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Histograms: A

Valuable Tool for

Quality Evaluation
By Perry Katz

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1) What is a Histogram?
2) What are some possible uses
for a Histogram?
3) Where did the Histogram come
4) How do Histograms work?
5) A real world example.
6) An exercise.
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What is a Histogram?
• A Histogram is a variation of a
bar chart in which data values
are grouped together and put
into different classes.

• This grouping allows you see

how frequently data in each
class occur in the data set.

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What is a Histogram
• Higher bar s represent more
data values in a class.
• Lower bars represent fewer data
values in a class.
• On the next slide is an example
of what a Histogram looks like.

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Example of a Histogram

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Uses for a Histogram
A Hi stogram can be use d:
• to display large amounts of data
values in a relatively simple chart
• to tell relative frequency of
• to easily see the distribution of the
• to see if there is variation in the
• to make future predictions based on
the data.
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Where did the Histogram
Come From?

• The Histogram was first

implemented by Kaoru Isikawa,
one of Japans’ most renowned
experts on quality improvement.

• Isikawa spent his life trying to

improve quality in Japan.
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Where did the Histogram
Come From? (cont.)

• His major contributions to

quality improvement are known
as the basic seven tools of

• Included in his basic seven tools

of quality is the Histogram.

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How do Histograms
• First, you need need to pick a
process to analyze.
• Next, you need a large amount of
data, at least 100 data values so that
patterns can become visible.
• Then, you need to assemble a table
of the data values that you collected
with regards to frequency of data
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How do Histograms
Work? (cont)
• Next, you need to calculate some
statistics for the Histogram,
including: mean, minimum,
maximum, standard deviation, class
width, number of classes, skewness,
and kurtosis.

• Then, you actually create the

Histogram using these statistics.
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How do Histograms
Work? (cont)

• After you have created a

Histogram, it will take one of
five shapes:

• Normal Distribution:

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How do Histograms
Work? (cont)

• Positively Skewed:

• Negatively Skewed:

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How do Histograms
Work? (cont)

• Bi-Modal Distribution:

• Multi-Modal Distribution:

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How do Histograms
Work? (cont)

• Once your Histogram is

complete, you can analyze its
shape, as well as the statistics
that you came up with.

• This analysis will help you to

make better decisions toward
quality improvements.

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Real World Example
• The next slide contains a real world
example of a histogram. It plots the
relative frequency of the heights of
some students based on the data
Height (feet):          (Number of pupils)     Relative frequency:
0-2                        0                                0
2-4                        1                                1
4-5                        4                                8
5-6                        8                                16
6-8                        2                                2
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Real World Example

• This Histogram is courtesy of

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• A great exercise which would help
you better understand what a
histogram is all about can be found
at :
htt p:/ / his togram_ expl orer/ m

Here you are walked through the

making of a histogram. You see all
of the aspects that I have discussed
in this tutorial.
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• After going through this tutorial
you should have a better idea
2) What a Histogram is.
3) What a Histogram is used for.
4) Where the Histogram came
5) How Histograms work.
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Histograms: A
Valuable Tool for
Quality Evaluation
By Perry Katz

12/14/08 19