Wednesday, 17 March 2010

poll poll variance question

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Around the City today as well as creating some presentations.

The PowerPoint also needs some numbers so there's been some spreadsheeting worked in for good measure.

Strangely, Excel has forgotten how to add up. The little Sigma control isn't working, so when I'm trying to add up certain rows of numbers, it keeps returning a value of zero.

I've restarted Excel and rebooted the PC but to no avail. As this is a primary function of spreadsheets, its a trifle annoying.

It's as if the spreadsheet has decided to not tell me the answer. Its probably like the various election related opinion polls being published at the moment.

Since the 11th of March I can spot about 6 or 7. The results generally show a Conservative lead, but it varies from a 13 point lead in on on the 11th, to a 5 point lead in one yesterday. Or in a different poll yesterday, an 11 point lead. And sure enough, there's already chatter about whether opinion polls should be published in an election run-up.

Based upon the lack of consistency, its questionable whether these polls have a great deal of meaning. I hope they are also checking that their Excel is adding up properly.

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