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  1. #1

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    Yes they blame it on excel.

    Covid: 16,000 coronavirus cases missed in daily figures after IT error - BBC News

    Public Health England's interim chief executive Michael Brodie said a "technical issue" was identified overnight on Friday, 2 October in the process that transfers Covid-19 positive lab results into reporting dashboards. He said the majority of the unreported cases had occurred in the "most recent days".

    It was caused by some data files reporting positive test results exceeding the maximum file size.
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    Missing COVID-19 tests glitch '''caused by large Excel file'''

    Almost 16,000 cases of coronavirus in the UK went unreported because of a glitch caused by an Excel spreadsheet, it has been reported.

    Public Health England (PHE) said 15,841 daily COVID-19 cases between 25 September and 2 October had been left out of UK totals.

    The error has caused delays in tracking the contacts of people who tested positive.

    On Monday, the Press Association (PA) news agency reported that the problem was caused by a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet reaching its maximum file size.
    This prevented new names being added in an automated process, it said.

    PA said files have now been split into smaller batches to prevent the error from happening again.

    Previously, PHE said the issue was caused by some data files reporting positive test results exceeding the maximum file size.

    Meanwhile, a government minister defended the error, saying: “We can’t change history”.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SueEllen View Post
    You say Excel .... I bet they're still using Lotus 1-2-3 (v2.1, the 2d version)
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    To ensure we never get to high numbers...
    Government's warning of 50,000 cases a day in October is based on few hundred positive cases | Daily Mail Online

    ...is it possible that the government systems are still running Excel 95 or earlier, with a limit of 16,384 rows?
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    I think half of us guessed what the issue was the moment we heard it.

    I spend a lot of time explaining to people why I'm not willing to link up their excel macro to enterprise software. Now I just have to say "you remember that government covid excel spreadsheet" and laugh.

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    Excel, is this what they mean by a world beating app?
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    Excel maximum rows is 1,048,576

    Total positive cases on the dashboard is 502,978

    I'm guessing they use 2 rows per positive test and there is a bit of noise in there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by minestrone View Post
    I think half of us guessed what the issue was the moment we heard it.

    I spend a lot of time explaining to people why I'm not willing to link up their excel macro to enterprise software. Now I just have to say "you remember that government covid excel spreadsheet" and laugh.
    Using Excel as a UI for end user reporting is fine (a lot of the top BI tools have addins to support this very technique), the problem is too many companies still try to use Excel as a DB. Or they try to dump all source data into Excel and then consolidate in the spreadsheet rather than using the BI tool to do this and then just drop the result into Excel for reporting.

    I've made a contracting career in financial/accounting trying to teach accountants how better to report their data. Problem is, a lot of people are still scared of DBs, and it's not helped that IT bods don't educate the end users and make out it's all a complex black box
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    Quote Originally Posted by minestrone View Post
    I think half of us guessed what the issue was the moment we heard it.

    I spend a lot of time explaining to people why I'm not willing to link up their excel macro to enterprise software. Now I just have to say "you remember that government covid excel spreadsheet" and laugh.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paddy View Post
    Excel, is this what they mean by a world beating app?
    They've learned how to use vlookup .... it's a bleeding edge Excel model
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