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May 28, 2014

CEO of STATCON on the gap in statistics education, why DOE is underused and more

Shafer.pngBertram Schäfer, CEO and founder of STATCON, sees a need for professional education for many scientists and engineers.Bertram Schäfer, CEO and founder of STATCON, is our featured guest in this month’s episode of Analytically Speaking. Bertram is an expert in general industrial statistics and is active in the international statistical community. While we were in Germany last year, we were fortunate to get some of his time to record the interview. Given his extensive experience consulting and teaching over the last several decades, he has some valuable insights to share. Some highlights from my conversation with him follow.

Bertram believes there is a sizeable gap between what engineers and scientists should know before they start in the working world and what they are taught in university courses. This gap is also evident in the US (see this short Industry Speaks video of engineers who wished they’d had more exposure to statistics). Similar to the work Predictum does primarily in North America, STATCON does primarily in Europe — they seek to lessen the gap through professional education.

Bertram says that organizations that avail themselves of this training — whether it be design of experiments, measurement systems analysis, reliability, process capability analysis — are strategic in how they apply such methods, looking at the whole process in the broadest context for these methods to have impact.

On the importance of graphical discovery, Bertram sees this as “safeguarding our modeling steps,” and with JMP you have a “built-in fun factor” that also saves you time. He was kind enough to also let us record an episode of Technically Speaking showing capability analysis.

If you can’t tune in for the Analytically Speaking interview Feb. 15, you can always view the interview on-demand. We hope you’ll join us!

In addition, if you happen to be going to Discovery Summit Europe in Prague in March, you can attend a talk Bertram co-authored with STATCON colleague, Sebastian Hoffmeister, on “Second Order Terms in Decision Trees.” If you won’t be in Prague, their talk will eventually be posted in the Discovery Summit section of the JMP Community. Meanwhile, you can read the paper from their talk, “Hierarchical Response Models for Design of Experiments,” from last year’s Discovery Summit Europe.