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What is(n’t) a statistician…

The minute a statistician steps into the position of the executive who must make decisions and defend them, the statistician ceases to be a statistician.

Dr. W. Edwards Deming is known as the father of the Japanese post-war industrial revival and was regarded by many as the leading quality guru in the United States. He passed on in 1993.

Trained as a statistician, his expertise was used during World War II to assist the United States in its effort to improve the quality of war materials.

Dr. Deming told the group that if they would follow his directions, they could achieve the desired outcome in five years. Few of the leaders believed him. But they were ashamed to say so and would be embarrassed if they failed to follow his suggestions.

As Dr. Deming told it, “They surprised me and did it in four years.”

He was invited to Japan at the end of World War II by Japanese industrial leaders and engineers. They asked Dr. Deming how long it would take to shift the perception of the world from the existing paradigm that Japan produced cheap, shoddy imitations to one of producing innovative quality products. [source]

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  1. March 8, 2010 at 3:20 am

    For statisticians, educators, students and researchers: I have put one of the most comprehensive link lists for hundreds of thousands of statistical sources and indicators (economics, demographics, health etc.) on my blog: Statistics Reference List. And what I find most fascinating is how data can be visualised nowadays with the graphical computing power of modern PCs, as in many of the dozens of examples in these Data Visualisation References. If you miss anything that I might be able to find for you or if you yourself want to share a resource, please leave a comment.

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