For the Continuous Improvement Professional

Learning how to build visually appealing plots is a must for every Six Sigma practitioner. In this book, you will learn how to create elegant plots, handle small and large amounts of data, and become confident about your data analysis skills using the powerful statistical software RStudio. And along the way, you’ll be doing it in an efficient manner and without the need to purchase a software package. R language and RStudio are open source, free resources used by thousands of people around the world.

TIP: there is an incrediblly large and helpful R community online.

The structure of this Book

I setup this book in a way that (I believe) you will find it easy to navigate through. With the R beginner’s in mind, firstly I will show you how to install R, RStudio, and a few important packages. Then I will spend some time on showing you some very basic coding, some of which I believe you might find helpful. After that, I will show you various examples of how you can leverage RStudio to create clean, professional, and elegant plots for your Six Sigma projects. All along the way, depending on the type of data visualization that I’ll be working on, a few more bits and pieces of coding will be introduced, but only the necessary. The objective of this book is to provide you with enough knowledge to run effective data analysis using the R language, not to turn you into a data science or computer programmer wizard.

If you already have a reasonable amount of basic knowledge with R, feel free to skip ahead to chapters 4 and 5 so that you can dive straight into the data visualization. The focus of this book is after all, on data analytics via plotting.

The Plotting Chapters

Specifically for the larger chapters of this book (chapters 4 and 5), I broke the contents down first into the different types of plots I will be discussing, then into three main elements: data source, basic plot, and plot customization. As implied in the previous sentence, the idea is to show you firstly, how I either created or uploaded the data set (needless to say, a very important task of the Six Sigma professional). Secondly, I will walk you through how I create the most basic plots from either base R coding or specific graphical packages such as ggplot2. Finally, I will be revealing tricks and tips about how I add customization to each basic plot I created in the previous section of the chapter. Although I will not be covering every single customization there is to these plots, I will try my best to at least guide you through the elements that I believe are the most valuable, especially when it comes to the application of Six Sigma analytic tools.