Thursday, 27 October 2011

Excel can't do maths

I stumbled upon a little publicised bug in the current version of Excel whereby it displays the wrong trend line equation on scatter graphs.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/114629

You would expect such a simple and often used function to work but apparently not. I only discovered this after someone tried to use the equation I'd presented to them and complained that it was wrong!


The lesson I've learned is to always double check my maths, regardless of whether I had 'help' from a computer.

1 comment:

Smiler said...

You might be interested to read this: http://www.csdassn.org/reportdetail.cfm?ID=508

I remember seeing a table once that compared common mathematical errors between Excel, OO.o Calc, Gnumeric and Lotus 1-2-3 - Gnumeric was the only one to be correct for all options.

I can't find it now though!

Apparently Gnumeric has now found a niche popularity with statisticians because it gives correct answers!