If you’re looking to tabulate data, Microsoft Excel is a pretty good piece of software to use. After all, it has been used by many people and corporations over the decades, but while it is good and has its advantages, it does not necessarily make it the best, nor does it mean that it is perfect.
In fact, reports from publications such as the Daily Mail, The Independent, and the Evening Standard are claiming that the UK government might have actually encountered an error with Microsoft Excel that could have led to an under-reporting of COVID-19 cases. Recently, the government announced its highest number of coronavirus cases in England.
It was a dramatic increase, but it seems that it wasn’t necessarily because it was due to a spike in cases. The cases were actually already there, but due to the Excel spreadsheet that was used, as many as over 15,000 lab results were omitted and were not uploaded to the government’s COVID-19 dashboard.
Thus when the error was correct, it made it look like it was a sudden spike in cases. While Public Health England has not confirmed it was an error in Excel, they did cite a “technical issue”. Interestingly enough, this is not the first time we’ve heard about Microsoft Excel giving people problems. Back in August, it was revealed that due to the way Excel formats certain fields, it actually caused some problems to the research of human genes.