- Minitab: Simple Random Sampling

At the end of most lessons, there will be a "Minitab" section. These pages will demonstrate how Minitab can be used to create some of the graphs or conduct some of the analyses presented in that lesson. Videos showing where to click will be provided after the step-by-step instructions. 

Lesson 1 focused primarily on the design of research studies and data collection. There is just one feature in Minitab that is applicable to this lesson, and that is the Sample from Columns feature. This takes a simple random sample of cases from one or more variables in a dataset. 

Minitab 18

Minitab®  – Random Sampling from a Column

In this example, we have a worksheet containing the names of all of the Department of Statistics' full-time faculty members from the Spring 2021 semester.

These data are in the following files. The file ending in .mwx is a Minitab worksheet file; this can only be opened with Minitab 20. The file ending in .xlsx is an Excel file; this can be opened with any version of Minitab as well as with Excel:



If this is your first time opening an .mwx file you may receive an error message if your computer does not know to open this in Minitab. You should be able to fix this by saving the file to your desktop, opening Minitab, and then opening the worksheet from within Minitab. After the first time, you computer should recognize that .mwx files should be opened with Minitab.

To select a simple random sample of 10 names from this dataset, follow the steps below. At the bottom of this section there is a video that shows where to click.

  1. Open the data in Minitab
  2. From the tool bar, select Calc > Sample from Columns...
  3. In the Number of rows to sample box, enter 10
  4. Click in the From columns box and then double click the Name variable
  5. Click in the Store samples in box and type MySample
  6. Click OK

The third column of your worksheet should now be labeled "MySample" and it should contain 10 names. Since we are using simple random sampling procedures, the results will be different each time due to random sampling variation. Try these steps a few times, you should see that you get a different set of 10 names each time.

Video Walkthrough