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Joe Chang

Excel Error or Idiot User?

Many of us have probably seen recent headlines titled Excel Error - major catastrophe, end of the world blah blah blah. No where in any of these is it cited that there was actually an error made by Excel. But if there was a mistake, people would rather imply that it was in the technology, and not the idiot using the technology without checking his or her work. The New York Times blog also mentions that an Excel error was part of the London Whale incident. This is why I never trust information given to me. I insist on seeing the supporting data for myself. Of course, there are people who double check their arithmetic to make sure they got it right to the penny on a five dollar transaction when it is their money. But not for a billion/trillion of someone else's money.

here is a link from Reuters How a student took on eminent economists on debt issue - and won.

If the link does not work, either search "How a student took on eminent economists on debt issue - and won" or try

let me clarify. my complaint is that the media headlines "Excel Error" instead of emphasizing it was an error by the user in using Excel.

Published Wednesday, April 17, 2013 5:01 PM by jchang

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Nasser said:

Since Excel is a Microsoft product then it is OK to blame Microsoft in this case! because Microsoft should improve Excel in a way that Excel should guess what people want to achieve and then do it for them!!!

on the other hand, if it was an Apple product then the user will be holding it wrong!

April 21, 2013 6:28 AM

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About jchang

Reverse engineering the SQL Server Cost Based Optimizer (Query Optimizer), NUMA System Architecture, performance tools developer - SQL ExecStats, mucking with the data distribution statistics histogram - decoding STATS_STREAM, Parallel Execution plans, microprocessors, SSD, HDD, SAN, storage performance, performance modeling and prediction, database architecture, SQL Server engine

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