StATS: My ten favorite books, #9 (March 24, 2006). Category: Good books

There is a lot of interest in applying Quality Control methods to health care problems, and I have finally gotten around to updating a class that talks about this.

Whenever someone asks me about this topic, I recommend an excellent book,

Donald Wheeler has also written several other excellent books on this topic, but this is the best one for beginners. It doesn't have a lot of formulas and calculations, but provides a powerful motivation for why you should use Quality Control methods (and especially Control Charts).

If you want to delve further into this topic, the same publisher, SPC Press (, has a wealth of good books.

I tried to find some commentary on the web about this book, and noticed that I had commented on this book in a different, but related context:

William Paar, a famous name in Statistics and Quality Control, has some nice things to say about this book:

This is a superb book, targeted at the manager who wants to know how variation and its understanding relate to him/her and their work. It focuses on the type of data which will make sense to a manager at, for instance, the plant manager level and shows eloquently the benefits of a statistical point of view. My recommendation: Buy this book, and give a copy to those to whom you report.

Once you start browsing the web, it's hard to stop because there is so much good stuff out there. Dr. Wheeler also has a nice essay on the web,

and another essay that cites Dr. Wheeler's book,

is also worth reading.

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