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The accuracy of statistical distributions in Microsoft® Excel 2007

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  • Yalta, A. Talha

Abstract

We provide an assessment of the statistical distributions in Microsoft® Excel versions 97 through 2007 along with two competing spreadsheet programs, namely Gnumeric 1.7.11 and OpenOffice.org Calc 2.3.0. We find that the accuracy of various statistical functions in Excel 2007 range from unacceptably bad to acceptable but significantly inferior in comparison to alternative implementations. In particular, for the binomial, Poisson, inverse standard normal, inverse beta, inverse student's t, and inverse F distributions, it is possible to obtain results with zero accurate digits as shown with numerical examples.

Suggested Citation

  • Yalta, A. Talha, 2008. "The accuracy of statistical distributions in Microsoft® Excel 2007," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 52(10), pages 4579-4586, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:csdana:v:52:y:2008:i:10:p:4579-4586
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Yalta, A. Talha, 2007. "The Numerical Reliability of GAUSS 8.0," The American Statistician, American Statistical Association, vol. 61, pages 262-268, August.
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    1. H.-J. Sun & Kaoru Fukuda & B. D. McCullough, 2017. "Inaccurate regression coefficients in Microsoft Excel 2003: an investigation of Volpi’s “zero bug”," Computational Statistics, Springer, vol. 32(4), pages 1411-1421, December.
    2. McCullough, Bruce D. & Yalta, A. Talha, 2013. "Spreadsheets in the Cloud - Not Ready Yet," Journal of Statistical Software, Foundation for Open Access Statistics, vol. 52(i07).
    3. Yalta, A. Talha & Jenal, Olaf, 2009. "On the importance of verifying forecasting results," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 62-73.
    4. Hargreaves, Bruce R. & McWilliams, Thomas P., 2010. "Polynomial Trendline function flaws in Microsoft Excel," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 54(4), pages 1190-1196, April.
    5. McCullough, B.D., 2008. "Special section on Microsoft Excel 2007," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 52(10), pages 4568-4569, June.
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    7. McCullough, B.D. & Heiser, David A., 2008. "On the accuracy of statistical procedures in Microsoft Excel 2007," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 52(10), pages 4570-4578, June.
    8. Varma, Jayanth R. & Virmani, Vineet, 2017. "Shiny Alternative for Finance in the Classroom," IIMA Working Papers WP 2017-03-05, Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, Research and Publication Department.

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