Saturday, October 1, 2011

UK Statistics: Finger in the air

PIGS © fintag

News comments:
Statistics. Lies. Damned. Whatever.

Given the world markets treat statistics like Hello magazine, it is always alarming when you see inconsistencies and errors in the numbers.

An eagle eyed hack has embarrassed the ONS for its construction data after a row in an Excel spreadsheet was copied incorrectly. Yep, an Excel spreadsheet.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/8800148/ONS-rapped-for-publishing-wrong-construction-figures.html

Not that the ONS is the only agency run by monkeys. Eurostat, Europe's big statistic collector also uses spreadsheets. Our systems used to hoover up their "spreadsheets" but time and time again they would appear in foreign languages, suddenly the values were rebased to 100 and calculation methodologies would change.

Here is an an example. It's a Eurostat spreadsheet of the GDP / Debt of the European countries. http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/tgm/web/_download/Eurostat_Table_teina225FlagDesc.xls

Click on this link and open it. Then do it a few more times and see the data changing (best to do during a business day and not the weekend).  

Gossip:
Greek debt to be wiped out during an IT migration project.



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