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Will we ever learn?


It has happened again!

This time it is the NHS Test and Trace system that has failed, again, and why? The excuse is a Spreadsheet error!

Not our fault, says the government, it was a computer error, the spreadsheet was wrong.

Why, oh why, do we put so much faith in Spreadsheets? It is said that eventually 90% of all spreadsheets will eventually be wrong. “It was a spreadsheet error” is always the excuse, and the government are using it, again, to justify this error.

We all know that it isn’t the spreadsheet’s fault, it is the fault of the interface between it and us humans, a human is fallible and a spreadsheet, like all computers, only does what it is told. his proves that well known saying "put junk it, you get junk out".

There are too many examples of spreadsheet errors and now there has been a massive life threatening error, one which has led to a major step back in our battle against Covid-19. As usual it is the spreadsheet that is being blamed, it is the programme’s fault because it could only take 65,000 entries!

Was it really the programme’s problem or was it a human problem? The update has been available for many years, but a human being did not update it, however, the program is still blamed! Again, human error was blamed on the innocent spreadsheet, all because everyone believes whatever comes out of a computer is correct, because it is a computer. Unfortunately, the Track and Trace problems are just another example of the failure of believing in spreadsheets, as happened before, for example, when:

· Would you believe is, the MI5 bugged 1,000 wrong phones, due to an error on its spreadsheet!

· Would you believe it, during the 2008 financial crisis Barclays Capital prepared a Spreadsheet of the Lehman Contracts it was buying, however, some of the contracts they were not buying were included! Barclays were then legally required to buy them!

So, don’t believe spreadsheets, that's Think Cash!

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