Can’t afford statistics software? Try Excel’s Data Analysis ToolPak

When I teach Six Sigma classes, I teach students how to use Minitab statistical software.

However, the software can be expensive for smaller organizations or individuals who are pursuing certification outside of their current company.

For the students in this situation (when their free trial runs out), I will run analysis for students that don’t have the software, but I make them interpret the analysis and results, so I’m not giving them the answers.

However, that’s not an ideal situation.

But if you have Excel, or use Google Sheets, you can install an add-in that offers some Six Sigma analysis options that is free to download.

It’s called Excel Data Analysis Toolpak

You can run the following analysis in Toolpak (with some links on how to run the analysis, thanks to Statistics by Jim).

You can learn how to install Excel’s Data Analysis Toolpak if you already have Excel. For Google Sheets (free to anyone, just create a Google account), it is called XLMiner Analysis Toolpak for Sheets

Excel does have some charting options that I teach in class, but nowhere near the options or ease that a statistical package can provide.

  • Scatter (to create a Scatter plot/diagram)
  • Histogram (newer Excel versions)
  • 2-D Column/Bar or Clustered Column-Line (can make a Pareto chart)
  • Box and Whisker (can make a Boxplot)
    • Open-High-Low-Close (for older versions of Excel)
  • High-Low-Close (can make an Interval plot)
  • 3-D Surface (can make a Response Surface plot)
  • 2-D Line (can make a Time Series plot or manually make a Control Chart)
  • Pie chart

There are also numerous Excel add-in software packages that offer more affordable options (about $300) that make it simpler to use with more functionality.

Here are a few of those options (not all the options out there, and I’m not getting paid for these links)

In summary, if you cannot afford the cost of a program like Minitab or JMP (over $1000), consider buying an Excel add-in software for about $300, otherwise you can download the free Toolpak options for Excel or Sheets.

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