A run chart is a graphical display of data over time, where the data is plotted as a series of points and lines connecting them. It is a simple, effective way to visually show trends or patterns in data over time. The lines drawn on the chart can be used to identify changes in the data, and can help to identify areas for improvement. It can also be used to monitor the performance of processes and systems.
A run chart typically consists of two axes - one for the value of the data (usually on the vertical axis), and the other for the time period the data was collected (usually on the horizontal axis). Points are plotted on the chart at each data value and then connected with a line. The lines drawn on the chart can be used to identify changes in the data, and can help to identify areas for improvement. It is important to note that the data points should not be connected with a line if there is a gap between them, as this could indicate that the data is not accurately reflecting the true trend.
Run charts can be used to identify a variety of different trends and patterns in data over time, including changes in trends, spikes in data, or a general increase or decrease in data. Additionally, run charts can be used to detect errors in data or processes that could be causing undesirable outcomes. By using run charts, organizations can identify areas for improvement and take corrective action to improve the performance of their processes or systems.
When to use Run chart
Run charts can be used in a variety of different situations, including to:
- Monitor the performance of processes or systems over time
- Identify changes in trends
- Detect errors in data or processes
- Identify areas for improvement
Run charts can be used to monitor the performance of processes or systems over time, as well as to identify changes in trends or detect errors in data or processes. Additionally, they can be used to identify areas for improvement, allowing organizations to take corrective action to improve the performance of their processes or systems. By using run charts, organizations can gain valuable insights into their data and processes, and take the necessary steps to improve their performance.
Types of Run chart
Run charts can be used to display a variety of different types of data, including:
- Continuous data: Continuous data is data that is measured on a continuous scale, such as temperature, weight, diameter, etc. Continuous data can be displayed using a run chart to show changes in the data over time.
- Discrete data: Discrete data is data that is measured on a discrete scale, such as a number of errors, number of customers, etc. Discrete data can be displayed using a run chart to show changes in the data over time.
- Attribute data: Attribute data is data that is measured on a binary scale, such as pass/fail, yes/no, etc. Attribute data can be displayed using a run chart to show changes in the data over time.
Steps of Run chart
To create a run chart, the following steps should be followed:
- Step 1: Identify the data that will be used in the chart. This can include data points such as daily sales numbers, customer satisfaction ratings, or any other type of data that needs to be monitored over time.
- Step 2: Plot the data points on the chart. Each data point should be plotted on the chart at its corresponding time period.
- Step 3: Connect the data points with a line. The line should be drawn as a continuous line, with no gaps between the data points.
- Step 4: Examine the chart for trends or patterns. Look for changes in the data over time, spikes in data, or other trends that could indicate areas of improvement.
- Step 5: Take action. Based on the trends or patterns identified in the chart, take action to improve the performance of the process or system being monitored.
Advantages of Run chart
- Easy to interpret: Run charts are simple and easy to interpret, making them an effective way to quickly identify changes in data over time.
- Low cost: Run charts are relatively inexpensive to create, making them a cost-effective tool for organizations.
- Flexibility: Run charts can be used to monitor a wide range of data, from customer satisfaction scores to production rates.
Limitations of Run chart
Run charts have some limitations. Firstly, run charts can only be used to monitor data that is collected over a period of time, rather than comparing data from different points in time. Additionally, run charts are limited in that they cannot detect outliers in the data, as outliers are not connected with a line on the run chart. Finally, run charts are limited in their ability to detect complex patterns in data, as they only show one variable at a time.
- Control Chart: Control charts are similar to run charts, but they go a step further by showing control limits. Control limits are lines drawn on the chart to indicate the expected range of values, and they can be used to identify when a process or system is out of control.
- Histogram: A histogram is a graphical display of data that shows the frequency of data points within a given range. A histogram can be used to identify the range of values in a data set, and it can also be used to detect outliers or unusual values.
- Scatter Plot: A scatter plot is a graphical display of data that shows the relationship between two different variables. Scatter plots can be used to identify correlations between variables, or to detect trends or patterns in data.
- Perla, R. J., Provost, L. P., & Murray, S. K. (2011). The run chart: a simple analytical tool for learning from variation in healthcare processes. BMJ quality & safety, 20(1), 46-51.
- Anhøj, J., & Olesen, A. V. (2014). Run charts revisited: a simulation study of run chart rules for detection of non-random variation in health care processes. PLoS One, 9(11), e113825.