Friday, October 24, 2014

10 . 24 . 14 | Dr. Little Shares His Take on Dey’s Book

Dr. Kevin Little, Principal and Founder of Informing Ecological Design, LLC recently penned a review of Kieron Dey’s Competitive Innovation and Improvement: Statistical Design and Control. We had expected the book to be controversial among academics and researchers since it contains no mathematical notation and also explains common errors in experimental work by inappropriate use of mathematical models in both design and analysis. So we were pleasantly surprised to find an independent review by Dr. Kevin Little (PhD is statistics from University of Wisconsin at Madison) an experienced consultant with unusually strong technical skills in this field (as well as many others).

Dr. Little provides a balanced review rightly noting nothing new in the statistical control sections and centering on the parallel use of statistical design and control in unorthodoxly large and diverse business settings, as especially innovative.

The review also notes the case in Chapter 1 alone as being worth the price of the book; this is good insight since it frees healthcare of the widely perceived need to randomize patients to the experiment allowing improvement in live care/disease management operations. It also shows why measurement error is never an issue in problems of this type (unless "cleaned up"!) The case was early in a set of about a dozen similar cases (some of which were of better design or larger improvement) and was chosen in part because it shows how real cases look, imperfections fixed along the way. The dozen cases met with fierce resistance from statistical colleagues which was important to sound design and overcoming similar unfounded concerns in the future. Chapter 1 conveys the sparks caused by pulling it uphill in this way as a feature of good science.

View the full text of Dr. Little's review on his blog: