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Jun 23, 2011

What statistical details do you want documented?

The documentation for JMP must meet the needs of JMP users with a diverse set of backgrounds. The needs of one group of users can differ markedly from the needs of another group. For instance, some users report that there is too much statistical jargon in the documentation, while others comment that there is too little statistical detail in the documentation. We could debate whether jargon and detail are the same thing or not, but even the group of users wanting more statistical details contains at least two sets of users. There are the statisticians who know a particular analysis and want details about the implementation choices made by the platform developer, but there are also those who aren’t familiar with a particular method and want to learn more about that particular analysis.

Over the past few releases of JMP, the documentation team has worked to improve the amount of statistical detail about the methods implemented in JMP and JMP Pro. For statisticians who want to know more about the in-depth details, we continue to add more formulas and algorithm descriptions. For users who don’t have a statistical background, we continue to add more examples and enhance the quality of the explanatory content. One method we have employed to achieve these goals is to present details of the statistical algorithms for a platform in a section at the end of the chapter for that platform. Many platform chapters now have a section at the end titled “Statistical Details for the XYZ Platform.”

But there are still platforms whose chapters are in need of statistical details! If there are specific statistical details that you would like to see included in the JMP documentation, please share them in the comments. As we continue to raise the level of statistical detail in the documentation, your comments will help the documentation team prioritize their efforts.

Note: A version of this blog post also appeared previously on the JMP User Community.

Community Member

Anita Dalrymple wrote:

Engineering statistics are often misunderstood by engineers. I would like to see more plain English explanations (with technical explanations attached) about goodness-of-fit for Normal curves, MSA, tolerance intervals, sample size selection parameters, and Cpk that I can share with my engineering colleagues. Overall, I love the JMP documentation!

Michael Crotty wrote:

Hi Anita, thanks for responding! We will try to include more explanations of engineering statistics in our documentation.