09-02 Contents: Modelling Manifesto, Conferences, 30 years of spreadsheets, cold-hearted utility
ISSN 1649-2374 This issue online at http://www.sysmod.com/praxis/prax0902.htm [Previous] [Index] [Next]
|Systems Modelling Ltd.: Managing reality in Information Systems - strategies for success|
IN THIS ISSUE
|1) IT Risk
The Financial Modeler's manifesto
20% Discount on Software Testing Conference Dublin 4 March
Thirty Years of spreadsheets
Ray Butler and Patrick O'Beirne at EuroCACS Frankfurt 15 March 2009
VBA + Excel Performance: MS asks for your Feedback
Michigan man freezes to death after electric company cuts power
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Both John Dvorak in the US and Paul Wilmott in the UK are
reminding people of the limitations of financial models. My book
"Spreadsheet Check and Control" and the Spreadsheet Safe (tm) syllabus
both require a developer to document assumptions and limitations.
The 30th Anniversary of the (No Good) Spreadsheet App
This is what caused the mortgage crisis: Spreadsheets instead of people were making decisions on loans. Soon these loans were wrapped up into neat financial packages all based on spreadsheet accounting. Brokers gave these packages high, triple-A financial ratings because the spreadsheet told them to. All spreadsheets, except the most mundane, are flawed in one way or another. You guess what the growth rate might be. You guess at the future cost of goods. You play what-if until you get what you want. There's a lot of guessing games played with spreadsheets. This is a flaw.
Dennis Alan Van Dusen The Structured Analysis Resulting in VisiCalc
"The design of the spreadsheet actually was done at TI and leaked to Personal Software (later called Visicorp) after [Dennis] interviewed Dan Fylstra and offered him a job at TI (he persuaded me to join him instead, then .... (long story there, not all good...)."
Spreadsheets serve as weapons of mass cost destruction
Offers a comprehensive approach to auditing spreadsheets.
Uses real-world examples and hands-on learning to demonstrate the benefits of such an approach.
The participant will learn more about:
Where to start and the most efficient techniques to use
How to cut down a system of spreadsheets to a manageable audit task
The symptoms that indicate potential or actual problems
How an enterprise can create an inventory of its critical spreadsheets, assess them for risk and prioritise scarce resources
Little-known secrets of Excel's auditing features
The causes of spreadsheet errors
The risk environment and processes around spreadsheet use
Techniques for inspecting a spreadsheet for errors
Techniques to reduce the incidence of errors in spreadsheets
What to look for in software tools
The Excel development team is currently investigating a number of scenarios where VBA macros take longer to run in Excel 2007 than in earlier versions (i.e. Excel 2003). They are looking for code/workbook/steps to reproduce the issue.
www.sysmod.com/scc.htm Our offer - free shipping to EU .
Simply send your comments to FEEDBACK (at) SYSMOD (dot) COM
Thank you! Patrick O'Beirne, Editor
This from the Risks Digest is just so sad:
In this case the risk appears to be the assumption that anyone who wishes to pay their electric bill can do so easily. The 93-year-old WWII veteran may
not have had a checking account, a computer, or online bill paying, and the weather was too severe for him to leave home to pay his electric bill in
person. After his death, a large amount of cash was found clipped to his utility bill on his kitchen table.
The Michigan Attorney General's Office is reviewing Schur's death. "Situations like this should be avoidable," Matt Frendewey, spokesman for the Attorney General's Office, told the Detroit Free Press for a story published today. A limiter, placed outside Schur's home adjacent to his electric meter, restricts the amount of electricity reaching the residence. If a home owner tries to draw more electricity than allowed by the limiter, the device cuts off all electricity to a home until the home owner resets the device. Neighbors said Schur struggled to hear, and may have suffered from some amount of dementia. City officials said they don't believe a city worker ever made one-on-one contact with Schur to explain the limiter's operation.
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"Praxis" means model or example, from the Greek verb "to do". The name is chosen to reflect our focus on practical solutions to IS problems, avoiding hype. If you like acronyms, think of it as "Patrick's reports and analysis across Information Systems".
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