Servicio de Información Comunitario sobre Investigación y Desarrollo - CORDIS

Article in European Popular Press ENBIS & Pro Enbis RSS News Dec 2002

ENBIS? What is it? Who made it? Where is it? Why is it? What does it do?

International competition is getting tougher, product development cycles shorter and manufacturing processes more complex; customers are expecting and demanding higher quality for products. Business and industrial statisticians have contributed to these changes. Fellows of the Royal Statistical Society have been to the fore, working within companies or as consultants, or through the business and industrial section and the quality improvement committee.

In spite of these efforts, there is much to be done. Indeed, there is a mutual frustration at the sight of so many companies who remain ignorant of what we might do for them. Their blind faith was displayed in a company director’s answer to my question: "What do you do about uncertainty and variation?" He replied: "They are not allowed."

There are many statisticians across Europe and beyond who know that our methods have improved business and industrial performances and can continue to do so. We know too that every opportunity must be seized and much effort must be applied to ensure that we continue to achieve continuing improvements. The Internet and easy travel within Europe provide the opportunities. These have been used to create a new society, ENBIS: The European Network for Business and Industrial Statistics. ENBIS is intended to be a forum for the dynamic exchange of ideas and to provide a networking mechanism for statistical practitioners. We aim to stimulate the application of statistical methods to enhance economic and technical development and to improve competitiveness of business and industry across the whole of Europe.

The need for networking arose from the realisation that many applied statisticians and statistical practitioners work in environments where they are isolated from interactions with, and stimulation by, likeminded professionals.

ENBIS was created by a small band of enthusiasts, led by Søren Bisgaard, and had its official launch at the first conference in December at the University of Amsterdam with more than 80 attending. The provisional executive committee had 14 members drawn from eight European countries. Everybody participated in one of six working groups: Industrial design of experiments; General statistical modelling; Data mining and data warehousing; Process modelling and control; Reliability and safety; Quality improvement.

The first conference was followed by a three-days course on design of experiments presented by Søren Bisgaard. This is a pattern that will be adopted at future conferences. For example, the second ENBIS conference in Oslo next September (17th and 18th) will be followed by a three day introductory course in Six Sigma.

Since that first meeting, solid foundations have been built: membership has grown to about 300 from more than 20 countries (mostly European but a few from the USA), a constitution has been written, financial management has been created, a secretariat established, and, most visibly, a website has been developed. Look at it: You will see reports of the working groups, information about future meetings and other activities, a report of the first conference, membership details and how to join, and membership of the executive committee of which the chairman for this year is a past president of the Royal Statistical Society, Henry Wynn.

The website has a "members only" section. You can access this with your username and password that will be sent to you when you join. A discussion page in this section enables members to post messages and to reply to other messages. There is also a network page, which displays all ENBIS members with their affiliations and email addresses. Members can also show further information about themselves such as their special interests and areas of expertise.

Each working group will also have its own discussion page to be used by group members to exchange ideas. All members can join in. Membership of ENBIS, and hence of its working groups, is open to statistical practitioners as well as to professional statisticians. By this, we mean people who use statistical methods in their work. I suspect that the discussions and information exchanges through the working group pages could develop into valuable resources for engineers, scientists and managers working in business and industry. They should be encouraged to join ENBIS.

Reported by

Middle Cottage
United Kingdom
See on map
Síganos en: RSS Facebook Twitter YouTube Gestionado por la Oficina de Publicaciones de la UE Arriba