving up. This chart indicates that scores will continue to go higher.” Is his response statistically accurate?

Yes. It’s important to identify data runs as soon as they begin, to avert disaster.

No. He may be thinking of his own tampered-with scores, which seem to get better all the time. This is not a run.

Copyright 2004 PQ Systems.

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