The Psychology of Quality and More

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A Toolbook for Quality Improvement and Problem Solving (contents)


The Quality Toolbook > Tools for Applications > Tool types > Matrices

Description | Examples


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Tools that are numeric and pictorial are usually limited by the complexity of the data that they can display. For example, a complex graph containing a dozen different lines can be extremely difficult to interpret. This type of data may be better shown in a numeric, non-graphical format. These have the advantage of showing exact numbers, but lose the impact and ability to highlight decision points of more graphical displays.


A matrix shows a set of data in a rectangular format where each of the two dimensions either represents a simple variable or a set of related items, as in the table below. They can often be considered as a form of point graph, where a point is replaced with a cell containing a value rather than a simple mark.

Matrices may also be used for non-numeric situations, where cells contain symbols or text rather than numbers.



Fig. 1. Matrix example




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