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Because people make errors. This is well documented. For simple tasks people have an error rate of about 0.5%, but for more complex tasks people have an error rate of about 5%

So, when people are creating their own spreadsheets to get stuff done, and using that for multi-million dollar transactions, and not getting the software audited or approved, they're introducing risk to the company.




>> For simple tasks people have an error rate of about 0.5%, but for more complex tasks people have an error rate of about 5%

Can you cite the source for this data? I would like to read more.


Panko has a paper here (http://panko.shidler.hawaii.edu/My%20Publications/Whatknow.h...) which mentions it in the Introduction to Errors section, under the "consistent with other human error data" section.

> Consistent with Other Human Error Data

> When most people look at Tables 1 2, and 3, their first reaction is that such high error rates are impossible. In fact, they are not only possible. They are entirely consistent with data on human error rates from other work domains. The Human Error Website (Panko, 2005a) presents data from a number of empirical studies. Broadly speaking, when humans do simple mechanical tasks, such as typing, they make undetected errors in about 0.5% of all actions. When they do more complex logical activities, such as writing programs, the error rate rises to about 5%. These are not hard and fast numbers, because how finely one defines reported "action" will affect the error rate. However, the logical tasks used in these studies generally had about the same scope as the creation of a formula in a spreadsheet.

He has cites at his website too.

(http://panko.shidler.hawaii.edu/ssr/)




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