Spreadsheet failures, any recent examples? [Software]

posted by Ohlbe – France, 2019-07-18 12:32  – Posting: # 20389
Views: 2,114

Dear ElMaestro,

» does anyone have recent examples of spreadsheet functions truly misbehaving with real-life realistic data?

Nope. I have examples of users using the wrong functions, or unlocked spreadsheets getting modified at some point, but that's about all. The problem is most often somewhere between the chair and the keyboard: wetware rather than software.

Well, there are some "features" of Excel you need to be aware of when using it for stats, of course. Already mentioned on the forum.

» [...] which led regulators to conclude they were the only ones who could be trusted to make proper use of such pernicious creations.

Maybe their coding skills are not any better than mine*, and they consider that they will always trust whatever they do with a spreadsheet more than anything they might obtain with R ? :-D

* sharing with the forum some experience already discussed by email with ElMaestro a couple of years ago: I installed R on my home computer. With the help of some "R for R-seholes" tutorials, it took me something like 4 hours to manage to open a simple set of data and make a simple plot out of it :PCchaos:. I spent a few more hours trying to have the colour of the plot change based on simple conditions (red if under a threshold value, green above it). I was even waking up at night with ideas on new ways to test. I never succeeded. Never used R again. I would never trust any of my results anyway.:lamer:

Regards
Ohlbe

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