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Journal Warns that Using Excel Statistics Package Doesn't Meet NIST Standard

The journal Computational Statistics & Data Analysis recently published an article concluding that the statistics package in Excel 97 is inadequate for substantive statistical analysis, according to a report by the Gartner Group. The journal applied standardized tests for accuracy from the National Institute for Standards and Technology to Excel 97. These datasets include certified values for a variety of statistical methods and are designed to help organizations by highlighting inadequacies in the algorithms of the tested software to show the degree of confidence the user should have when using the software. The shortcoming of Excel lies in the application's algorithms, according to the report.

The Gartner Group's conclusion is "Enterprises should advise their scientists and professional statisticians not to use Microsoft Excel for substantive statistical analysis. Instead, enterprises should look for professional statistical analysis software certified to pass the (NIST) Statistical Reference Datasets tests to their users' required level of accuracy."

For more information on NIST's Statistical Reference, Datasets, click here.


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