We spend our working lives working with the pensions industry. We have the pleasure of working closely with administrators and operation people. we know that despite all of the promises that new technology brings the role of the spreadsheet is still an important aspect of peoples working day.
The time wasted working on bad spreadsheets is a bigger practical problem than errors within Excel models, a leading spreadsheet error expert concluded at the recent European Spreadsheet Risks Interest Group (EuSpRIG) conference in London.
Presenting the results of a detailed study of errors in 25 sample spreadsheets, Stephen Powell from the Tuck Business School at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire found that 15 workbooks contained a total of 117 errors.
However, 40% those errors had little significant impact, the research found.
“Spreadsheets are full of data that’s never used and errors that go nowhere,” Powell said. “They are not neccessarily systems with inputs that get processed into outputs.”
On the other hand, seven of the errors uncovered were estimated to have cost impacts ranging from $4 million to $110 million.