Thanks Wayne for clarifying…
“We agree much more than disagree – especially about using all the tools and methods at one’s disposal. 🙂 Yes, if you say “process control” that covers a lot of ground. But SPC really is very specific.
You’re confusing SQC and SPC – but this is done a lot. SQC typically refers to *many* of the tools of QI together, most often to the “Basic 7 Tools” – one of which is SPC (others are the fishbone, check sheet, Pareto chart, etc.). The confusion is so bad that I’ve even seen some claim that it’s called SPC for variables along the process, while SPC on the process output variables is called SQC. Ah, but it’s really a minor point.
I am a *very big* proponent of exploratory graphical analysis – just as you describe it. I gave a half-day workshop at a Society for Health Systems conference (back on 9/11/2001) called “Multivariate Exploratory Graphical Analysis” (MEGA – “You can see a lot just by looking!”) that covered the principals you mention. Read all of Tufte’s books and Cleveland’s, Robbins, researched the Web, reading Visual Statistics, etc. I use Spotfire and Tableau, tried to use ViSta but it has real problems with data input. My contention is if we can get easy-to-learn, easy-to-use, robust (and not too expensive) dynamic / interactive / simultaneous multi-view graphics programs in the hands of our subject-matter experts (the clinicians) they’ll discover opportunities and make improvements much faster than the relatively few of us working on QI now.”