Another example of the risks with leading zeros. In Denmark, 9000 people were not contacted with regards COVID vaccines as there ID numbers started with a zero.
It is not clear if Excel was used, but either way it is a common error type in Excel. ID’s, bank account numbers, employee numbers are all susceptible. Anything that looks like a number (so Excel assumes it is), but it is an identifier.
Leading Zeros and Excel
Excel’s default with leading zeros, where it thinks the cell is a number, is to remove the leading zeros. However, all cells that just contain numbers are not always ‘numbers’.
A good example is ID numbers. They only contain numbers, but you would never add 2 ID numbers together. They are more like text in that you want to see all the characters and Excel must touch nothing.
To see how this happens and what you can do about leading zeros in Excel, have a look at some of these blog posts:
See the article (you may need to translate to English) on ‘Huge vaccine error: 9,000 patients were forgotten’