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Statistical Thinking: Improving Business Performance, Second Edition by Ron Snee, Roger Hoerl

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Preface

Since the 1980s, statistical thinking has been discussed in the literature, applied in the workplace, and formally taught at such universities as Arizona State, Florida State, Delaware, Brigham Young, and Drexel, to name a few. Many academics and practitioners contributed to this development. While there has been some resistance from those preferring a more traditional, mathematically oriented approach, the profession has gradually accepted the need for readers to think deeply before calculating. A major milestone in the development of the concept of statistical thinking was the 2002 publication of the first textbook on the topic, Statistical Thinking; Improving Business Performance.

In the 10 years that followed the first edition, further evidence suggests that the principles upon which we based the first edition are valid. We have been particularly pleased that such leaders of the statistics profession as G. Rex Bryce of Brigham Young University and Bob Rodriquez of SAS—who recently served as president of the American Statistical Association—have publicly supported the approach. Perhaps the greatest compliment we received was from the journal, Technometrics, jointly published by the American Statistical Association and the American Society for Quality, which stated that Statistical Thinking was “probably the most practical basic statistics textbook that has ever been written within a business context.”

While both proponents and critics have noted that Statistical Thinking ...

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