Feeds

Entire London 2012 Olympics' cultural events database held on Excel

We're all doomed!

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Updated The London 2012 Olympics is set be a humanoid spectacle of the like never witnessed by the world's population before. Or something. But disturbing information has reached us at Vulture Central that reveals the organisation's entire cultural events database is stored in *gasp* Excel.

A job vacancy currently advertised on the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG) website is offering a competitive salary to someone who can maintain and report on data held in Microsoft's spreadsheet software.

Now, a small biz with few customer accounts might consider Excel to be fit for purpose. But surely housing an Olympic stadium-sized database on a standalone spreadsheet is bonkers, isn't it?

The horror. The horror

Not so, according to the job ad, which states that the successful applicant will "have a strong focus on data management and reporting". It then goes on to explain that the candidate's key role will involve "management of the central cultural events database (held in excel)."

We've been struggling to see how the two go together. So The Register called LOCOG's press office in the hope of getting an answer.

"It's only for internal use," reasoned the organisation's flack Paul Woodmansey, who tried to dismiss any security concerns.

But surely the database contains hundreds if not thousands of entries - how can LOCOG possibly expect little old Excel to cope?

Woodmansey couldn't immediately provide us with an answer on that one. Nor could he respond to our inquiries about what other databases are housed in Excel by the Cultural Olympiad team. We'll update the story if we hear back.

London 2012 has been billed as "the largest cultural celebration in the history of the modern Olympic and Paralympic Movements," all thanks to the power of Excel we suppose.

Chillingly, the skills required for the job include "experience of managing a large and complex database; especially in establishing and producing automated reports and creating visual outputs of data", as well as "strong IT skills" in "PowerPoint, Excel, Microsoft Word, & Outlook".

Which leaves us wondering if the entire London 2012 programme is powered by Microsoft's Office suite. Shurely shome mishtake? ®

Soiledspreadsheetnote

A fiery Olympic torch is pointed gratefully in the direction of Reg reader Alan Benson for the job ad tip.

Update

LOCOG gave us this statement, which seems at odds with the details outlined in the job ad:

"The document you're asking about is just a simple list of information relating to events, it's a tracking tool not a database. ExCel [sic] spreadsheets are a common corporate tool and we use them as and when appropriate," said Woodmansey.

"Where data is of a more sensitive nature then we impose stronger security measures and platforms according to the risk profile. Information security is of the up most importance to LOCOG and we are confident that our data is held securely with the stringent security procedures we have in place."

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

More from The Register

next story
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Apple fanbois SCREAM as update BRICKS their Macbook Airs
Ragegasm spills over as firmware upgrade kills machines
Captain Kirk sets phaser to SLAUGHTER after trying new Facebook app
William Shatner less-than-impressed by Zuck's celebrity-only app
Do YOU work at Microsoft? Um. Are you SURE about that?
Nokia and marketing types first to get the bullet, says report
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.