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This paper explains how statistical thinking and statistical process monitoring, which have been practiced in manufacturing for the past thirty years, are proving valuable for process improvement in business environments that range from health care to financial services. Basic examples drawn from real scenarios introduce the statistical concepts and show how to get started with SAS/QC software. The concepts also apply to complex systems that involve large volumes of multivariate data with multiple sources of variation. The examples demonstrate the use of graphical displays, created with ODS Statistical Graphics, for visualizing and analyzing the variation in a process and for explaining results to clients and management.
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