Spreadsheet Errors and Decision Making: Evidence From Field Interviews
Source: Carnegie Mellon University
When thinking about how spreadsheet errors contribute to bad decisions, it may be useful to think of that not primarily in terms of spreadsheets recommending the wrong course of action but rather as misinforming deliberations. Furthermore, the overall information context underpinning decisions is almost always murky, ill structured, and incomplete. So it is not as if decision makers would have had a crystal clear understanding of all relevant factors if only the spreadsheet had not had an error. Rather, the spreadsheet error might just thicken the fog surrounding the decision. Indeed, sometimes the flawed spreadsheet might even help dispel some of that fog, just less effectively than it would have if it had not contained an error.