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Good resources for learning statistics (quality engineering related)


Quite Involved in Discussions
Hello good people. I recently took and online course for statistics that is provided by ASQ. Unfortunately I was disappointed in the way the material was presented, the function of the website, the questions asked, and more.

Does anyone know of some good online or in-person courses (in the US) to learn more about statistics for quality assurance professionals? There doesn't seem to be too many out there. Thanks.

Ronen E

Problem Solver
Staff member
Super Moderator
I'm not sure how it works in other places, but years ago I used to just go and listen to university lectures on units that seemed relevant/interesting (without enrolling).
Some universities provide free access (or free enrolment) to some courses - Stanford does and I think MIT too.

I also recommend this resource (though it's not a course): NIST/SEMATECH e-Handbook of Statistical Methods
Start from chapter 1 p. 1 and read on.

This is also an awesome resource, completely free of charge: R: The R Project for Statistical Computing
Probably (pun not intended) a bit more powerful and updated than NIST's Dataplot software (also free).
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John Predmore

Quite Involved in Discussions
There are different branches of statistics. Perhaps you can identify what you want to do with statistics then find a course or a book that aligns with that purpose. Statistics are used to summarize large data in meaningful patterns, to guide decision-making in the face of uncertainty, to assess quality with sampling, to control a process with performance feedback, to solve problems by reducing variation, to improve design robustness, to gain new understanding of multi-factor science or processes, to make predictions, to plan rigorous research or surveys, to demonstrate or improve the reliability of systems.
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Super Moderator
Super Moderator
I like the platform for e-learning - did 3 levels of stats from Berkeley, but they were not quality professional focused.

Maybe reverse engineer the situation. Look at the tools you currently use (or would like to use), such as a control chart, and then work it back to how statistics can help drive that tool's value with the organization.

Bev D

Heretical Statistician
Staff member
Super Moderator
This list is quite lengthy but most of the articles are free (links included). Some can be purchased through the ASQ library at $5 if you're a member, $10 if not - and that's a steal since most articles cost $35 or more....

I've found these to be the most helpful for quality engineering:

books (the first 3 are must haves for any quality engineer)

Steiner, Stefan H., MacKay, R. Jock, Statistical Engineering: An Algorithm for Reducing Variation in Manufacturing Processes, ASQ Quality Press, 2005.

Ott, Ellis R., Schilling, Edward G., Process Quality Control, Second Edition, McGraw-Hill, 1975

Moen, Ronald D., Nolan, Thomas, W., Provost, Lloyd P., Quality Improvement through Planned Experimentation 2nd Edition, McGraw-Hill, 1999

Perez-Wilson, Mario; Multi Vari – A Pre-Experimentation Technique, Advanced Systems Consultants, 1992

Traver, Robert W., Industrial Problem Solving - Isolating the Key Variables, First Edition, Hitchcock Publishing, 1989

Bhote, Keki R. and Bhote, Adi K., World Class Quality - Using Design of Experiments to Make it Happen, Second Edition, AMACOM, 2000

Donald J Wheeler, Richard W Lyday., Evaluating The Measurement Process, Second Edition, SPC Press, 1988

Kida, Thomas, Don’t Believe Everything You Think, Prometheus Books, 2006

Western Electric, Statistical Quality Control Handbook, 1956, 2nd Edition, 10th Printing, May 1984,

Eugene L. Grant; Richard S. Leavenworth, Statistical Quality Control, Sixth Edition, McGraw-Hill, 1988

Wise, Stephen A.; Fair, Douglas, C., Innovative Control Charting, ASQ Quality Press, 1998

NIST Engineering Statistics Handbook, NIST/SEMATECH e-Handbook of Statistical Methods


Links are to articles available for free


Thomas O. Jones and W. Earl Sasser Jr., “Why Satisfied Customers Defect”, Harvard Business Review, November-December, 1995 Why Satisfied Customers Defect

Emery, Vince, “The Pentium Chip Story: an Internet Learning Experience”, Net.Value, 1996 Vince Emery · The Pentium Chip Story - An Internet Learning Experience

Guaspari, John, “Customer Means Customer”, Quality Digest, August, 1998 Customer Means Customer

Taguchi, Genichi, Clausing, Don, “Robust Quality”, Harvard Business Review, January-February 1990.
Robust Quality

Internal Ford Video “Continuous Improvement in Quality and Productivity” produced by Radio, TV, and Public Affairs Staff, Ford Motor Company, Dearborn, MI (1987).


Wheeler, Donald, “Analyzing Data – The Effect of Variation”, Quality Digest March 1996

W. E. Deming, “On Probability as a Basis for Action”, American Statistician, November 1975, Vol. 29, No. 4, pp. 146-152

W. E. Deming, “On the Distinction Between Enumerative and Analytic Surveys”, The Journal of the American Statistical Association, Vol. 48, 1953, pp. 244-255

Stauffer, Rip, “Render unto Enumerative Studies…”, Quality Digest, July 2013 Render Unto Enumerative Studies… | Quality Digest

Schwinn, David, “Teaching Statistics that Help not Hinder Management”, Quality Digest, September 2012 Teaching Statistics That Help, Not Hinder, Management | Quality Digest

De Mast, Jeroen, Tripp, Albert, “Exploratory Data Analysis in Quality Improvement Projects”, Journal of Quality Technology, Vol. 39, No. 4, (October 2007), pp. 301-311

Good, I. J. "Some Logic and History of Hypothesis Testing", in Philosophical Foundations of Economics (1980)

Wheeler, Donald, “Don’t be Deceived by Chunky Data”, Quality Magazine, April 1999

Wheeler, Donald, “What is Chunky Data?”, Quality Digest, December, 2011 What Is Chunky Data? | Quality Digest

Wheeler, Donald, “Probability Models do not Generate Your Data”, Quality Digest, March, 2009 Probability Models Don’t Generate Your Data | Quality Digest

Wheeler, Donald, ”All Outliers are Evidence”, Quality Digest, May, 2009 All Outliers Are Evidence | Quality Digest

Siegal, Jonathon, “Shewhart-Deming Critique of Classical Statistics”, Deming Electronic Network Web Site,

Wheeler, Donald, “Why We Keep Having Hundred Year Floods”, Quality Digest, June 2013, Why We Keep Having 100-Year Floods | Quality Digest

Wheeler, Donald, “The Secret Foundation of Statistical Analysis”, Quality Digest, December 2015 The Secret Foundation of Statistical Inference | Quality Digest

Wheeler, Donald, “Statistics 101 and Data Analysis”, Quality Digest, March 2016 Statistics 101 and Data Analysis: an Example | Quality Digest

Pease, Bob, “What’s all this Statistical Stuff, Anyhow?”, Electronic Design, March 1991 What's All This Statistical Stuff, Anyhow?

Austin, Peter C., Hux, Janet E., “A Brief Note on Overlapping Confidence Intervals”, Journal of Vascular Surgery, Volume 36, No. 1, pp194-195

Shaver, James P., “What Statistical Significance Testing Is and What It Is Not”, Journal of Experimental Education, No.61, pp. 293-316, 1993

Carver, Ronald P., “The Case Against Statistical Significance Testing” Harvard Educational Review, Vol. 48, Issue 3, pp. 378-399, 1978

Johnson, Douglas H., “The Insignificance or Statistical Significance Testing”, Journal of Wildlife Management, 63(3): pp. 763-772

Cohen, Jacob, “The Earth is round (p<.05)”, American Psychologist, December 1994, Vol. 49, No. 12, pp. 997-1003

Rozeboom, William W., “The Fallacy of the Null-Hypothesis Test”, Psychological Bulletin, 57, pp. 416-428, 1960

Sterne, Jonathan A. C., Smith, George Davey, “Sifting the Evidence – What’s Wrong with Significance Tests?”, BMJ, Education and debate, Vol. 322, January 2001Deming, W. Edwards, Foreward to “Statistical Method from the Viewpoint of Quality Control”, Shewhart, Walter A., Dover Publications, 1986

Dallal, Gerald E., “Why p=0.5?”, (commentary on R. A. Fisher’s early statistical work regarding the selection of an alpha risk of .05 and its subsequent adoption as a statistical norm)

Duffy Roger E., “Pareto Analysis and Trend Charts: A Powerful Duo”, One Good Idea, Quality Progress, p. 152, November 1995


Wheeler, Donald J., Craig Award Paper, “Problems With Gauge R&R Studies”, 46th Annual Quality Congress, May 1992, Nashville TN, pp. 179-185.

Youden, William John, “Graphical Diagnosis of Interlaboratory Test Results”, Industrial Quality Control, May 1959, Vol. 15, No. 11

Donald S. Ermer and Robin Yang E-Hok, “Reliable data is an Important Commodity”, The Standard, ASQ Measurement Society Newsletter, Winter 1997, pp. 15-30.

Donald J Wheeler, “An Honest Gauge R&R Study”, Manuscript 189, January 2009.

Donald Wheeler, “Good Data, Bad Data and Process Behavior Charts”, ASQ Statistics Division Special Publication, SPC Press, January 2003

Prond, Paul, and Ermer, Donald S., “A Geometrical Analysis of Measurement System Variations”, ASQC Quality Congress Transactions – Boston, 1993 Another version:

Morris, Raymond A., and Watson, Edward, F., “A Comparison of the Techniques Used to Evaluate the Measurement Process”, Quality Engineering, 11(2), 1998, pp. 213-219

Futrell, David, “When Quality is a Matter of Taste, Use Reliability Indexes”, Quality Progress, Vol. 28, No. 5, May 1995, pp. 81-86

Bland, Martin, J., Altman, Douglas, G., “Statistical Methods For Assessing Agreement Between Two Methods Of Clinical Measurement”, The Lancet, February 8, 1986


Dale, H. C. A., “Fault Finding in Electronic Equipment”, Ergonomics, pp. 356-383, 1957

Gano, Dean, L., “Effective Problem Solving – A New Way of Thinking”, Apollo Associated Services, Inc.,

Allen, John R., Hartshorne, David J., “The Art and Science of Fixing Things”, 2006,

Seder, Leonard, “The Technique of Experimenting in the Factory”, Industrial Quality Control, March 1948

Steiner, Stefan H., MacKay, R. Jock, “Strategies for Variability Reduction”, Quality Engineering, Volume 10, Issue 1, September 1997 , pp 125-136

Smith, Gerald, F., “Determining the Cause of Quality Problems: Lessons From Diagnostic Disciplines”, Quality Management Journal, 98 5, No. 2, 1998 ASQ

Haviland, Paul R., “Analytical Problem Solving”, The Haviland Consulting Group,

John, Sladky Jr., “Revolutionary Methods for Problem Solving”, 45th Annual Quality Congress, May 1991, Milwaukee WI, pp. 64-70

“A Painless Look at Using Statistical Techniques to Find the Root Cause of a Problem”, http://www.processexcellencenetwork...inless-look-at-using-statistical-techniques-/

Youden, W. J., “Locating Sources of Variability in a Process”, Industrial and Engineering Chemistry, September, 1951, Vol 43, No.9, pp. 2059-2062

De Mast, “The Tactical Use of Constraints and Structure in Diagnostic Problem Solving”, Omega, 39 (2011) pp702-709

Platt, John R., “Strong Inference”, Science, Vol 146, No. 3642, October 1964

Seder, Leonard A., “A New Science of Trouble Shooting”, Industrial and Engineering Chemistry, September 1951, Vol. 43, No. 9

Allen, John R., “Three Good Questions (and One Not So Good)”, The New Science of Fixing Things, 2006,

Leonard A. Seder, “Diagnosis With Diagrams – Part I”, Industrial Quality Control, January 1950, pp. 11-19

Leonard A. Seder, “Diagnosis With Diagrams – Part II”, Industrial Quality Control, March 1950, pp. 7-11

Robert D Zaciewski and Lou Nemeth, “The Multi-Vari Chart: An Underutilized Quality Tool”, Quality Progress, October 1995, pp. 81-83

Steiner, Stefan H. and Jock MacKay, R., (2009) “Designed Experiments with Fixed and Varying Factors—A Cautionary Tale”, Quality Engineering, 21:4, p.384-391

Perrin Stryker, “Can You Solve This Problem?”, Harvard Business Review, May-June 1965.

Perrin Stryker, “How To Analyze That Problem”, Harvard Business Review, July-August 1965.


De Mast, Jeroen and Tripp, Albert, “Exploratory Analysis in Quality Improvement Projects”, Journal of Quality Technology, Vol. 39, No. 4, October 2007

Beachell, E. J. and M. Monda. 1991. “A Primer For Enumerative vs. Analytic Studies: Using Caution In Statistical Inferences”. ASQC Statistics Division Newsletter, Vol 16. No 3. Pp 6-10.

Snee, Ronald, D., “My Process is Too Variable – Now What?”, Quality Progress, December 2001

de Mast, Jeroen, Roes, Kit C. B., Does, Ronald J. M. M., “The Multi-Vari Chart: A Systematic Approach”, Quality Engineering, 13(3), pp437-447, 2001

Bisgaard, Søren, Quality Quandaries, “The Importance of Graphics in Problem Solving and Detective Work”, CQPI report No. 137, February 1996

de Mast, Jeroen, Kemper, Benjamin, P. H., “Principles of Exploratory Data Analysis in Problem Solving: What Can We Learn from a Well-Known Case?”, Quality Engineering, 21: pp. 366-375, 2009

Ott, Ellis R., “A Production Experiment with Mechanical Assemblies”, Industrial Quality Control, Vol. 9, No. 6, May 1953, pp. 124-130

Tukey, John W., “A Quick, Compact, Two Sample Test to Duckworth’s Specifications”, Technometrics, vol. 1, February 1959, pp. 31-48.

Westlake, W.J. (1971), “A One-Sided Version of the Tukey-Duckworth Test”, Technometrics, 13, p 901-903

Statistical Process Control (SPC)

The Red Bead Game

Wheeler, Donald J., “Myths About Shewhart’s Control Charts”, SPC Tool Kit column, Quality Digest, September, 1996

Wheeler, Donald J., “Myths about Process Behavior Charts”, Quality Digest September, 2011

Udler, David and Zaks, Alex, “Statistical Political Correctness”, Quality Digest, November, 1997

Woodall, William H., et. al, “Controversies and Contradictions in Statistical Process Control” and Discussions, Journal of Quality Technology. Vol. 32, No. 4, October 2000

Wheeler, Donald, J., “Foundations of Shewhart’s Charts”, SPC Tool Kit column, Quality Digest, October, 1996

Hare, Lynn, “SPC: From Chaos to Wiping the Floor”, Quality Progress, July 2003

Wheeler, Donald, J., “Consistency Charts – SPC for Measurement Systems” Quality Digest March, 2013

Wheeler, Donald, “The Right and Wrong Ways of Computing Limits”, Quality Digest, January 2010

Wheeler, Donald, “Good Limits from Bad Data I”, Quality Digest, March 1997

Wheeler, Donald, “Good Limits from Bad Data II”, Quality Digest, April 1997

Wheeler, Donald, “The Empirical Rule of Distributions”, Quality Digest, March, 2018

McGue, Frank; Ermer, Donald S., “Rational Samples – Not Random Samples”, Quality Magazine, December 1988

Wheeler, Donald, “What is a Rational Subgroup?”, Quality Digest, October 1997

Wheeler, Donald, “Rational Subgrouping”, Quality Digest, June 2015

Wheeler, Donald, “Good Limits from Bad Data Part III”, Quality Digest, May 1997

Wheeler, Donald, “The Chart for Individual Values”, Chart For Individual Values.pdf

Sarkar, Ashok; Pal, Surajit, “Process Control and Evaluation in the Presence of Systematic Assignable Cause”, Quality Engineering, Volume 10(2), 1997-1998.

Wheeler, Donald, “Can I Have Sloping Limits?”, Quality Magazine, May 1999

Selden, Paul H., “Using SPC to Cure Sales Heartburn”, SPC INK, 1999 #1

Turk, Nicholas, J., “Charting Individuals for a Truncated Distribution, Quality, pp. 81, June 1988

Pyzdek, Thomas, “SPC Guide, Median Control Charts”, Quality Digest December 1998

Van der Veen, John, Holst, Perry, “Median/Individual Measurements Control Charting and Analysis for Family Processes”, NWA Analytics,

Wheeler, Donald, “The Three-Way Chart”, Quality Digest, March 2017

Maness, Thomas C., Kozak, Robert A., Staudhammer, Christina, “Applying Real-Time Statistical Process Control to Manufacturing Processes Exhibiting Between and Within Part Size Variability in the Wood Products Industry”, Quality Engineering, Vol. 16, No. 1, pp. 113-125, 2003-2004

Cheok, C. H., Ziqiang, John Mao, “A Solution for an Effective Excursion Triggering System for Continuous Flow Manufacturing”, Intel Internal Publication, October 1999.

Goh, T. N., “A Statistical Procedure for Defect Control in High Quality Manufacturing”, Sensors Controls and Quality Issues in Manufacturing, ASME 1991, pp395-401.

Wheeler, Donald, “What About p-charts?”,

Process Capability (Cpk / Ppk)


Sullivan, L. P., “Reducing Variability: A New Approach to Quality”, Quality Progress, July 1984 and “Letters” Quality Progress, April, 1985

Gunter, Berton H., “The Use and Abuse of Cpk”, Statistics Corner, Quality Progress, Part 1 January 1989, Part 2 March 1989, Part 3 May 1989, Part 4 July 1989

Pignatiell, Joseph J. Jr., Ramberg, John S., “Capability Indices: Just Say “NO!””, ASQC Quality Congress Transactions – Boston, 1993

Leonard, James, “I Ain’t Gonna Teach It”, Process Improvement Blog, 2013

Nelson, Peter R., Editorial, Journal of Quality Technology, Vol. 24, No. 4., October, 1992 Issue devoted to Process Capability Indices

Taguchi, Genichi, Clausing, Don, “Robust Quality”, Harvard Business Review, January-February 1990.

Barsalou, Matthew, “The Legacies of Genichi Taguchi”, Quality Digest, March 2013

Ronen E

Problem Solver
Staff member
Super Moderator
Thanks @Bev D for sharing! Looks like a very valuable compilation.

Kida, Thomas, Don’t Believe Everything You Think, Prometheus Books, 2006
reminded me of Ethica by Benedictus Spinoza (first published in 1677) - recommended, though it's quite hard to digest.
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Mike S.

An Early 'Cover'
Hello good people. I recently took and online course for statistics that is provided by ASQ. Unfortunately I was disappointed in the way the material was presented, the function of the website, the questions asked, and more.

Does anyone know of some good online or in-person courses (in the US) to learn more about statistics for quality assurance professionals? There doesn't seem to be too many out there. Thanks.
If I had to pick only one source, I'd pick any course, book, or article by Dr. Donald J. Wheeler - he is simply brilliant and published a LOT of free articles.

Jen Kirley

Quality and Auditing Expert
Staff member
Pls help to understand difference between SPC and SQC??
Statistical Quality Control (SQC) is the title of the Western Electric Company publication. At the time of its copyright in 1956, statistical methods were called quality control whereas now they are called statistical process control (SPC).

So, with the exception of details in relative methods these are really the same thing.

I hope this helps.
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