「華人戴明學院」是戴明哲學的學習共同體 ,致力於淵博型智識系統的研究、推廣和運用。 The purpose of this blog is to advance the ideas and ideals of W. Edwards Deming.

2011年12月29日 星期四

In love as in equities, we are regularly fooled by randomness

2011年12月30日 07:18 AM
In love as in equities, we are regularly fooled by randomness
英國《金融時報》專欄作家 約翰•凱

As the year ends, the author of a weekly column should look back and acknowledge the things he got wrong. I made at least one serious mistake. I wrote that if men think about sex on average every seven seconds, the average man last thought about sex three and a half seconds ago. I should have consulted the poet Wendy Cope, who wrote that: “Bloody men are like bloody buses – / You wait for about a year / And as soon as one approaches your stop / Two or three others appear”.

到了年底,每週發表一篇文章的專欄作家應當回顧這一年,承認自己的文章在哪些地方出過錯誤。我就至少出過一次嚴重的錯誤。我曾寫道,如果男人平均每7秒就想到一次性,那麼男人上一次想到性平均是在3.5秒之前(請見FT中文網2011年9月1日文章《統計數據的誤區》——譯者注)。我本該就此徵詢一下詩人溫迪•可普(Wendy Cope)的意見,因為她曾寫過:“死男人們就像那些可惡的公交車,你一等就得等上將近一年,剛有一輛車靠站,其它幾輛就接二連三地來了。”

Her analogy is helpful. If a bus arrives at fixed intervals of seven minutes, you will wait an average of three and a half minutes. But, as Ms Cope knows all too well, the interval is unpredictable: two buses come at once and then there is a lengthy wait for the next one. The average frequency of the bus may still be seven minutes. But if the intervals are alternately zero and 14 minutes the expected wait is now seven minutes, not three and a half. If someone is standing at a bus stop, it is more likely that they are victim of a bus which is late than the beneficiary of one that is early.


You may think this does not matter very much. But this summer the UK business secretary Vince Cable asked me to devote an entire year to thinking about equity markets. I discovered that the arithmetic of thinking about share values​​ is the same as the arithmetic of thinking about sex. The average length of time for which buyers hold shares today is very short. But the average length of time for which shares have been held by their current owner is much longer. There are many more high frequency trades than passive investors, but passive investors hold a high proportion of outstanding shares.

你可能會覺得這件事並沒有那麼重要。但今年夏天,英國商務大臣文斯•凱布爾(Vince Cable)讓我花一整年的時間對股票市場做些思考,結果我發現,股票價值思考所適用的計算,與性思考所適用的計算是相同的。現在買股票的人的平均持股時間是很短的,但股票在其當前持有者手中停留的平均時間卻長得多。高頻交易的交易量遠比被動投資者的交易量大得多,但被動投資者所持股票在已發行股票中佔很大比例。

The people queuing for a bus are the people whose bus has not arrived, and the people on yachts are those whose boat came in. What we see will always be influenced by the ways in which the sample studied is selected. The traders we interview are mostly successful because mostly it is the successful who are still tr​​ading – and this past success may be no guide to future performance. As the essayist Nassim Taleb has observed, we are regularly fooled by randomness, identifying skill where there was only luck, finding patterns in data when none really exist.

排隊在那兒等公交車的,是還沒等到公交車的人。坐在遊艇上的,則是已買到遊艇的人。我們觀察到的現象,永遠都會受研究樣本選擇方式的影響。我們採訪的交易員大多是成功的,因為大多數情況下,仍在從事交易的人正是那些成功者——但過去的成功並不構成未來表現的指引。正如作家納西姆•塔勒布(Nassim Taleb)觀察到的,我們經常被隨機性所欺騙,在那些只由運氣決定的情況中尋找技巧,在實際上毫無規律的數據中尋找規律。

The sometimes counter-intuitive mathematics of variation crops up in many different places. If Persil is sometimes on special offer, the percentage increase when it goes back to its usual price will be larger than the percentage price reduction when it goes on special. If that seems an unremarkable fact, it was enough to send several hundred thousand government employees on strike a month ago.


The average of price changes shows an increase even though the price has remained the same. And perhaps you buy more, perhaps even spend more, when the item is on offer than when it is at full price. After all, that is why they put it on special. These issues pose problems for compilers of price indices, and there are different methods of handling them. That is the principal reason why the new European harmonised index of consumer prices generally increases by less than the old retail prices index. The UK chancellor George Osborne is planning to make large savings in public expenditure by shifting pension indexation from one basis to the other.

儘管整個促銷過程結束後價格實際上與原來完全相同,但價格變幅的平均值卻顯示價格出現上漲。當商品處於促銷時,你的購買量甚至購買額很可能會比商品處於原價時要多。畢竟,商家特價促銷的目的就在於此。這些情況給價格指數的編制者造成了麻煩。我們可用多種方法來解決這些麻煩。歐洲新的“消費價格調和指數”(HICP)通常比原先的零售價格指數(RPI)漲幅更小,其主要原因也在於此。英國財政大臣喬治•奧斯本(George Osborne)正打算將編制養老金指數所基的指數從RPI換為HICP,以節省巨額公共開支。

The same problem arises in measuring benchmarks and portfolio performance in equity markets. If you average a 50 per cent fall and a 100 per cent increase, you show a 25 per cent gain. But if that happened to your shares, you would – just – have recouped your initial investment. Neither method of calculation is necessarily a guarantee to the experience of real investors.


I may have made another mistake in my earlier column. Since it appeared, details have been published of a study by researchers at O​​hio State University. They surveyed college students – who, one might expect, think about sex more often than the average of the population. The subjects were asked to make a note each time the topic entered their heads. Men thought about sex, on average, 19 times a day (the figure for women was only 10). Does this mean that we should correct “every seven seconds” to “on average, once every waking hour”? Only if men think about sex at absolutely regular intervals. And neither love nor equity markets are so predictable.

在先前的專欄文章中,我可能還出過另一個錯誤。那篇文章發表後,俄亥俄州立大學(Ohio State University)的研究人員發布了一項調查的詳細結果。人們可能認為大學生想到性的頻率比一般人高,於是研究人員就對大學生進行了調查。他們要求調查對象每次想到性時,就在記錄中記上一筆。結果顯示,男生平均每天有19次想到性(女生則只有10次)。這是不是意味著,應該把“每7秒”修改成“醒著的時候平均每小時想到一次”?不見得,除非男人想到性的時間間隔是絕對固定的。而且,無論是預測愛情還是預測股市,都沒那麼容易。


感謝有您 邁向2012

感謝有您 邁向2012


戴明圈: A Taiwanese Deming Circle

"交情千千" 電子連絡簿(日報)

胡適的世界 The World of Hu Shih


Books Birdviews 書海

People 人物

品質世界 quality world


英文人行道 et cetera, et cetera .




日本 心得帖



2011年12月26日 星期一

《可靠性入門》Reliability by Arnold Kaufmann

1983118(我近30年之後才注意到出版日),台北的徐氏基金會出版我翻譯的《可靠性入門》Reliability by Arnold Kaufmann (Paperback - 1972)。我的「編譯序」如下


「可靠性」這門學問,經過數十年來的研究和應用,已成為系統科學的一大主流。然而其文獻和資料太過艱難和浩瀚,所以青年學者每每不得其門而入,只有望「可靠性」而興嘆。鄙人有感於此,特根據昔日留英所購之一本精彩導論,編譯了惡本《可靠性入門》。原書為斐譽世界的法國數學家 M. ARNOLD KAUFMANN 等人為法國的青年所寫,由於深入淺出,精彩無比,所以英國的空中 (開放)大學列為參考書

本書旨在幫助青年學生 (高中生就可以)和社會人士了解「可靠性」這門日益重要的學問》所以但求能言簡意賅,能幫助讀者很快掌握「可靠性」,並用許多例子來輔助關鍵性概念的說明,希望這種刻意安排,能幫助讀者很快掌握「可靠性」的各重要主題。

本書所探討的概念,對於有志成為科學家(如生物學家) 、工程師 (可靠性的許多經驗和需求,都是源自工程學)社會科學家(如保險精算師、應用統計學家)的青年,都是必備的修養和和工具。可靠性所探討的生命曲線(Mortality Curve )適用於各種生物、工程和人文現象,只是其實際曲線之形狀,要依各系統(不論是電子、機械或生物)的可靠性而定。本書的另一特色,是對基本兒重要的可靠性原理,都有淺顯兒深入的介紹,誠為一本不可多得的入門書。有心想進一步研究的青年朋友,請不吝向編譯者連絡























結論 60

參考書目 61

索引 62



Introduction to Fuzzy Arithmetic: Theory and Applications (Van Nostrand Reinhold Electrical/Computer Science and Engineering Series) by Arnold Kaufmann, Madan M. Gupta, Arnold Kaufman and Bob Esposito (Paperback - Jul 1991)

The Science of Decision-Making: An Introduction to Praxeology by Arnold. Kaufmann (Paperback - Jan 1968)

Dynamic Programming by Arnold Kaufmann and R. Cruon (Hardcover - Dec 1967)

Graphs, Dynamic Programming and Finite Games by Arnold Kaufmann (Hardcover - Oct 1967)

Introduction to Operations Research by Arnold Kaufmann and R. Faure (Hardcover - Nov 1968)

Integer and Mixed Programming Theory and Applications by Arnold Kaufmann and Arnaud Henry-Labordere (Hardcover - Dec 1977)

Methods and Models of Operations Research by Arnold Kaufmann (Hardcover - Dec 1963)

Science of Decision Making: Introduction to Praxiology by Arnold Kaufmann and R. Audley (Hardcover - Mar 1968)

Fuzzy Mathematical Models in Engineering and Management Science by Arnold Kaufmann (Hardcover - Oct 1988)

Points and Arrows by Arnold Kaufmann (Paperback - Sep 22 1972)

2011年12月22日 星期四

Newt's big

Gingrich drew inspiration from management theorist

Deming led Japan back after WWII

TRANSFORMATIVE: Management guru W. Edwards Deming, seen here in February 1987, found an eager student during the last years of his life in the 1990s in Newt Gingrich. (Associated Press)TRANSFORMATIVE: Management guru W. Edwards Deming, seen here in February 1987, found an eager student during the last years of his life in the 1990s in Newt Gingrich. (Associated Press)

In March 1992, House Minority Whip Newt Gingrich sent copies of two major speeches to a man about twice his age living in Washington.

The first speech was what Mr. Gingrich referred to as his “basic speech.” He called it “the necessary revolution.” The second was a policy speech he had given to the American Hospital Association about ways to bring down costs.

In a letter along with the speeches, Mr. Gingrich privately confided that he was certain that both speeches “contained significant errors and lack some key principles.”

“If you could read these speeches and identify both the mistakes that are in them and the principles that I have missed that need to be included,” Mr. Gingrich added.

The recipient of the letter was a 91-year-old management guru named W. Edwards Deming, a statistician and consultant credited with helping Japan become a world power after World War II through manufacturing. Mr. Gingrich made no secret of his admiration for Mr. Deming’s teachings while in Congress.

During the last three years of his life - from 1991 to 1993 - Mr. Deming corresponded regularly with Mr. Gingrich. Today, the correspondence shows the presidential candidate, who talks often about his days as a history professor, in the clear role of student.

“I am hereby applying to be an apprentice to you,” Mr. Gingrich said in a handwritten note to Mr. Deming in July 1991 after Mr. Deming visited Congress. “Monday was an historic day in the Capitol,” Mr. Gingrich wrote. “You won a number of converts to ‘profound knowledge.’

“Now we must study and learn,” he wrote, adding that “with your help, training and leadership, I believe we can transform America.”

Mr. Gingrich included a copy of the Congressional Record, which contained Mr. Gingrich’s speech on the floor of the House about Mr. Deming’s visit to the Capitol. On the front page of the document, Mr. Gingrich jotted another note.

“My brief remarks … fail to do justice to the tremendous impact you made on Monday,” Mr. Gingrich wrote. “A number of members, staff and White House people have told me how impressed they are.”

In his House speech, Mr. Gingrich referred to Mr. Deming as “the founder of the quality movement” and added that he was known as “the man who initially in the late 1940s and early 1950s educated the Japanese into the process of quality.”

Aside from advice on the speeches, Mr. Gingrich sought a reading list.

“Every time we meet, I learn more about your philosophy and how deeply it would transform our society,” Mr. Gingrich wrote. “If there are books or articles that profoundly influenced you, I would be glad to read them to get a better understanding of the context of your philosophical development,” he told Mr. Deming.

A spokesman for the Gingrich campaign did not respond to a request for an interview about the correspondence, which is contained in a collection of Mr. Deming’s papers on file at the Library of Congress.

In a letter he sent to Mr. Deming in February 1993, Mr. Gingrich again sought Mr. Deming’s feedback on a speech titled “Renewing America’s Civilization.”

Story Continues →

Newt's big week!According to some polls, the bloviating Newt Gingrich is the new GOP front-runner. It won't last(37)不知道此號人物者 請找本blog

Gingrich Gave Push to Clients, Not Just Ideas


Newt Gingrich is adamant that he is not a lobbyist, but in the eight years since he started his health care consultancy, he has made millions of dollars while helping companies promote their services.

Gingrich Earned $1.6 Million Calling Freddie Mac 'Insane' Newt Gingrich made at least $1.6 million from consulting contracts with Freddie Mac over a period of eight years, Bloomberg News reports. Asked in a recent debate what he did for Freddie, Mr. Gingrich said he "offered them advice on precisely what they didn't do," calling the mortgage finance company's practices "insane."

2011年12月18日 星期日

Dr. Deming 的教育改革的故事

我上周五晚上在陳文魁 教授主講的
報告專題:雲端與我們的未來 (他其實在介紹應付某美國管理學院的認證之科技作法)
我講了許多Dr. Deming 的教育改革的故事..... (2018年8月4補充:當年太懶,沒及時將所講的寫下來,現在後悔莫及......)

A report from the NEA's Commission on Effective Teachers and Teaching calls for "systemic changes in the [nation's] educational structures by engaging teachers in the decision-making processes that impact student learning." The report urges "moving from a top-down hierarchical model to a circular structure of shared responsibility" that will "engage students as active participants in their own learning."

To place student learning at the center, schooling must transform from a time-oriented system based on grade level and credits earned to a performance-based system aligned to national learning standards. Student learning must be at the center of decisions about instructional models, scheduling, school structure, and flexibility.

 To set student-learning goals and assess outcomes, teachers must work in collaborative teams and use professional judgment based on teaching standards and practice. At the same time, teachers must have authority to make instructional and educational management choices and decisions. Teachers must also share in the responsibility for teacher selection, evaluation, and dismissal.

 In sum, the teaching profession requires transformational changes in recruitment, selection, preparation, professional learning, evaluation, compensation, and career advancement. This information is from PEN NewsBlast.

2011年12月5日 星期一

continuous improvement and continuous cost reduction

Op-Ed Columnist

Dr. Berwick’s Pink Slip

Dr. Donald Berwick was already in Massachusetts when I spoke to him Sunday afternoon. He was back in the Newton home where he’d lived for 30 years, being pleasantly interrupted during our conversation by his 2-year-old grandson. His last day in Washington as the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services had been Thursday. Friday was packing day. Saturday was moving day. And, by Sunday, he was already talking about his too-short, 17-month tenure as the nation’s top Medicare official in the past tense. Which, alas, it was.

Earl Wilson/The New York Times

Joe Nocera

Dr. Berwick, I’m here to tell you, was the most qualified person in the country to run Medicare at this critical juncture, and the fact that he is no longer in the job is the country’s loss. Berwick started out as a pediatrician and health care researcher at the Harvard School of Public Health and eventually became vice president of the Harvard Community Health Plan (now known as Harvard Pilgrim Health Care). There, he became enamored with the ideas being promulgated by management gurus like W. Edwards Deming and companies like Toyota, which believed that companies could create processes — and a mind-set — that would allow for both continuous improvement and continuous cost reduction. Indeed, they believed that the two went hand in hand.

Latching onto these ideas, Berwick helped start — and, for the next 19 years, run — the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, which was devoted to applying them to health care. The result would be healthier patients who spent less time in hospitals — and a culture that wasted less money on things that didn’t lead directly to a healthier population.

As the insurer of one out of every three Americans, Medicare is in an enviable position to push for health care improvements, if it chooses to. And with a budget larger than the Pentagon’s — and a consensus that its spending must be brought under control — no government agency has a more urgent need to cut costs. Surely somebody who has spent his career focused on these two issues would seem to be just the ticket.

But there’s one more thing about Berwick: He believes that President Obama’s health care reform is “an important moral step toward universal health care.” As he put it when we spoke: “Because of it, our country is, at last, making health care a basic human right. It is a majestic thing.”

Naturally, this view made him anathema to Republicans, who blocked his nomination in the usual way. They pored through his old speeches and articles, plucked out a few comments they objected to — he once praised the British health care system! — and announced that they would never confirm him.

President Obama was not deterred the way he had been when Republicans objected to Elizabeth Warren becoming the chief of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Instead, in July 2010, Obama named Berwick to the post in a recess appointment that did not require Senate confirmation. But, like all recess appointments, it was temporary. Berwick left the post just weeks before his appointment was set to expire.

What did Berwick accomplish in those 17 months? A lot — though not nearly as much as he would have liked to. His focus, as it has always been, was on improving the quality of health care and cutting costs. “On my third day,” he said, “I held a staff meeting for all 5,000 members of the staff, and I said, ‘You all think that you are in the business of paying bills. Yes, you do that. But I also think Medicare can be a force for change.’ ” He added, “I tried to reconceptualize it as an improvement organization.”

As Berwick tells it — and others affirm — the Medicare staff had been hungering for such a mission. “We had a triple aim,” he says. “Better health care. Better health for the overall population. And lower costs. I thought that, my goodness, given the resources and the reach — and the great staff, which was a wonderful surprise — we ought to be able to help health care providers do much better.”

Health insurers and hospitals, who had generally thought of Medicare as little more than a stodgy, bureaucratic insurer, began to see it in a different light as well, as Medicare staffers, trained as “improvement coaches,” began to share ideas and push for simple, sensible steps that would, for instance, keep people with chronic medical problems from having to be constantly readmitted to the hospital.

Of course, 17 months is hardly enough time to complete such a transformation, and it is hard to know if Berwick’s emphasis on quality will stick. What he needed, most of all, was more time — precisely what the Republicans wouldn’t give him.

By refusing to confirm him, Republicans won a pointless victory against the president. But, if the day ever comes when they — and the country — truly get serious about reforming Medicare, they may regret giving a pink slip to the best man for the job.

2011年11月24日 星期四

hbr: Five Charts that Changed Business: hc 的評論


hbr: Five Charts that Changed Business: hc 的評論

Five Charts that Changed Business

The Experience Curve
Created by the Boston Consulting Group in 1966, this diagram may look simple, but it captured the notion that companies develop competitive advantage through economies of scale: Over time, they learn to lower costs, gain efficiencies, and improve products by redesigning and utilizing better technology. Source: Walter Kiechel, The Lords of Strategy (Harvard Business Press, 2010)

我是這經驗曲線的專家 在1986年的生產管理與實務書中就有專章討論
我現在的看法是他只是單維的圖示 問題很多

Five Charts that Changed Business

The Growth Share Matrix
This grid, devised at Boston Consulting Group in 1968, crystallized the relationship between market growth and market share to help determine the overall prospects for various business units. It is used to teach managers to milk cash cows, divest dogs, invest in stars, and weigh the risks and rewards of question marks. Source: Walter Kiechel, The Lords of Strategy (Harvard Business Press, 2010)

這張其實是上張的推廣 我在類似前瞻策略思考法財務與成本分析 介紹過

Five Charts that Changed Business

The Five Forces
Prior to Michael Porter's breakthrough 1979 HBR article, "competition" referred to rivalry between companies. Few people considered whether or why some industries were inherently more or less profitable than others or how persistent their profits were over time. Porter's diagram changed that—and students, strategists, consultants, and entrepreneurs now assess a company's competitive position according to the strength of the five forces. Source: "How Competitive Forces Shape Strategy," HBR March–April 1979


Five Charts that Changed Business

Disruptive Innovation
When Clayton M. Christensen and Joseph L. Bower introduced this idea, in a 1995 HBR article, their simple chart illustrated a key insight: Established players can be threatened by lower-quality offerings that fulfill the needs of "overserved" customers—and those offerings tend to improve over time. Source: "Disruptive Technologies: Catching The Wave," HBR January–February 1995

這又是另外一位大師的說法 它讓許多大公司的老闆心驚
譬如說 Intel 公司的Andy Grove找他
然而 可能有神拜拜比沒拜好

Five Charts that Changed Business

The Market Pyramid
Today managers take for granted that the biggest growth opportunities lie in emerging markets—and that viable businesses can be built to serve people near "the bottom of the pyramid." That can be traced to this chart, introduced by C.K. Prahalad and Kenneth Lieberthal in HBR in 1998. People living on $5,000 to $10,000 a year may not sound like lucrative consumers, but they constitute a demographic of immense purchasing power for companies selling food, housing, or energy. Source: "The End Of Corporate Imperialism," HBR July–August 1998

這張圖選得不好 這觀念在20世紀中就有啦

2011年11月21日 星期一

Divided responsibility

今天某人引Dr. Deming 的話值得參考

Dear Editor:

“Divided responsibility is no responsibility,” as W. Edwards Deming’s book “The New Economics” (pp. 140-142) illustrates. Per Deming’s “Out of the Crisis” (p. 30), two inspectors often are less reliable than 1 inspector “for the simple reason that each inspector depends on the other to do the job.

Divided responsibility means that no one is responsible.”

2011年11月8日 星期二

Practical Guide to Quality 難得的實用文集

Practical Guide to Quality,這是一本難得的實用文集

conjoint analysis此一統計手法的實例應用 可參考Brian Joiner 博士以前的Joiner 顧問公司出版的 Practical Guide to Quality,

1 Quality in the Community: One city's Experience by George E.P. Box, laurel W. Joiner, Sue Rohan and F. Joseph Sensenbrenner, pp. 1-14

2 Design of Experiments: Shifting Quality Improvement into High Gear by Lyndon Finn, Tim Kramer and Sue Reynard, pp.15-28

3 The Key Role of Statistician in theTtransformation of North American Industry by Brian Joiner, pp29-36

4 Variation, management and W. Edwards Deming, by Brian Joiner and Marie Gaudard, pp.37-52

5 Total quality leadership vs. Management by Results, by Brian L. Joiner and Peter R. Scholtes, pp.53-62

6 Design, Marketing and Quality Management: Parts of a Whole by William H. Lawton, pp.63-75

7 Thanking about Safety, by Kevin Little, pp.77-86

8 Back from the Brink: How Quality Improvement Can avert a Crisis, by Susan E. Reyard, pp.87-92

9 Total Quality or Performance Appraisal: Choose One, by Peter R. Scholtes, pp.93-104

10 A Practical approach to quality, by peter R. Scholtes and Heero Hacquebord, pp105-126

11 Quality Improvement in the Office, by Peter r. scholtes, Lonnie S. Weiss and sue Reynard, pp.127-148

12 Creating Robust Work processes by Ronald Snee, pp.149-158

13 What's Missing in Statistical education? by Ronald d. Snee, pp.159-166

14 Reading in quality: a Selected Bibliography, pp.167-172

conjoint analysis

此一統計手法的實例應用 可參考Brian Joiner 博士以前的Joiner 顧問公司出版的 Practical Guide to Quality, pp.63-75
Design, Marketing and Quality Management: Parts of a Whole by William H. Lawton,

A New Way to Gain Customer Insights

How conjoint analysis, a tried-and-true market research tool, can be used to support organic growth.

When Dow Jones decided to revamp the Wall Street Journal in the mid-2000s, the newspaper had just endured five years of flat circulation and advertising revenue, and the whole industry was ailing. Although the Journal didn’t want to alienate its core readership, it wanted to attract new readers — in particular a younger demographic that advertisers would value. Dow Jones knew it had to make changes to its then 125-year-old newspaper. But the company’s bigger purpose was to understand the needs of an emerging segment of business news consumers that the Journal was not successfully reaching.

To help develop its strategy, Dow Jones employed a variant of conjoint analysis, a technique that has been widely used in market research for 30 years. In a traditional conjoint analysis, survey respondents are asked which products or product attributes they value as a trade-off between two or more options, repeated in enough combinations to yield a reliable ranking of each attribute’s importance. Dow Jones used this type of analysis in a new way, to identify prospective readers and reveal their preferences. After its redesign to attract this new customer segment, the Journal (now part of the News Corporation) saw a 35 percent improvement in its efforts to add new subscribers through direct marketing, reversed a three-year slump in ad sales, and experienced an annual revenue improvement of US$25 million from new programs and pricing initiatives.

In fact, for companies in industries as varied as luxury goods and retail banking, conjoint analysis is emerging as a strategic tool, providing actionable intelligence businesses can use to go beyond product optimization to support organic growth. The methodology needed to use conjoint analysis in this new way is very similar to the methodology that traditional practitioners of this type of analysis have used, but has a key variation: The marketing team uses the results to organize customer groups (and prospects) with similar preferences, providing a more detailed view of the categories they fall into, the needs they have, and the likelihood that they might become bigger (or smaller) sources of revenue.

In other words, conjoint analysis has become a new source of insight into customer segments. Of course, it would be hard to find a company that hasn’t done some kind of customer segmentation, and using conjoint analysis is certainly not the only way to achieve it. Companies usually have a sense of who their real and prospective customers are, and have an idea of what each segment considers important. But by segmenting customers with the help of conjoint analysis, companies can develop a more layered form of intelligence, with implications for which segments to prioritize, which value propositions to offer them, and how to market to them.

Looking for Luxury Shoppers

In recent years, a manufacturer of luxury gifts had become dissatisfied with the pace of growth in one of its largest geographic markets. Was the company targeting the wrong customers? Using the wrong materials? Supporting a brand with an undifferentiated value proposition? Advertising ineffectively? The company thought that if it could answer these questions, it would gain some of the insights needed to transform its organic growth strategy.

Using traditional conjoint analysis techniques, the manufacturer surveyed 2,000 luxury gift–buying consumers to find out the extent to which they were price- and brand-conscious; valued materials such as fine leather, fabrics, and metals; and wanted their gifts to elicit oohs and aahs from friends and family. The manufacturer then combined the data from the conjoint analysis with the results from other survey questions to define five customer segments and decided it had headroom — an opportunity to pick up significant market share — in several of those segments, including a group it called “classic shoppers.”

Thanks to the conjoint analysis survey, the manufacturer knew that in the “classic shopper” segment, customers ascribed great importance to prestige, cared a lot about high-quality materials, and preferred designs that made bold statements. The least important attribute to this customer segment was price — these customers didn’t mind paying a premium to get what they wanted.

The company might have already had an intuitive sense of these findings. However, the intelligence from the conjoint analysis was definitive. The results of the analysis have played a role in changing the company’s product line, changing what happens within the company’s distribution channels, and changing how and where the company spends its marketing dollars.

Protecting Profits at a Bank

In another recent example, a European bank was picking up signals that regulators were going to force it to become more transparent about the costs of loan protection, a product the bank made available to consumers who held unsecured loans. The bank didn’t make money selling unsecured loans, but it made a considerable profit selling insurance that guaranteed payment if a borrower lost his or her job or otherwise suffered an interruption of income. What would happen to the business model if regulators insisted on changes? Would there be a way to keep making money in the business of unsecured loans and loan protection?

The bank used a conjoint analysis survey of 1,600 people who had unsecured loans to estimate price elasticity for the loans themselves and for loan protection insurance. This was a way of anticipating the options it would have in the event that the regulatory environment changed, and banks were forced to raise (or lower) prices on either loan or loan-protection products.

The conjoint analysis answered the price elasticity question in the aggregate. After the bank clustered the panelists into five segments, it was also able to answer this question in a more granular way. For instance, customers in a segment the bank called “bargain hunters” were very sensitive to pricing — this group would not pay more to take out a loan or to insure it. By contrast, customers in a segment the bank designated as “personal bankers” (those who liked the high-touch approach, were willing to hear advice, and were open to special offers) were not particularly price sensitive. There would be ways, even in the event of a regulatory change, of selling this segment higher-priced unsecured loans and loan protection and profiting from it.

Indeed, one of the intriguing things about this bank’s use of conjoint analysis was the broad utility of the results. Although the analysis started off as a way to test price elasticity and prepare for external changes, the information the conjoint analysis generated — not only about how customers would respond in the event of a price increase, but also about more basic findings such as how people make borrowing decisions and how they think about financial providers — allowed the bank to identify tailored product strategies that would appeal to all its customer segments. The company decided its existing product would work for some of those segments, but that it should probably develop a no-frills product for the “bargain hunters” among its customers and a premium product for its “personal bankers.”

Segmenting for Growth

In an era of cautious consumer spending, many companies are looking for new ways to identify growth opportunities through improved customer insight. Conjoint analysis is at the forefront of this effort. The analytic rigor it brings is helping creative companies move forward with promising initiatives that they may have thought sounded good but couldn’t agree to implement without the data to back them up. Other companies find that it is generating avenues for organic growth they might not have come up with on their own.

In this way, conjoint analysis, which has historically informed relatively narrow product decisions (enhance this feature, remove that one) is turning out to have bigger strategic implications. It is a powerful tool that can fundamentally change companies’ perceptions about where opportunity lies and how to pursue it.

Author Profile:

  • David Meer is a senior executive advisor with Booz & Company based in New York. He specializes in customer insight and demand analytics, with a particular focus on helping companies use statistical approaches to identify organic growth opportunities.

2011年11月6日 星期日

Donald J. Wheeler

Donald J. Wheeler 在80年代創 SPC Press 著作22本 真不可思議

Donald J. Wheeler is an American author, statistician and expert in quality control.[1][2]

Wheeler graduated from the University of Texas in 1966 and holds M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in statistics from Southern Methodist University. From 1970 to 1982 he taught in the Statistics Department at the University of Tennessee where he was an Associate Professor. Since 1982 he has worked as a consultant. He is the author of 22 textbooks. His books have been translated into five languages and are in use in over 40 countries. He has been invited to contribute to two state-of-the-art anthologies, and has had articles published in 16 refereed journals. He is a Fellow of both the American Statistical Association and American Society for Quality. Recently he was awarded the 2010 Deming Medal by the American Society for Quality.

Dr. Wheeler has been a monthly columnist for both Quality Digest and Quality magazine. He has conducted over 1000 seminars for over 250 companies and organizations in 17 countries on five continents, and has had students come from 30 countries to attend his seminars in the United States.

[edit] References

  1. ^ The New Encyclopaedia Britannica. Encyclopaedia Britannica. 2005. p. 226. ISBN 9781593392369. Retrieved 20 June 2011.
  2. ^ A Conversation with Donald J. Wheeler, by William H. Woodall, Quality Engineering, Vol. 21 pages 357-365, 2009.

Deming Medalists

2010 Donald J. Wheeler
2009 Paul Batalden
2007 H. Thomas Johnson
2006 Peter R. Scholtes
2004 Shoichiro Toyoda
2003 Lloyd P. Provost
2002 Ronald D. Moen
2001 Henry R. Neave
2000 Thomas W. Nolan
1999 Donald E. Petersen
1998 Thomas J. Boardman Ph.D.
1997 Edward M. Baker
1996 Dr. Gipsie B. Ranney
Metropolitan Section
1995 William J. Latzko
1994 Joyce Nilsson Orsini
1993 Gerald J. Hahn
1992 William W. Scherkenbach
1991 Cuthbert Daniel
1990 George A. Barnard
1989 William A.J. Golomski
1988 George E. Box
1987 David R. Cox
1986 Brian L. Joiner
1985 J. Stuart Hunter
1984 Lloyd S. Nelson
1983 Paul C. Clifford
1982 John W. Tukey
1981 Hugo S. Hamacher
1980 John C. Mandell
1979 W. Edwards Deming

"美國各城市謀殺率 "的10年間畫法

對於"美國各城市謀殺率 "的10年間 前後兩點一直線的畫法 和圖之數據 我有些不敢茍同

Easily ahead

Nov 4th 2011, 15:04 by The Economist

Murder has become less common overall in America, but in some cities the crime has risen

IN SEPTEMBER one of New Orleans’s most dangerous men was convicted of second-degree murder and jailed for life. Yet there are signs that Telly Hankton’s reign of terror continues from behind bars. America has one of the highest homicide rates in the developed world, at 4.8 per 100,000 people. While this is less than half what it was in 1980, the rates in the country’s most murderous cities are nearly ten times that. Washington, DC, Detroit and Baltimore have made noticeable improvements over the past decade. But Newark, St Louis and New Orleans, long the nation’s murder capital, have become even deadlier.

2011年11月3日 星期四


Bleak Portrait of Poverty Is Off the Mark, Experts Say

Travis Dove for The New York Times

John William Springs, a retiree who gets nearly $12,000 a year in Social Security and disability checks, is $1,300 above the poverty threshold: officially, not poor.

WASHINGTON — When the Census Bureau said in September that the number of poor Americans had soared by 10 million to rates rarely seen in four decades, commentators called the report “shocking” and “bleak.” Most poverty experts would add another description: “flawed.”

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Travis Dove for The New York Times

A new measure places Ashley Bolton above the poverty line.

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Concocted on the fly a half-century ago, the official poverty measure ignores ever more of what is happening to the poor person’s wallet — good and bad. It overlooks hundreds of billions of dollars the needy receive in food stamps and other benefits and the similarly formidable amounts they lose to taxes and medical care. It even fails to note that rents are higher in places like Manhattan than they are in Mississippi.

On Monday, that may start to change when the Census Bureau releases a long-promised alternate measure meant to do a better job of counting the resources the needy have and the bills they have to pay. Similar measures, quietly published in the past, suggest among other things that safety-net programs have played a large and mostly overlooked role in restraining hardship: as much as half of the reported rise in poverty since 2006 disappears.

The fuller measures have also shown less poverty among children but more among older Americans, who are plagued by high medical costs. They have shown less poverty among blacks but more among Asians; less poverty in rural areas and more in cities and suburbs, where the cost of living is high. And they have found fewer people in abject destitution, but a great many more crowding the hard-luck ranks of the near poor, who do not qualify for many benefit programs and lose income to taxes, child care and medical costs.

“The official measure no longer corresponds to reality,” said Jane Waldfogel, a professor of social work at Columbia University. “It doesn’t get either side of the equation right — how much the poor have or how much they need. No one really trusts the data.”

Coming amid soaring need and bitter debt debates, the findings in Monday’s release are likely to offer fodder both to defenders of safety-net programs and fiscal conservatives who say the government already does much to temper hardship and needs to do no more.

Experts expect the new report to be consistent with a decade of research about the ways in which the official poverty rate distorts the realities of American poverty.

The numbers in this article are based on that research — by the census, the National Academy of Sciences and others — and include not just cash income but also government benefits, work expenses, taxes and cost of living. Many experts expect Monday’s census report, based on similar methods, to add a bit to the official poverty count of 46.2 million, while most experts also expect the recent growth will ap-pear less steep.

One alternate census data set quietly published last week said the number of poor people has grown by 4.6 million since 2006, not by 9.7 million as the bureau reported in September. At least 39 states showed no statistically significant poverty growth despite surging unemployment, according to an analysis by The New York Times, including Michigan, New York, New Jersey, Ohio, Tennessee and Texas.

In North Carolina, poverty has risen by more than 250,000 people by official count, but stayed flat under the alternate measure despite soaring unemployment.

One explanation can be found in programs the official count ignores: food stamps and tax credits. Combined the two programs delivered $221 billion across the country last year, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, more than doubling since 2006.

In Charlotte, Angelique Melton was among the beneficiaries. A divorced mother of two, Ms. Melton, 42, had worked her way up to a $39,000 a year position at a construction management firm. But as building halted in 2009, Ms. Melton lost her job.

Struggling to pay the rent and keep the family adequately fed, she took the only job she could find: a part-time position at Wal-Mart that paid less than half her former salary. With an annual income of about $7,500 — well below the poverty line of $17,400 for a family of three — Ms. Melton was officially poor.

Unofficially she was not.

After trying to stretch her shrunken income, Ms. Melton signed up for $3,600 a year in food stamps and received $1,800 in nutritional supplements from the Women, Infants and Children program. And her small salary qualified her for large tax credits, which arrive in the form of an annual check — in her case for about $4,000.

Along with housing aid, those subsidies gave her an annual income of nearly $18,800 — no one’s idea of rich, but by the new count not poor.

“They help you, my God,” Ms. Melton said. “I would not have made it otherwise.”

The official way of counting poverty — beloved not even by many of the people who run the count — is a historical artifact. A federal official named Mollie Orshansky created it as a placeholder in 1963 until something more sophisticated came along.

It takes a limited view of income by counting cash alone. It ignores expenses, like taxes and medical costs. And it set the poverty threshold in an outmoded way — as a multiple of food costs, which have dwindled as a share of most budgets, as is typical as a country becomes richer over time.

All three elements need updating, experts say. Yet other than to adjust the poverty line for inflation, the government has not changed it since Ms. Orshansky’s day. Efforts to do so have been slowed by both technical and political concerns. Conservatives worry liberals will inflate the number to justify more spending; liberals worry conservatives will define poverty away.

Virtually every effort to take a fuller view — counting more income and more expenses — shows poverty rising more slowly in the recession than the official data suggests. That is true of localized studies in New York City and Wisconsin and at least four different national data sets that the Census Bureau publishes. While the official national measure shows a rise of 9.8 million people, the fuller census measures show a range from 4.5 million to 4.8 million.

“That’s a big difference,” said Timothy Smeeding, an economist at the University of Wisconsin who oversaw the study in that state. “It’s about time we started counting the programs we use to fight poverty.”

Arloc Sherman, a senior researcher at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, said the new measure “is showing that government help is keeping millions of families above the poverty line right now.”

While most scholars have called the fuller measure a step forward, Robert Rector, an analyst at the Heritage Foundation, argues that both census counts — old and new — sharply overstate the amount of deprivation in the United States. In a recent study, he cited government data showing many poor families had game systems like Xbox.

“When the American public hears the word poverty, they are thinking about material hardship — bad housing, homelessness and hunger,” he said. “Most of the people that are defined as poor by the government are not poor in that sense.”

One consistent finding in the alternate measures is that poverty falls among children, the target of many government programs. And it rises among Americans 65 or older, who often have high out-of-pocket medical costs, despite being covered by Medicare.

Such is the case for John William Springs, 69, a retired city worker in Charlotte who gets nearly $12,000 a year in Social Security and disability checks. That leaves him about $1,300 above the poverty threshold for a single adult his age — officially not poor. Then again, Mr. Springs had a heart attack last summer and struggles with lung disease. Factor in the $2,500 a year that he estimates he spends on medicine, and Mr. Springs crosses the statistical line into poverty.

An upbeat survivor of a lifetime of need, Mr. Springs fills his prescriptions in partial amounts and argues the poverty counters got him right the first time.

“I ain’t poor,” he said. “I eat. I got a roof over my head.”

Some experts say cases like that of Mr. Springs may point to a hidden need among the elderly, whose official poverty rates have sharply declined over the past generation. Others have cautioned that the new measure still has flaws — failing to capture, for instance, that many elderly can draw from savings and are less reliant on annual income and benefits than younger people.

One concern in recent years is the sharp rise in “deep” poverty, defined as living on less than half the money it would take to no longer be poor. That is partly because of changes that make cash welfare harder to get. Yet many of the very poor do receive food stamps, a program whose rapid expansion has made it a safety net of last resort.

In part by counting food stamps, the fuller Census measure analyzed by The Times shows deep poverty falling by nearly 25 percent.

At the same time, all the new measures show many more people in “near poverty” — living on incomes between 100 percent and 150 percent of the poverty line. The alternate census data show a 50 percent rise in their numbers, with 44 million Americans in that economic band, where benefits dwindle in sums lost to taxes and child care, and medical expenses mount. “That’s where your safety net benefits phase out,” said Sheila Zedlewski, a researcher at the Urban Institute.

Even with assistance, life is a series of hard choices. Ashley Bolton was lifted above the poverty line under the new measure by about $10,000 in federal programs that cushioned her earnings as a hostess at the Original Pancake House in Charlotte. Still, sometimes she lets her car insurance lapse. She juggles two part-time jobs with classes to become a pharmacy technician, and relies on her mother, who works nights, to put her children to bed.

“I live the recession,” Ms. Bolton said. “All that stuff that happened to people — that’s my life every day.”

A Different Portrait of Poverty

To address shortcomings in the way poverty is measured in the United States, the Census Bureau has developed more comprehensive alternate measures. The example below calculates poverty rates by taking into account cost of living, taxes, medical expenses and benefits like food stamps and housing subsidies. Related Article »