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Do not use Microsoft Excel for important research

Microsoft Excel is malware

@drbjork Yup

It tries to "help"

Many of the ways it automatically "helps" cannot be deactivated

Many of the ways it "helps" are saved to disc even if you don't click the save button

I can't recommend against using it strongly enough

@bgcarlisle I honestly didn't know, I haven't used Excel for 20 years. 😜

@bgcarlisle @drbjork It is EXTREMELY common for research made with excel to automagically falsify the results.

Anyone dealing with large amounts of numeric data is recommended to code their calculations, not trust a spreadsheet.

Here's an example of things gone bad:

lemire.me/blog/2013/04/23/shar

Turns out latex is not just for fun! (OK, that pun might be aged, dunno if people use that language any more, or if it's actually good :p)

@bgcarlisle Errors in some Excel formulas created the notion that 90% debt/GDP ratio klls future economic growth. And that led to austerity policies...

@mplouffe @bgcarlisle

I use that example in my "intro to research data management" ALWAYS!

and the genomics example (Excel irreparably fucked up gene sequencing data by thinking the sequences were dates and people didn't have the original data")

@vickysteeves @mplouffe @bgcarlisle

I once had to deal with a CSV file of product data that included the client's internal product codes which should looked like `618J-05` and `661E-01`. But Excel had helpfully normalized the second of those to `6.61E+01`.

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