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Kenneth R. Baker, Lynn Foster-Johnson, Barry Lawson, & Stephen G. Powell


We developed an internet-based questionnaire on spreadsheet use, and we administered the questionnaire to a large number of users to document how spreadsheets are currently being developed and used in the business world.

In this paper, we discuss the results drawn from a large sample of MBA graduates. These results describe current spreadsheet use in organizations, largely confirming the gap that exists between actual practice and best practice. Moreover, our results indicate that this gap occurs in two areas: it appears not only in the skills of individual users but also in the policies of large organizations.


First step in creating a spreadsheet
First step in creating a spreadsheet

What's the first step in creating a spreadsheet? In our labs and classrooms, we usually observe students begin by entering numbers and then formulas directly into the spreadsheet.

Best practice, on the other hand, calls for planning at the outset. Among our respondents, regrettably, the most frequent first step was to enter something directly into the computer.


2005, Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, Spreadsheet Engineering Research Project

Full article

A survey of MBA spreadsheet users