Technical Legacy, Covid testing failure.

Over the weekend there was news reports that due to a technical error there were 16,000 positive covid cases missing from the stats. The upshot being that none of the track and trace process was started for those people and its again another bad news day for the government.

This got worse when it became public that the issue was due to a limitation of excel and they had ran out of storage for the data.

I couldn’t get my head around what the issue was, the limits are well known around maximum rows etc but why were these an issue. This bbc article explains the whole thing.

It turns out that the data was being merged into single excel files, however they had used an old file format. Which was limited to just 65000 rows of data. As the data then was stored over multiple other rows it meant the files were limited to 1500 records, and when this limit was reached it stopped recording the data.

I know sometimes the simplest ideas are the easiest and sometimes you start with something simple and build. However is this the best that anyone could come up with?

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