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Showing posts from July, 2017

Are you a heavy spreadsheet user too?

81% companies use spreadsheets The rise of spreadsheets in early 80’s meant a revolution in a way how business data is stored, processed, analyzed and presented. Suddenly, there was no need to use physical sheets, because everything could be stored in a set of tables that were more flexible, more understandable and could effectively perform useful calculations. In those days, it had to look almost like a miracle.

VisiCalc, the first widely used spreadsheet software [ source ]
Since then, spreadsheets became the first choice when it comes to working with data in many business. They are easy to start with, offer a lot of flexibility and even unexperienced and non-professional users can use it as a sandbox to experiment with their data. It is quite usual to have some data in advance and no idea what do we want to search for in these data.

Also, since then, the times they are a changin’. The amount of data entered into spreadsheets grow and they are becoming more and more complex. However…

There are better ways to use 50% of the time

As spreadsheets are easy to start with and learn, there is a huge number of businesses that use them for keeping records and data analysis. The results are further used for predictions and decision making - definitely very important, sometimes even mission critical tasks.

On these terms, it is quite scary that more than 90% of spreadsheets contain errors. As might be expected, nobody wants to make predictions and decisions based on wrong data, and the only way to minimize errors is to introduce policies and guidelines on how to create and manage spreadsheets. Unfortunately, you can’t get that for nothing. And what’s the price? Your own time. Your most precious resource.

According to a study conducted as a part of the Spreadsheet Engineering Research Project, a majority of users spends up to 50% of their time working with spreadsheets. Unless the person’s job belongs to the field of data analysis, that number is really high. We think that the main cause is a typical spreadsheet lifecyc…