Introduction to MINITAB in the Saint Mary's Network


Charles F. Peltier
Saint Mary's College
Notre Dame, IN

This manual is intended to provide an introduction to the Minitab statistics package for students in MATH 114 at Saint Mary's College. Mintab is a (copyrighted) program belonging to Minitab, Inc. This manual is not a product of Minitab Inc. and is not a complete description of the package. Corrections, questions, suggestions should be sent to (Charles Peltier, Mathematics Department, Saint Mary's College).

Table of contents:

0.General Information

I. Starting and stopping MINITAB

II. Entering and correcting data

III. Saving and retrieving data

IV. Graphs

V. Description

VI. Saving and printing your work

VII. Z-tests and estimation of a population mean

VIII t-tests and estimation on the mean of one population

IX. Inference on difference of means(Independent samples from two populations)

X. Inference on the mean of a difference (Matched pairs data)

XI. Inference on a proportion

XII. Inferences for differences between two proportions

XIII. Generating random numbers

XIV Manipulation and arithmetic with columns

Maintained by

Last update 4/23/2005

Sections still to be entered (as of last update):

Obtaining data from other files
Sampling from data already entered
Chi-square for goodness-of-fit
Multiple regression/correlation


IX. Obtaining data from files(Not updated)

There are three kinds of data files you can read from Minitab: ASCII (text) files with data entered in columns separated by spaces, text files with data stored in special formats [this manual does not dicuss these "Formatted" data files] and Minitab worksheets (which store data in a special compressed form). Since you will save your own data in a Minitab worksheet, retrieving worksheets is covered in section IV, below.
To get data from an ASCII file, you need to know how many columns of data are in the file. (If you don't know, you can find out by looking at the file with a word processor).
Select File>Import ASCII Data -(on the Mac, use File>Import Text ) A window opens in which you must indicate which columns (of the worksheet) the values go into (that's why you need to know how many columns there are), and some other information (which can usually be skipped. ). List the columns to receive data, leaving spaces between column names (for example: C3 C4 C5 Notice there are no commas) - you can also use notation such as C3-C6 to indicate columns C3 C4 C5 and C6. When you click on " OK " in this window, another window opens so you can select the file - (see sec 0.E. p.3 regarding locating files for your system).

X. Sampling from data already entered(not updated)

MINITAB can be used to draw random samples from population data that have been entered in a worksheet- this is useful in simulating sampling (getting samples from a known population, without having to go and interview people or measure objects, etc.), and for seeing how samples from the same population can vary.
Use Calc>Random Data>Sample from columns. In the window, the number of rows to sample will be the sample size, you can sample from more than one column (select them from the list in the window) and you must put the sample somewhere - there must be as many columns for " Put samples in " box as you choose to sample from - you should put samples into previously empty columns (columns not in the window list). You can choose to sample with replacement by checking the " with replacement " box.
The sample will not appear in the "Session" window - if you want it in your printout, you wil need to use the Edit>Display Data command. (or print the "Data" window by clicking on it and then selecting File>Print Window)