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Pareto analysis

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Pareto analysis is a statistical technique in decision making that is used for selection of a limited number of tasks that produce significant overall effect. It uses the Pareto principle - the idea that by doing 20% of work you can generate 80% of the advantage of doing the entire job.

Pareto analysis is a formal technique useful where many possible courses of action are competing for your attention. Basically, it consists of estimating the benefit delivered by each action with subsequent selection of a number of the most effective actions that deliver the total benefit reasonably close to the maximal possible one.

Steps to identify the important causes using Pareto analysisEdit

  • Step 1: Form a table listing the causes and their frequency as a percentage.
  • Step 2: Arrange the rows in the decreasing order of importance of the causes i.e. the most important cause first
  • Step 3: Add a cumulative percentage column to the table
  • Step 4: Plot with causes on x- and cumulative percentage on y-axis
  • Step 5: Join the above points to form a curve
  • Step 6: Draw line at 80% on y-axis parallel to x-axis. Then drop the line at the point of intersection with the curve on x-axis. This point on the x-axis separates the important causes and trivial causes.

See alsoEdit

Pareto distribution

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