Doing statistics with a speadsheet -Perhaps not a good idea?

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John_Kane

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Dec 9, 2005, 1:34:38 PM12/9/05
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Something came to my attention that made me even more certain that
spreadsheets are not the best way to do statistics. I would be
interested to know if others have seen this behaviour when using a
spreadsheet.

Check of arithmetic operations on text cells.
A1 is a numeric value. B5 is a text formatted cell, C5 is a text
formated cell and was entered as '999 in all cases. D5 is a text
formatted cell
In a comparision of three spreadsheet the results were:

Cell contents
A1= 5 B5= Foo C5 ='999 D5 = Harry

Software OOo Calc v2.0.0 MS Excel 2003
Quatro Pro (WP v.12)

Operation Result Result
Result
Add (A5+B5) 5 #VALUE!
5
Multiply (A5*B5) 0 #VALUE!
0

Add (A5+C5) 5 1004
5
Multiply (A5*C5) 0 4995
0
Multiply (A5*B5*C5) 0 #VALUE!
0
Add (B5+D5) 0 #VALUE
*NA
Multiply (B5*D5) 0 #VALUE
*NA

Add (=5 + Foo) #REF #Name
*NA

*My demo copy of Quatro Pro did not appear to install properly and did
nasty things to a CD when it crashed so I decided to not to finish the
series for it. I would be interested to hear what someone with Quatro
Pro gets for these operations.

John Kane, Kingston ON Canada

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