Who would have thought the dangers that lurk in deep water? Just a few days into the New Year and we get the first 2012 public error in the world of financial Big Data...by which I mean that vast volume of unstructured numeric manipulation that takes place in all businesses. Who would have guessed that behind all those multi-million dollar Olympic PR campaigns and glossy websites lay at least one and probably many humble spreadsheets as described in this article by the Daily Telegraph. The reality is that most people who work in the real world...whether it is valuing your pensions, managing government debt, or online betting - to name but a few - know that this is pretty much always the case, no matter how many millions have been spent on 'proper' systems.
Of course at one level the event can be dismissed as a rare 'fat-fingered' user but what it really highlights is that the reason such errors don't happen very often is the huge number of hours put in by diligent users, trying to trap these errors before they have an impact in the real world.